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MIDVALE — A group of auto mechanics is making great strides to provide a large Christmas present for a family in need.
When Erick McHenry, the owner of Viking Automotive, purchased a 2003 Honda Odyssey from a customer who no longer needed it, he made plans to repair and sell the van.
But then he got a better idea — to fill it with Christmas presents and donate it to a family who had been through a hard time.
McHenry and his employees collaborated with A.U.T.O. Collision to completely repair and paint the van, and they plan to surprise the family on Friday.
“It’s going to be as new as a 2003 minivan can be, I think,” McHenry said. “I’m happy to give back after our customers have helped us so much.”
With the help of R. Marketing and 1320 AM KFAN, McHenry advertised the project and collected donations to cover the first year of tax and insurance for the van in addition to Christmas presents for the family.
McHenry used Facebook to collect submissions for families in need. After looking through many submissions, he chose a woman who cares for her own two children in addition to her two grandchildren who lost their mom in a car accident two years ago.
“We were looking for a family who had enough kids to need a minivan,” McHenry said. “One kid and a mom and dad don’t need a minivan, the mom with 5 kids needs a minivan.”
McHenry has been working with one of the woman’s sons to surprise her with the van at Viking Automotive Friday at 3 p.m.
The public is invited to enjoy hot chocolate and doughnuts and watch the family receive the van.
“I want to see the smile on their face and really get the satisfaction of being able to give back,” McHenry said.