SAN MARCOS (CNS) - A San Diego family of five, living at St. Vincent de Paul Village since a series of financial and medical setbacks, will be given a refurbished minivan Saturday.
The Nelson family will get a 2001 Dodge Caravan that was refurbished at Caliber Collision San Marcos as part of the nationwide Recycled Rides program, charity spokeswoman Kim Kimbriel said.
"Our hope is that this Recycled Rides gift will help the family get back on the road to a normal life, with reliable transportation to get their three children to school and mom and dad back to work," said David Goldstein, a Caliber vice president.
Tim Nelson, a former Marine and prison guard, started to have migraine headaches and was diagnosed with high blood pressure. Eventually, he was told he had kidney cancer, Kimbriel said.
The family's savings ran out when he was unable to work. They stayed with friends and in motels -- later a car -- before moving to St. Vincent de Paul, Kimbriel said.
Nellie Nelson has kept her three children in school, getting up at 4:30 a.m. to catch buses, Kimbriel said. Those time-consuming commutes should shorten up after Saturday. The family is set to get the minivan keys to the van at 1 p.m.
The Caravan is one of the many Recycled Rides the charity -- a project of the National Auto Body Council -- expects to donate this year.
"Our goal with the Recycled Rides program is to give back to the communities we serve as we restore our customers to the rhythm of their lives," said Recycled Rides vice president Michael Quinn.
Caliber has body shops in California, Arizona, Nevada and Texas.
Last month, Caliber opened a Riverside shop and donated a Honda CRV to a single mother with four sons, the youngest of whom is being treated for leukemia, Quinn said.