Burns Lake’s Autobot Sales Inc. is once again boosting the Christmas spirit in Burns Lake with its annual Christmas giveaway.
This year, the car dealership donated a 2007 Chevrolet Monte Carlo – worth $7900 – to Albert Hill and Tara Hill, from Fraser Lake.
The couple, who raise five children and did not have a car before, were nominated by two different people.
After Autobot Sales shared their photo on Facebook, the post was seen by thousands of people, shared dozens of times and received dozens of comments of support.
“I was shocked,” said Tara.
“We had a lot of support,” she continued, not being able to contain her tears. “It’s been really hard.”
Tara and Albert raise their three children and two nephews in Fraser Lake. Since Super Valu closed its doors earlier this year, the couple have had to borrow a vehicle from a friend in order to buy their groceries in Burns Lake.
To make matters worse, they have also been having to borrow a vehicle to take one of their children to regular doctor appointments in Prince George.
“Now I don’t have to worry about finding a vehicle to get any of my kids to doctor appointments,” she said. “It really helps us out a lot; we’re very thankful and blessed.”
When asked how they felt when they found out they had won the car, Albert said they started “running up and down” their home.
“We started yelling around the house that we won,” said Albert. “It was awesome; it’s going to help us so much.”
In total, Autobot Sales received approximately 50 nominations. The car dealership posted the nominees’ photos on Facebook and asked the public who they thought should win.
“The public played a big part in deciding the winners, but we wanted to make sure that the winners were people who really needed it,” said the Autobot Sales team.
When asked why Autobot Sales has been donating vehicles, Doug Waters, one of the owners, had a simple answer.
“This is Christmas,” he said. “It’s a time of giving.”
The idea to hold an annual Christmas giveaway came from Doug’s wife Kathy Waters, who passed away last year.
“Kathy always had a giving heart,” said Doug. “It didn’t matter if it was a car or cash, if she saw somebody in need, she couldn’t help herself.”
A few weeks ago, Autobot Sales was broken into and had cash and two vehicles stolen. Despite the financial setback, Doug said it was important to carry on with the annual giveaway.
“We just thought the break-in was not going to take the spirit of what this is away,” said Doug. “We are a family business and we know that families have needs, so why not pass it along.”