Wheels of Hope: Jenkins Hyundai presents car to veteran in need

hyundai-carA Leesburg veteran and his family who were recently homeless have a new place to live and a car thanks to the generosity of several local organizations and businesses.

Jenkins Auto Group, in partnership with United Way of Lake & Sumter Counties, presented a pre-owned vehicle Wednesday to Robin Kirkland at the Jenkins Hyundai dealership, 9145 U.S. Hwy 441., Leesburg. The donation is part of an ongoing United Way program called Wheels of Hope, a news release states.

United Way had been working with Robin through its Mission United program, which serves veterans, says Michelle Purl, vice president of resource development for the organization. After returning home from serving his country overseas, Robin married but struggled to get his military benefits, and he and his family unexpectedly found themselves without a home.

Mission United helped him secure his benefits and worked with social services partners—initially Kids Central and later Find, Feed & Restore—to find housing. Robin, his wife, Nikki, and their four children now live in a three-bedroom duplex in Leesburg. They were selected from a group of applicants to receive the car from Jenkins Auto Group, Michelle says.

United Way was honored to be a part of Jenkins’ “amazing act of kindness” she says.

“It really has been a feel-good story,” Michelle says. “It’s life-changing for people.”

Founded in 1965, United Way of Lake & Sumter Counties is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is “to improve the quality of life and build a stronger community by leveraging resources and united community partners to impact education, income, and health.”

For more information, visit uwls.org or facebook.com/unitedwaylakesumter. Follow United Way on Twitter and Instagram @UnitedWayLS.