WOONSOCKET – A Burrillville-based veterans organization is working with a Woonsocket-based auto repair shop to donate three used cars to local veterans in need of transportation.
New Englanders Helping Our Veterans and Henri’s Auto Repair plan to give away a 2011 Mazda3 Sport, a 2003 Ford Focus and a 2000 Buick LeSabre Custom during a live drawing on WOON Radio on Friday, Nov. 12.
It is the third time the business works with the town organization to provide cars to those in need – and the first time they donate more than one vehicle. The three vehicles have reportedly had extensive work, including new brakes and engine repairs, with parts donated by local auto parts stores.
The initiative, known as Henri’s Heroes, provided a car for a 24-year Marine veteran from Woonsocket who had lost his apartment and was living in a camper in Connecticut, in its first year in 2019. Last spring, 85 individuals applied for the program, and a second vehicle went to a veteran from Warwick.
The give away is open to all active duty or retired military veterans – as well as their caregivers – who live locally and can demonstrate need for a car.
The Park Avenue business reportedly started the effort when a customer wanted to get rid of an old vehicle, and has since received several donations of older cars for the project – including some that were junked to help pay for repairs and the future registration fees.
Local businesses that have contributed to the effort include Burrillville Motors and New England Farms in Burrillville, along with WOON Radio, Raps Auto Parts Supply and Woonsocket Auto Salvage in Woonsocket. A family from Burrillville with a member who served in the Middle East also reportedly donated a Buick.
To apply for free, veterans should contact Burrillville resident Jim Collins, president of NEHOV, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Henri’s Auto Repair at (401) 762-2325 before Veteran’s Day on Thursday, Nov. 11. All applicants must have a valid license and be able to pick up the car from the Woonsocket location, and will be vetted by NEHOV.