Community Works to Bring New Wheels to Local Family
COLUMBIA- Community organizations are coming the aid of a family of eight that lost their only mode of transportation in a hit and run accident. Social worker, Sherryl Laws teamed up with Love INC and together, they hope to give Kelly Smith and her family another van.
The Smith family was asleep last week when another motorist totaled their car while it sat in their driveway. The driver did not have insurance and the Smith's only had liability. Kelly and Dominic Smith, who are both full time students, were left wondering how they would pay for another van.
Fortunately for the Smiths, some caring people are stepping in to help them.
"We're going to get them a car, I don't know how, but we will," said a determined Laws. "Kelly and Dominic, they have really, really, worked hard. They've overcome so many obstacles to really provide for their family," said Laws, who knows the family well.
"They're just amazing people. They've got these six kids and they're wonderful parents. They worked hard to get a nice van and a nice place to live for their family and then someone just took it away," said Laws.
So far Laws and Love INC have raised $1,000 from churches and individuals, towards another van for the Smiths.
While the fundraising continues, Love INC has mobilized volunteers to help the Smith's run errands.
"They're really stranded right now. A family with six children has a lot of grocery needs, diapers, things that you really take for granted," said Jane Williams, Program Director of Love INC.
Love INC is also getting volunteers together to help clean up all the broken glass still scattered around the Smith's yard from the crash.
Love INC and Laws are talking with local car dealerships to see if they can work together.
"Were hopeful that we will get them another van. It would be great if we could get them a better one then the one that they lost. That's what we'd like to see happen," said Williams.
The Smiths are grateful for all the support they have received.
"I just want to thank everyone that has helped and God Bless them. They don't know how much it means to me, to my kids," said Kelly Smith.
She says she plans on giving back to the community that's helping her.
"I want to get my kids involved in helping at a church or the community to give back," she said. "I would really like to start a youth group to keep kids off drugs someday."
The Smiths had a wheelchair lift in their van for their disabled daughter. It was destroyed in the crash but Medicaid will pay to replace it.
Anyone wishing to contribute to the Smith's van fund or to volunteer to assist the family can contact Love INC. The information is in our links and numbers section.