A grandmother raising her grandchildren hopped out of her 12-year-old car into a late-model van Monday, courtesy of a nonprofit organization partnering with several Oklahoma City businesses.
Cheryl Henderson, who lives in Edmond with her three grandchildren, cried softly as she was presented the keys to a 2009 Kia Sedona during a short ceremony at Progressive Insurance Service Center, 601 SE 89.
Barbara Butner, executive director of Calm Waters, said Henderson, 50, and her grandchildren have been participating in the nonprofit's program since Henderson's daughter Kelly Cheree Hale, a single parent, died at age 29 in March 2010. Calm Waters offers free grief support groups for families experiencing loss through death and divorce.
Henderson said her daughter died of a stroke about two weeks after suffering a brain aneurysm, leaving behind her children Jordon, 11; Kearra, 10; and Alicia, 9. Butner said Henderson's husband, John, died in 2008 and Henderson's father died a few months ago, so Henderson is raising her grandchildren on her own.
Butner said Calm Waters was contacted by Progressive Insurance about presenting a car to a family in need of transportation. The Thanksgiving week giveaway was made possible through a program called “Recycled Rides.” Progressive Insurance officials said the “Recycled Rides” program commemorated National Auto Body Council Give-a-Way Day on Monday.