Car giveaway changes lives
The local “Wheels to Prosper” program by Jesse Griffith, owner of Jesse Griffith Repairs has given away two cars to two deserving people. In 2017 he gave away a 2004 Dodge Intrepid to Dillon and Hannah Tindle and most recently a 2003 Toyota Camry to Glenna Ledbetter.
Each year he has asked for nominations for individuals to receive a car totally free. They are asked for a detailed explanation for why the nominee deserves to be awarded the car. An anonymous committee of individuals read the letters and select the winner.
“The person who gets the car needs to be someone who needs the car and isn’t someone always looking for a handout, but will … pay it forward. I would hope they are the kind of person who will give to others in the community and enable them to do better,” Griffith explained.
The first year there were around 75 individuals nominated and this past September there were about 36 to 40 people needing a car. These nominations are testimony of the need in western Oklahoma for transportation. Once he hands over the car, it is completely theirs. Griffith also provides them with $500 credit voucher to his shop for any needs in the future.
“I go through the car thoroughly and I personally test the car out. There are things that you can’t predict and can go out at any time like starters, so I give them the $500 to support that, but it is totally theirs. I drove the Camry to New Mexico and back, it’s a solid car,” he added.
He is on the look for good solid cars for next year’s giveaway, but will not accept just anything. Griffith makes sure the upkeep for the car is also affordable. He noted that he should not take a Mercedes, although it maybe free, the upkeep would make it impossible for someone to own.
“It depends on the support of the community for our business, but I would like to give away more than one per year. It takes a lot to prepare the car and to get the nominations together. With as many nominations, it shows that there is a need. We could have given away three this year,” Griffith said.
Jesse Griffith Repairs moved to Elk City from Hobart 14 months ago. He joined the “Wheels to Prosper” program because of the financial struggles within the area communities. He gave away the Intrepid at the Pumpkin Palooza in Hobart and the Camry at the Fall Festival of the Arts in Elk City.
“Without the support of the community I couldn’t do this. I want to thank the community for that support,” Griffith noted.
He has three employees, Trevor Bellew, Robert LeNeve and Kaili Wait who help service their customers. Griffith has a quote on the wall that says, “Did I deliver exceptional customer service?” He wants the company to remember that is what they are about, customer service.
Griffith is married to Sheri and they have two children, a son, Riley, ten-years-old and a daughter, Asia’h, seven-years-old. He went to diesel mechanic school at Western Technology School in Burns Flat and completed on the job training at John Deere. He then went on to to go John Deere Agri-tech school.
For more information about the “Wheels to Prosper” program see his Facebook page, Jesse Griffith Repairs or call 580-379-0790 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with “Wheels to Prosper” in the subject line.