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Annual car giveaway helps woman, grandchildren in time of need

Friday, January 08, 2021 6:09 PM | Anonymous
Chevrolet of Homewood on Dec. 24 continued its annual tradition of giving away a car every Christmas Eve by donating a 2020 Chevy Sonic to a local grandmother who is taking care of four grandchildren after her daughter and son-in-law died in October in a tragic car accident.
Dollena Colvin’s daughter and son-in-law, Jeremy and Michelle Steward, borrowed Colvin’s car Oct. 6 and were en route to a laundromat when they were killed instantly in a collision.
"[The accident] left them with me now," Colvin said of her grandchildren, one of whom is recovering from brain cancer and another who is only 10 months old.
"This is such a blessing for me" the Blue Island resident said as she touched her new car. "It will never replace my daughter. Never. But I tell everybody she’s looking down like, ‘Y’all better get my momma a car!’ "
Under the Homewood Chevy Cares contest, Colvin was nominated to win the car by her niece, DeAnna Taylor, a South Holland resident.
"She kind of inherited a new life," Taylor said of her aunt, "If an accident like that happened to me, I would want someone to support my mom."
Helping those in need
This was the sixth year Chevrolet of Homewood donated a car on Christmas Eve, though this year’s donation was done with less fanfare — and fewer people — than in years past, due to COVID-19 concerns. Dealership staff were present at the event, as were some of Colvin’s relatives.
More than 700 submissions were made in the latest giveaway, far surpassing the roughly 400 that were received in 2019. Chevrolet of Homewood principal Steve Phillipos attributed the increase in submissions to the toll the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on so many families. 
"They’re all touching stories, they really are," Phillipos said. "It made it very difficult for us to pick these nice folks. But we think it’s a great thing."
He added: "These are beautiful people. I know they believe in miracles, and we believe in miracles."
Even the plates and sales tax on the vehicle were paid for by the dealer, as was the car’s first six months of insurance. 
"All you have to do," Phillipos told Colvin, "is drive your new car."

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