A Stockbridge soldier, his wife and four children are the owners of a new used car after the C3 Church in Lawrenceville raised $12,000 in two months to acquire, refurbish and gift the vehicle to the family.
"Words can't thank them enough," said Sgt. Michael McKinney of the U.S. National Guard. "This [kind of gift] has never happened to us before."
McKinney is a combat medic and veteran of four tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He received news last month that his upcoming deployment to Afghanistan had been canceled. While the development might have been reason to celebrate for other families, it was not what McKinney wanted to hear. It meant he and his family would be without the considerable extra income generated by the extended tour of combat service.
"I felt kind of like, how am I going to go on," said McKinney, who makes about $10 an hour as an EMT in Stockbridge. His family's two vehicles, he said, are all but broken down, and they can't afford to repair them or buy new ones.
Through McKinney's National Guard Unit in Winder, leaders at the C3 Church got word of the family's predicament and helped raise money need to buy a 2007 Chrysler Town and Country. The vehicle was refurbished and presented after church on Sunday.
McKinney had never attended the church, nor met any of its leaders.
Said Pastor Jim Crumbley: "We're handing them a piece of our heart that we helped create here so we can say you mean something to us."
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Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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