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New Hondas awarded to Good Samaritans

January 14, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Doing the right thing not only makes you feel good, it could also win you a brand new car. Southern California Honda asked the public to nominate someone who's gone above and beyond in the community, someone who could really benefit from a new vehicle. Out of more than 800 incredible nominees, Honda chose three, and Wednesday we got to meet them as they received their new cars.

Three deserving winners of the Honda Helpful Awards were announced at a reception at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles Wednesday.

The first winner, Ilene Leiter, was nominated by her daughter Dana for her work with a nonprofit organization called King's Care - A Safe Place, a substance abuse and domestic violence program.

"My mom gets you out of that situation and puts you in a home, where you can actually begin to get your dignity back," said Dana Leiter.

"These people have nothing, literally nothing, no clothes, no hygiene nothing," said Ilene Leiter. "I don't care if I don't get paid as long as I can help somebody change their life. I have a real passion for that."

And it was Ilene's passion that helped her become the recipient of a new Honda.

"We really, really needed that vehicle," said Ilene. "And we're here for anybody, so if you need us please call us, King's Care - A Safe Place."

Another winner Wednesday was the Massie family. Michelle and Nick are the parents of disabled child Cole Massie, who needs a walker and wheelchair. Now the family has a new vehicle that makes it easier to transport both. The Massies describe their son as an inspiration.

"Thank you for choosing us to close your circle of giving," said Michelle Massie.

"Thank you everyone, and God bless America," said Cole Massie.

An excited Ernest Phillips was the third recipient of a new Honda. He runs an outreach program for homeless veterans called New Directions.

"I've had jobs that pay much more money but I have never had a job that is as rewarding and as fulfilling as what I do now," said Phillips. "It's a blessing to have a job that you don't worry about what time you get off. There's no retirement, I'm going to do this till Jesus comes back."

If you would like to nominate a helpful member of the community to receive a brand new Honda, applications are being accepted for next year's awards.


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