It is a Christmas gift Katy Ackerman will not soon forget.
The mother of two received a life-changing gift just in time for the holidays when she was handed the keys to a new car.
The Canoe resident was the recipient of a refurbished 2015 Chrysler 200 thanks to Kal Tire, Braby Motors, Fix Auto Collison and SASCU Financial Group, marking the third time they have given a vehicle away.
The car included winter and summer tires, $1,500 in vehicle insurance, plus fuel cards and other gifts.
Ackerman, along with her four-year-old daughter Ella and two-year-old son Emery, were led to the event by nominator and friend, Kathy Forsyth.
“It couldn’t go to a better person,” said Forsyth. “She’s amazingly kind, compassionate and generous, even though she herself doesn’t have much.”
“This gift will help me start a new life,” said Ackerman. “It puts to rest so many questions I had, like how I was going to get to my practicum this spring.”
A full-time mom, Katy is also a full-time student, using the night hours to train online to become a certified education assistant. She's now taking her practicum at North Canoe Elementary.
Without a vehicle, the odds of getting a job placement upon completing her program were against her.
“This is a mom who is working really hard for a better future for her young family despite some pretty bad luck over recent months,” said Dan Burt, General Manager of Salmon Arm Kal Tire.
“This vehicle is the missing piece that will help bring all her efforts together,” added Justin Braby, sales manager at Braby Motors. “The hand up she needs.”
“Choosing among the stories sent in is really difficult,” said Derick Miller, general manager of Fix Auto Salmon Arm. “We feel really proud that we can make a difference in one more of these families’ lives.”
“What a great annual event that really reflects the Christmas — and the Shuswap — spirit,” said Barry Delaney, SASCU chief executive officer. “We wish Katy, Emma and Emery a very bright future.”