The Billings Career Center has been donating cars to people in need around the holidays since 2010. This year is no different.
"Amazing, blessed, loved..."
These are the words Amanda Just used to described how she felt when she was surprised with a car today. She said she had no idea she'd be getting a car today and was overwhelmed with emotion. Amanda has walked a rough road.
"I walked into the Rescue Mission doors in August of 2017 broken, and through their love and their guidance and God's grace, I'm here today," Just said. "They gave me not only just a place to stay, but they encouraged me any way they could."
Amanda said she has been trying to get back on her feet ever since. First by interning at the Montana Rescue Mission in January and then becoming a full-time employee. She's also a part of the new life program MRM offers. The new car owner said there is one person in particular who's pushed her along the way, Karla Maslowski, the shelter manager at MRM and her new boss.
"At the MRM you have to be clean and sober and I came in with a hot UA for pot and she's like,'You know what? Two weeks and I'm going to UA you again and you better be clean,' " Just said. "And she gave me tough love. She said you got two weeks to get a job and she just gave me that tough love from the day one and now she's my boss."
Joshua George is an automotive teacher and Skills USA advisor with the Billings Career Center and said an old highschool friend reached out to him and offered a car to the Billings Career Center. The automotive teacher and his students got to work.
"This car was very well taken care of so we did basic maintenance on it," George said. "Battery services, cleaned it up really nice."
Makenzie Leroy helped work on the car and said seeing Amanda receive the car made her feel good inside.
"I tried my hardest to keep it together, but it was just nice to see how much she really did appreciate it and how much she truly needed it," Leroy said.
Amanda said her life is turning around for the better, and now that she has a vehicle, this encourages her to keep moving forward.