PHOENIX — Lilia Nava has traveled a “long road,” escaping a domestic violence situation and finishing college, and now she can complete her journey in safety and style.
Nava, a single mother of three in Phoenix, recently took her barely-running car in to be serviced, and then received the surprise of a lifetime.
“She thought she brought it in for repairs, but we took one look at it, (and) there’s no repair left,” Howard Fleischmann from Neighborhood Auto Repair Professionals, who helped with the surprise, told KPHO-TV. “This is going to change her life.”
Instead of retrieving her own car – with no heating or cooling, and more leaks than Fleischmann could count – Nava was gifted a 2010 Chrysler 300 Touring, courtesy of Justin Johnson, the son of former Suns player Eddie Johnson.
“Surprised and blessed,” Nava told the TV station about the unexpected gift. “We just didn’t know it was coming. It’s a blessing. We just feel so grateful.”
The younger Johnson, who sits on the board of directors for Helping Hands for Single Moms-Phoenix, donated his own personal vehicle to help Nava keep moving forward. The nonprofit’s website lists Jason Johnson as a real estate agent with Jason Mitchell Real Estate.
“It feels really good,” Justin Johnson told the TV station, adding, “I can see their appreciation on their face, especially at this time with everything going in the world. Not everyone has the necessary things. They don’t have the means to live how I believe a lot of people should.”
Nava, who only needs to pass her test to obtain her nursing license, reflected thoughtfully on the help organizations such as Helping Hands for Single Moms have provided in allowing her to rebuild her life.
“You don’t have to stay in that situation. There are options even if it seems like there isn’t,” Nava told KPHO-TV. “It’s been a long road, and it’s like, ‘Wow, this is where we’re at now.’”