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Carl Black Automotive shows love of Christ to needy in community

KENNESAW, Ga. (BP)–Because the lives of both the owner and the president of the Carl Black Automotive Group have been changed by the power of Christ, they now look for ways they can use their resources to show compassion to people in their community who have specific needs.

One example is the donation of a minivan to a family who experienced a tragedy earlier this year that resulted in the need for a handicap-accessible vehicle.

On the first day of spring, 21-year-old Cindy Donald was sunbathing in her driveway. Her father had been working away from home that morning, and when he returned for lunch, he pulled up the steep driveway to where it levels off, not realizing his daughter was lying there. Having run over her with the car, he got out and knelt beside her bleeding body.

“’Dad, if I die, it’s not your fault,’ she said,” Jay McAnnally, chaplain for Carl Black Automotive, recounted to Baptist Press.

Donald survived the incident, but now she is paralyzed from the neck down.

One of the Donalds’ neighbors is Dan Dorner, senior associate pastor at First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Ga., and another is Art Wilder, an associate pastor at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, Ga., led by Bryant Wright. The two enlisted the resources of their churches, including the relationship First Baptist Woodstock, led by pastor Johnny Hunt, had developed with the folks at Carl Black Automotive.

“They came to us and said, ‘Hey, you guys have wanted to partner with us. Partner with us and help us get a van to this family,’ and we said, ‘Absolutely. We’ll do whatever we can to help,’” McAnnally said.

So Carl Black’s Kennesaw, Ga., Pontiac Buick GMC store donated a Pontiac Montana minivan to the family during a presentation service at First Baptist Woodstock June 26.

McAnnally explained that the Donald family had not been attending church at the time of the accident, and the way Carl Black and the two churches reached out to them gave them a more accurate picture of what Christians are really like.

“I think they are truly astounded. Are they going to church right now? I’m not sure, but they have seen the love of Jesus Christ in a practical way,” he said.

Since donating the van, Carl Black has learned that it is too small to accommodate Donald’s needs. A person in her condition must be moved every 30 minutes, McAnnally said, and there must be room for her to recline inside the van. The family returned the Montana minivan, and the dealership and First Baptist Woodstock has agreed to work with them until a vehicle with the proper accessories is obtained — an endeavor that will be more complicated and costly than originally expected.

But First Baptist Woodstock and Carl Black are willing to accomplish their initial goal of providing adequate transportation to the family in need.

Another example of Carl Black Automotive’s community involvement is their participation in a program called Shoes for Orphan Souls, which collects and distributes shoes for orphans in more than 30 countries. Since 1999, Shoes for Orphan Souls has distributed more than 1 million pairs of shoes and thousands of socks and shoelaces to orphans around the world.

Carl Black is taking part in the endeavor for the second consecutive year, offering their four Atlanta-area locations and their Nashville, Tenn., store as drop-off points for donated shoes.

“When I first heard about Buckner Orphan Care Shoes for Orphan Souls, I thought, ‘What a great way to get our employees, as well as the community, involved in helping others,’ McAnnally said. “Last year we collected almost 1,000 pairs of shoes. This year Carl Black Automotive’s goal is 2,000 pairs of new shoes.”

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  • Erin Curry