After gifting a minivan in December, Trust Auto of Sykesville kept its philanthropic spirit up in the first month of 2019 with another giveaway.
The auto dealership and shop decided to give a van to one of its new employees, Eric Brown, an Army veteran, on Wednesday, Jan. 30.
“He has a super old car, it’s banged up,” Trust Auto General Manager Nick Kolay told the Times Wednesday. “He’s had some hardships, and we always say Trust Auto is a family — whether you’ve been there five years or five months.”
“With his service to our country and the need for a vehicle, Trust Auto sees him as the perfect candidate,” said Trust Auto Marketing Manager Kayla Slusher earlier this week. “As a family-owned business, we firmly believe in family.”
The van, a white 2012 Dodge Caravan, was presented to Brown, his wife Mariah, and their two sets of twins — Reagan and Athena, 3, and Isaiah and Jeremiah, 1 — at the company’s employee appreciation party Wednesday, after Kolay presented other employees gifts, a heartfelt “thank you” and a firm handshake.
When the Trust Auto family saw that Brown was in need of a new vehicle after their last giveaway, they decided “Christmastime is over but the magic is still here,” GM of Sales Russ Yapparov explained.
“I’m not really good, you know, with surprises,” Brown told the intimate group of employees at Trust Auto, eating pizza and drinking Coca-Cola with their children playing in the center of the room. “I’m stuck with what to say.
“I do feel home here,” he said. “I never felt this way working any place. I know when I come in every single day, I have the opportunity to make a difference, not just for me and my family, but for everyone here.”
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He said the new car means so much — especially since his own car was skidding all over the road on his way to the employee appreciation party and he didn’t think he was going to make it all the way from his home in Owings Mills.
“I’m going to throw it down a hill now,” Brown said laughing.
“We were struggling for a while,” Mariah Brown told the Times. “Him getting this job [in November] seemed like it was meant to be, a godsend. This is a godsend.”
In the background, a video compiled by Slusher played on the flat-screen television. In it, she asked all the employees about their favorite part of working at Trust Auto.
“We’re one big family,” Eric Brown said through the speakers.
An American flag hung behind him.
“We love serving our customers and our community,” Brown said. “Everyone leaves with a smile on their face.”