For a student nurse who is a mother of seven and also works a full-time job, taking the bus can be a time consuming inconvenience. This is the case for Shahonna Hardwick of Cleveland, Ohio. Hardwick, who had been living in a Salvation Army complex in Cleveland at this time last year, takes several RTA buses to and from home to get to work, unable to buy herself a car. However one charity, with the help of Chevrolet, decided to help her and her family out.
A 14-city nationwide program called “Pictures of Hope”, which was created by photojournalist Linda Solomon, encouraged children living in homeless shelters to submit pictures representing their hopes and dreams. The Hardwick family caught the attention of the organizers, and forces were joined with Chevrolet to surprise Shahonna at Serpentini Chevrolet on Royalton Rd. in Strongsville, OH.
The Hardwicks visited the dealership under a made-up pretense to join fellow residents who lived at Salvation Army shelters to discuss their success stories. Hardwick said she was just happy to see her sons go to a “candy store of cars”, which might take their mind off of their summer boredom.
“When I first walked in it was like a candy store for him. I stepped back and let him go through and express of he feels about this car and that car thinking that it was a boy thing. So I sat back just seeing his face and all the expressions in his muscles and then we came back here (the dealership’s back show floor) and I said okay maybe there’s something they want to show Shaheed and get Shaheed’s approval,” said Hardwick.
Little did she know, the people at Serpentini Chevrolet wanted to do more than just show them a car.
“When they did their thing and pulled off the cover I was just floored. I liked the color for one because that was my mother’s favorite color. So, I said that’s a preeeeety color! And then we he gave me them keys, I said nooooo, but I’m going to take ’em though! I had to feel through the tears to even see them,” Hardwick explained.
Chevrolet gave Hardwick a 2014 Chevrolet Cruze in Blue Topaz Metallic, which will help alleviate some of the stress of her daily commute. The Salvation Army also packed the trunk full of food and other supplies for her and her family and covered the first six months of insurance. The video of the heartwarming exchange from Channel 5 Cleveland is below.