A suburban Chicago auto dealer has stepped up to help health care workers on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic by providing free, safe and reliable transportation.
After the pandemic forced Emir Abinion, the CEO of Fox Valley Auto Group, to furlough 70% of his staff, the dealership executive said he didn’t want his 60 loaner vehicles to sit empty.
Thanks to the help of Cal’s Angels, a St. Charles-based charity, on Friday, the auto group delivered 11 vehicles to nurses at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago.
For many frontline workers who often rely on public transportation Lyft or Uber, the auto group’s generosity brings a peace of mind when it comes to mitigating exposure of the virus.
“I think it will make it easier to not spread anything to our patients, our families,and our roommates,” said Talia Berman, a nurse at Lurie Children’s Hospital.
The vehicles are all completely sanitized, have a full tank of gas and can be used by health care workers for 30 days, for free.
“Put the focus on helping other people,” Abinion, the auto group CEO, said. “When we do that, we’re not as anxious or frustrated. We’re not as fearful.”
Both Cal’s Angels and the Fox Valley Auto Group said that other hospitals have already reached out, and plenty of more vehicles are available for those on the frontline.
“It’s always something that, we want to be able to do something a little bit different and help where sometimes people aren’t thinking of… something that’s really needed,” said Stacey Wahlberg, president of Cal’s Angels.
By Chris Hush • NBC 5 Chicago