You Get a Car! Local Student Recognized with Free Car!

PALM DESERT – In the now-famous words of Oprah, you get a car, Diane Von Kaenal. The fourth-semester College of the Desert nursing student will receive a National Auto Body Council (NABC) Recycled Ride thanks to the collaborative efforts of the COD Foundation, Allstate and Fix Auto.

The group will gift Von Kaenal a 2020 Hyundai Elantra, donated by Allstate and refurbished by Fix Auto Palm Desert South, at the Friday, May 3 Grand Opening of Fix Auto Collision’s 200th store. The event starts at 11:30 a.m. and includes a ribbon-cutting ceremony, the car giveaway celebration and raffle prizes.

The dedicated student will be the only one to get a car, but the impact is expected to be no less powerful than if an entire audience were to get one.

Von Kaenal is concurrently enrolled in a Bachelor of Science Nursing program at Cal State University, Dominguez Hills. An excellent student, she passed all her courses with higher-than-average scores and has been highly involved in the Student Nursing Association as an officer since the program’s inception. She is a peer mentor and engages in community outreach volunteer activities.

Von Kaenal balances her rigorous academic schedule with single parenthood. When her car broke down beyond repair for the second time, she feared she would not be able to complete her clinical nursing experiences and degrees. She has been relying on her peers to make it to class and clinical nursing experiences to stay on track for her 2024 graduation.

“Diane is an inspiration to us all with her tenacity and commitment to her future,” COD Vice President of Instruction Val Martinez Garcia said in a statement. “COD and the COD Foundation is proud to collaborate with NABC, Allstate and Fix Auto South to help her drive across her finish line and become a registered nurse!”

Over the past 40 years, the COD Foundation has raised more than $130 million to support students by providing funds for transportation, books, childcare, housing and instructional resources. To break down the barriers between students and their futures, donors are encouraged to visit and find out how they can help.

“We are honored to be able to help such a deserving student,” said COD Foundation Chair Diane Rubin. “Transportation continues to be a barrier for many students, but in this case, we were able to bridge the gap for Diane. COD Foundation exists for these kinds of opportunities, but we wouldn’t be able to do it without our donors and supporters in our local community.”

NABC® collaborates with collision industry businesses to refurbish and donate vehicles to individuals and service organizations in need. This collaboration, representing all facets of the collision industry – insurers, collision repairers, paint suppliers, parts vendors and others – has resulted in more than 3,000 vehicles valued at $42 million donated in local communities nationwide. The average value of gifted vehicles is $18,000.

Fix Auto USA, a network of more than 150 independently owned and operated body shops, is committed to providing quality, safe repairs in a timely manner.

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  • Nursing student Diane Von Kaenal: COD