KC good Samaritan donates car to mom-to-be

Posted at 4:20 PM, Feb 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-10 19:01:53-05

Snuggled up on the couch reading a book. It's a simple pleasure Olivia O'Brien wouldn't have been able to do a few months ago.

"I was in a pretty rough situation for a long time," said O'Brien, 21. "The best way to describe it - sad, depressing. It's something I wouldn't want anyone else to go through."

Up until November, O'Brien - who's nine months pregnant - was homeless. That's when Mother's Refuge, a shelter for women and their children, took her in.

"Things keep on coming," she explained. "It is a loving place. It makes you want to do better in life when you are surrounded by people who actually care."





Then just when she thought it couldn't get better, it did. Sallas Automotive bought a car for a few hundred dollars, then refurbished it. When it was complete, owner Nick Sallas gave it to her.

"Having to take the bus for an hour and a half to work versus driving 20 minutes, it's a huge change," she said. "You can't just take a bus anywhere, but you can take a car anywhere. So it changes everything for me."

O'Brien will use the car to drive to work. And, once her daughter arrives in March, she'll use it to take the baby girl to doctor appointments, to the park and to day care. 

"I hope it brings her to let her know there are people who care, there is hope," said Sallas, who spent thousands of his own money to make the car driveable. "That she can move forward. I hope it gives her a good jumpstart on her life."

And the life of her unborn daughter.
"It's tough to be a single mom, but she is determined to take care of that baby and be a fabulous mother," said Susan Hill, the coordinator at Women's Refuge. "She told me, 'I know I'm going to be a wonderful mom.' She can't wait until the baby comes, I'm so excited for her."
Mother's Refuge provides a home for pregnant women and teens. Since 1987 when it opened, it's provided for 1,400 women and their children.

"I have everything I could possibly need," said O'Brien. "I have a roof over my head, food, a bed, people that care, anything else she would need she can have when she's here. I have no fears so that's the first I felt like this in a long time."


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