Domestic violence survivor receives donated van

  • Pin It


An Indianapolis woman who survived years of domestic violence was awarded a refurbished van by a local dealership to help her get back on her feet.

Shellie became the first recipient of the Wheels to Recovery program, Wednesday evening. The Pearson Automotive Performance Collision Center worked with several other area businesses to repair and restore a vehicle that she would be able to use to start her new life.

At the unveiling event, Shellie shed tears when she first saw the van with a big red bow on it.

"I never ever imagined myself where I'm at today," she said.

» The latest on traffic, delays and road construction delivered to your mobile phone. Click to sign up to receive text alerts!

Shellie’s struggles began in childhood when she got involved in abusive relationships and became a teenage mother. She also turned to drugs and eventually lost custody of her children.

That’s when she turned to the Julian Center, an agency that helps domestic violence victims get back on their feet.

She said she received a lot of help and support, got clean, gained custody of her kids, and went on to graduate at the top of her class to become a certified EMT. She also recently scored a brand new job.

The young mother who used to walk almost 20 blocks one way to get her kids to daycare, will now have a much easier way to get where she and her family needs to go.

"I thought my life would never ever change. So today I was really, really grateful for all the people that I have around me," she said.

Those behind the gift felt grateful for the opportunity to help her in this special way.

"Shellie is just such a hard worker and we couldn't give this to a better person," said Rich Pedigo, manager at the Collision Center.

Now Shellie plans on using her life to save other lives, as an EMT. She starts classes in January to earn a degree in nursing. Her dream is to become an in-flight nurse with Lifeline.

She also wants to reach out to other women who’ve suffered abuse and visit inmates at women’s prisons.

"I know lots of lots of girls... that are in horrible, violent relationships. And that's what their lives consist of. Violence and anger and pain,” said Shellie. “I just want them to know that's not what life has to be about."

Pedigo said the company already has plans to donate to the Wheels to Recovery program again next year.

To learn more about the cause and the Julian Center, click here (

  • Pin It
RSS feeds allow Web site content to be gathered via feed reader software. Click the subscribe link to obtain the feed URL for this page. The feed will update when new content appears on this page.


A collection of news and information related to Politics published by this site and its partners.

Top Politics Articles see all

Displaying items 1-5
  • Grand jury data on pension liabilities paint varied pictures

    In a report aiming to evaluate how cities are being affected by pension liabilities, the Orange County Grand Jury called for area cities to make more budget information readily available.
  • Friends of the Libraries: Get your education at the library

    A better-educated society tends to be more comfortable financially. So it was no surprise to see the report on voter turnout in last Sunday's Orange County Register — although voter turnout was not my main interest. Two graphics showed...

    Governor's Cup: Gilmour, Snow clash in final

    Governor's Cup: Gilmour, Snow clash in final
    For the first time in Governor's Cup history, the regatta features two former champions. It just so happens those two former champs are in Saturday's final for the coveted trophy of the 48th annual international junior match racing event. The Gov Cup...

    Governor's Cup: Members' reception features America's Cup

    Governor's Cup: Members' reception features America's Cup
    The racers in the Governor's Cup haven't been all about the competition this week in Newport Beach. As host Balboa Yacht Club has planned various events and activities for the 12 teams, as well as the BYC members and fans of the international junior...

    Governor's Cup: Defending champ clinches top spot for semifinals

    Governor's Cup: Defending champ clinches top spot for semifinals
    Thursday's final race of the 48th Governor's Cup pitted two past champions and proved to be especially crucial in the quarterfinals. The race between Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club (Sam Gilmour, 2013 Gov Cup champion) and San Diego (Nevin Snow, 2011)...