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Homewood Chevy donates car to mother whose daughter died in car crash

Annual giveaway will help children and grandmother make ends meet in light of loss

By Josh Bootsma

HOMEWOOD, Ill. (December 24, 2020) – Homewood Chevy continued its annual tradition of giving away a car every Christmas Eve morning this year by donating a 2020 Chevy Sonic to Dollena Colvin, who is taking care of four grandchildren after her daughter and son-in-law died in a tragic car accident in October.

Homewood Chevy
Homewood Chevy continued its annual tradition of donating a car to a local family in need. This year’s donation was a black 2020 Chevy Sonic. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Tragic circumstances

On October 6, Michelle and Jeremy Steward—Colvin’s daughter and son-in-law—borrowed Colvin’s car and were involved in a car accident that killed both of them, leaving their four children without parents.

“[The accident] left them with me now,” Colvin said of her grandchildren, one of whom is recovering from brain cancer, and another of whom is only ten months old.

Homewood Chevy
Dollena Colvin’s grandchildren crowd around the new car in appreciation ahead of the event on Christmas Eve morning. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

“This is such a blessing for me” the Blue Island resident said as she touched the car. “It will never replace my daughter. Never. But I tell everybody she’s looking down like, ‘Y’all better get my momma a car!'”

Dollena Colvin
Dollena Colvin said that although a new car can’t replace her lost loved ones, the donation will help her as she takes care of her grandkids. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Colvin was nominated for the car by her niece, DeAnna Taylor, a South Holland resident. “She kind of inherited a new life,” Taylor said of her aunt, “If an accident like that happened to me, I would want someone to support my mom.”

Homewood Chevy
DeAnna Taylor (left) gives Colvin a hug at the donation event. Taylor nominated Colvin for the giveaway. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Dollena Colvin
Colvin was emotional as she got into the car for the first time. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

A tradition of helping those in need

This is the sixth year Chevy of Homewood has donated a car on Christmas Eve, though this year’s donation was done with less fanfare—and less people—than in years past, due to COVID-19 concerns. Homewood Chevy staff were present at the event as were some of Colvin’s family, including the four grandchildren whom Colvin is now taking care of. The crowd was small in comparison to previous years’, which filled the room.

Over 700 submissions were made in this year’s giveaway, far surpassing the roughly 400 that were received last year. Homewood Chevy owner Steve Phillipos attributed the increase in submissions to the toll that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on so many families. “They’re all touching stories, they really are,” Phillipos said, “it made it very difficult for us to pick these nice folks. But we think it’s a great thing.”

Homewood Chevy
Homewood Chevy owner Steve Phillipos (right) tells Colvin’s story as her grandchildren and family surround her. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

“These are beautiful people,” Phillipos said as he stood with Colvin and her family. “I know they believe in miracles, and we believe in miracles.”

The sales tax on the vehicle was paid for by the dealer, as was the first six months of insurance on the car. “All you have to do is drive your new car,” Phillipos said.

“Give me them keys!” Colvin exclaimed in response.

After Homewood Chevy staff fitted the Chevy Sonic with a license plate, Colvin and her grandkids drove off in their new car.

Homewood Chevy
Colvin gives a thumbs up before driving away in her new car with her grandkids in tow. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Chevrolet of Homewood is located at 18033 Halsted Street, Homewood, IL.


Josh Bootsma
Josh Bootsma
Josh is Managing Editor at The Lansing Journal and believes in the power and purpose of community news. He covers any local topics—from village government to theatre, from business openings to migratory birds.