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Passport Auto Donates Van to Support A Brain Injury Services Pediatric Client’s Family

July 30th, 2020

Contact:

Aleena Gardezi

agardezi@braininjurysvcs.org

703-451-8881 ext. 238

Springfield, VA (July 30, 2020)— — Passport Auto Group, which includes several car dealerships located in the Washington, DC area and serve Northern Virginia and Maryland customers has donated a minivan to a *pediatric client’s family that works with Brain Injury Services (BIS).

The family needed transportation, which needed to have room for a car seat, a booster seat, and wheelchair, but transmission and additional repair costs outweighed the value of the van.

Cross reached out to over 125 people at dealerships, until she got a response from Everett Hellmuth, President at Passport Auto Group, who agreed to an even trade for the family to receive a safe and functioning van.       

“The Passport Auto Team was honored to help this family in this difficult time,” Hellmuth explained. “While we can’t help all in need, we are aware of the need in the local community and try to be a partner with local organizations.” 

“When I read the email from Cynthia Cross, the Pediatric Case Manager, I was really touched by her commitment in helping this family. Her dedication to both her job and helping others is something we at Passport Auto strive for every day,” added Chesney Hellmuth Floyd, Marketing Manager at Passport Auto Group. “We are thrilled that Passport is able to make an impact and give back to the community, and it wouldn’t have been possible without Cynthia and Brain Injury Services.”

Passport Auto Group has partnered with many local organizations including the Alexandria Seaport Foundation Campagna Center, Carpenter’s Shelter, and Women of Prince George’s.

“We are very grateful to Everett and Passport Auto Group for their very generous and thoughtful donation, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Denise Hyater, Executive Director at BIS.  “It’s always inspiring and encouraging to see local businesses support those in need.”

*The family that received the donation has asked to remain anonymous* 

About Brain Injury Services:

For over 30 years, Brain Injury Services has been empowering those impacted by brain injury through offering innovative programming and services that meet the needs of survivors of brain injuries and their families. Each year, Brain Injury Services assists over a1000 individuals and families who have experienced the devastating effects of brain injury, stroke, and concussion. We provide this assistance through core programs, including case management, specialized programs, and multiple support groups. Our services extend throughout Northern Virginia, Fredericksburg, Winchester, and the surrounding counties. Find out more at braininjurysvcs.org.

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Governor Northam to Make Juneteenth a State Holiday

Will give state workers this Friday off, propose legislation to make state holiday permanent

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that he intends to mark Juneteenth as a permanent paid state holiday, starting by giving state employees a day off this Friday, June 19. Virginia has long marked Juneteenth by issuing a proclamation, but the date has not previously been considered a state holiday.

Juneteenth is the oldest known commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States. It marks the day in 1865 that enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, the last of the former Confederate states to abolish slavery, finally heard that the Civil War had ended, and learned that the Emancipation Proclamation had made them free nearly two years earlier.

“Since 1619, when representative democracy and enslaved African people arrived in Virginia within a month of each other, we have said one thing, but done another,” said Governor Northam. “It’s time we elevate Juneteenth not just as a celebration by and for some Virginians, but one acknowledged and commemorated by all of us. It mattered then because it marked the end of slavery in this country, and it matters now because it says to Black communities, this is not just your history—this is everyone’s shared history, and we will celebrate it together. This is a step toward the Commonwealth we want to be as we go forward.”

“This is a big display of progress and I am grateful for Virginia for leading the way,” said performing artist Pharrell Williams, a Virginia native, who participated in the announcement. “From this moment on, when you look at the vastness of the night sky, and you see those stars moving up there, know that those stars are our African ancestors dancing. They are dancing in celebration because their lives are acknowledged.”

This announcement comes days after Governor Northam announced the state will remove the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee located on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia. Earlier this year, Governor Northam also successfully proposed ending a state holiday that celebrated Confederate generals and making Election Day a state holiday in its place.

“State holidays are a statement of dates we think are important to all people,” said Speaker of the House of Delegates Eileen Filler-Corn. “Making Juneteenth a state holiday raises its significance and will help educate Virginians on the meaning of Juneteenth in the history of our country and our Commonwealth.”

“Juneteenth is a time for reflection, conversation, and action,” said House Minority Leader Charniele Herring. “A Juneteenth state holiday is an important step toward affirmation of Black history in the Commonwealth.”

“As we work to make changes in our systems, symbols matter too,” said Senate Majority Leader Richard Saslaw. “I support adding Juneteenth as a state holiday, to ensure that the ending of slavery is commemorated and celebrated.”

“After years of work by many people, there is momentum and will to truly change our systems to make them more equitable to African-American people,” said Senator Mamie Locke. “A state holiday commemorating the day Black people learned they were free helps ensure that all Virginians learn about, and value, how significant that event was in the history of this country.”

“There are many steps Virginia can take to advance justice and equity, and that includes adding a state holiday to mark an event that was critical in the lives of millions of Black people,” said Delegate Lamont Bagby, Chair of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus.

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We are still here for you!

Brain Injury Services recognizes the two potentially deadly viruses currently facing our country: COVID-19 pandemic and racial inequity. We are aware of the anxieties and fears both viruses may trigger – especially for those with a brain injury.  We are committed to supporting every member of our brain injury community through innovative programs and services and remain dedicated to our mission of empowering those impacted by a brain injury.  

We support keeping our communities safe and the fight for equality everywhere.

-Brain Injury Services and the Board of Directors

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Brain Injury Services During COVID-19 Update

Brain Injury Services receives up to date information about quarantine requirements through the counties we serve and the Virginia Department of Health.  As a vital business in Northern Virginia, we are aware of the state’s phased approach to reopening businesses.  Because of vulnerabilities and co-morbidities our population faces, we believe it is in the best interest of our clients, staff, and their families to continue to offer virtual case management, groups, and other brain injury services until further notice. We will reassess our operating status on a weekly basis.

When we believe it is safe to return to regular BIS activities and when we have procedures in place to maintain a healthy environment, we will announce how we will safely reopen in-person programs and services for clients.  Please monitor BIS’s social media and website announcements for our reopening plans and other news. 

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