Ron and Peggy Bergen, a retired mechanic and his wife, are retiring from the Cars for Moms program with Acts of Kindness. (Anderline Bredy/Special to the Aldergrove Star)

Longtime Cars for Moms coordinators retire after hitting donation milestone

Ron and Peggy Bergen have volunteered with Acts of Kindness for more than seven years

Ron and Peggy Bergen have reason to celebrate; 75 vehicles acquired, fixed, and donated through the Acts of Kindness (AOK) program Cars For Moms.

The program has provided refurbished, roadworthy vehicles, free of charge to single mothers or families whose current automobiles are running on their last leg.

Ron, a retired automotive teacher with a heavy-duty mechanic background, decided to help out when the first facilitator moved away from Langley.

Peggy would step in to help on the administration side a short while later, leading to a dedicated team that would help families for more than seven years.

”It was a two-part situation,” Peggy explained. “We would put it out through AOK website that we were in need of vehicles and a lot of moms had already found the ministry”

The Bergens said they often had a wait list of people in need of a vehicle, which spanned as far as Coquitlam – though she said they consciously tried to keep the donations local.

Peggy called her husband a “very gifted mechanic,” who could get anything running to road-ready standards.

The couple also said they encountered many emotional stories, often seeing situations of financial hardship and domestic abuse.

“There was so much stress in their lives,” Peggy recalled, “but every story is just so genuine and valuable.”

While she believes the COVID-19 pandemic has made problems even more paramount, silver linings such has friendships have blossomed because of the program.

“Moms were asked to say thank you or to write a letter to the donor, and some would even go out to dinner or keep in touch,” she explained.

The key for what the Bergens referred to as “car number 75” was passed into the hands of their final recipient on Wednesday, Oct. 7.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Gifted car takes away fear for strapped single mom

The Bergens have decided to retire, given that Ron’s age and health issues are beginning to slow him down.

Peggy said the last donation was emotional, but she is confident that this is far from the end of the Cars For Moms Program.

“We’ve been thinking about the future, and you don’t want to see the program go away,” Peggy said. “We like to think that we are just taking a break.”

She thinks more community sponsorship and support from businesses would benefit the program significantly.

Of course, the main component now needed is two new dedicated volunteers to take over where the Bergens are leaving off.

“Ron and I are old school, and I am sure people will do it in a completely new and different way,” she said. “It’s volunteer work that just takes two people… it’s not hard.”

Peggy noted that “car number 74” is still sitting in the garage because of an ICBC licensing issue. She said their retirement from the program will feel more real once that car is picked up and driven away by a deserving family.

To learn more about AOK and the process of making a donation, contact Church in the Valley’s Acts of Kindness program at 604.514.8335 or info@churchinthevalley.ca.

People can also visit www.actsofkindness.ca/cars-for-moms.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@aldergrovestar.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

Aldergrove

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Pastor Dave, Ron Bergen, Christine, Kaylia, and Peggy Bergen celebrate car 75 through the Cars for Moms program. (Angeline Bredy/Special to The Star)

Just Posted

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Oct. 18

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Brandon Nathan Teixeira, arrested last December in California in connection with a fatal 2017 shooting in South Surrey, is next due in court on Nov. 12. (File photos)
Notorious South Surrey fugitive returns to court Nov. 12

Brandon Teixeira was arrested last December in California

THROUGH YOUR LENS: Micheal McGarry shared a snap shot of autumn, in the form of a tugboat trolling down the Fraser River, as he recently saw from the Edgewater Bar area of Derby Reach Regional Park. Send us your photo showing how you view Langley, email to: editor@langleyadvancetimes.com. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
SHARE: Reflections of autumn

Send us your photo showing how you view Langley, and it could be featured in a future edition

A case of COVID-19 at Langley Lodge was declared over on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020 (Langley Advance Times file)
COVID-19 case over at Langley Lodge

No new cases have been discovered

Mary Foote (right) took part in the Gutsy Walk in August 2020 at the age of 104. She was joined by son in-law Clarence and daughter Edith Olson. (family photo)
Langley woman turns 105 on Oct. 25

In August, Mary Foote took part in the Gutsy Walk to battle Crohn’s and Colitis

Maple Meadows Station’s new Bike Parkade. TransLink photo
TransLink to remove abandoned or discarded bicycles from bike parkades

Rules at TransLink bike parkades ask customers to use facilities for single day use only

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of decades-old plane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of Sts’ailes Community School students helped discover the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Officers with the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team were at a White Rock home Tuesday (Oct. 20) to assist Vancouver Police Department with execution of a search warrant. (Contributed photo)
ERT, VPD response to White Rock home connected to homicide: police

Search underway in the 15800-block of Prospect Crescent

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bear kills llama on Vancouver Island, prompting concerns over livestock

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

Most Read