Eighth-grader donates car to domestic violence survivor

The car keys change hands.

“I thought they were joking when they gave me the news.”

Marta* is a survivor of domestic violence and a single mother of two. And now, she’s the lucky recipient of a 1992 Ford Explorer, thanks to an incredible gift from a middle schooler. She can hardly believe how it came to be.

Eighth-grader Sky Druffel gave the car to Marta, a YWCA client, for the final project of her leadership class at Pioneer Middle School. The assignment was to “do something amazing for someone who would least expect it.” So Sky decided to think big.

Using money she earned over the summer, Sky bought the previously owned Ford Explorer from the Walla Walla United Way. Her mother Christy Druffel serves as executive director. She then sought to donate the car to someone who really needed it: a YWCA domestic violence and sexual assault services client.

“Sky knew of us through her mother,” said Celia Guardado, director of client services at the YWCA.

To find a recipient for the car, Sky worked with the YWCA. Ultimately, the YWCA had many clients who were deserving of the car. It would have been difficult to decide between them, so the choice was made by chance.

“We drew the name from a pot of potential clients and announced the winner,” said Celia.

From that pot, Marta’s name was drawn. Like many women in her situation, Marta’s resources are limited. She previously had no way to transport herself or her children.

“It was amazing because I really needed [the car],” she said. It’s easy to take something like a car for granted. But after you’ve experienced domestic violence, it’s a symbol of security, independence and a return to normalcy. With her new car, Marta said, she’d most like to take her sons fishing. She thanked Sky both for the incredible donation and “for remembering the women here at the YWCA.”

Sky felt the impact that her gesture made on Marta, too.

“Words can’t describe what it felt like to see her amazement when we gave her the car,” Sky told the Union-Bulletin. “Now I know she will be able to safely get her children to school and she’ll be able to get to work.”

If you support the YWCA, Marta thanks you, too.

“Keep supporting the YWCA, because it has been a great help to all the women who are abused and don’t have a place to live.”

*Name changed for our client’s protection.