By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – Alex Amaya Diaz, a veteran who served in the U.S. Army, had fallen on hard times recently. A former business owner, he no longer had a job or a car.
Recently, Amaya Diaz’s luck took a turn for the better when he was offered a job with Savers (a for-profit, global thrift retailer) as Driver Area Manager which would involve a lot of driving from Yonkers, N.Y throughout the New England area. But without a car, he wouldn’t be able to accept this position.
But then, thanks to Veterans Inc., Amaya Diaz’s luck got even better when the nonprofit organization donated a car to him.
On April 29, as staff from Veterans Inc.’s Shrewsbury location looked on, Amaya Diaz received the keys to a 2005 silver Saturn Ion.
“Opportunities come to you and sometimes you are ready and sometime you are not,” Amaya Diaz said “For myself, a good employment opportunity came up but transportation was the obstacle… This will make me mobile and I can take advantage of what I’ve been given.”
John Person, director of operations with Veterans Inc., said that the vehicle that Amaya Diaz was to receive was donated by the family of another veteran. The car has about 60,000 miles; it is in great condition with good gas mileage.
“I think it was about a year ago and so we had it in the lot and we were trying to find the best person to get this vehicle,” said Person.
Through connections a solution to Amaya Diaz’s transportation dilemma happened within just a few weeks.
Amaya Diaz was enrolled in an outreach program with MassHire Cambridge under the direction of Robert Doucette, a veteran’s employment representative who reached out through his network and connected with his counterpart at MassHire Worcester, Bill Ryan. Ryan reached out to Veterans Inc.
“This all came to with collaboration. Veterans Inc. is proud to be connected with one of the largest providers of veterans services throughout New England and our ability to network and connect the community on a state level and on a federal level and community level led us to where we are today,” Person stated.
Amaya Diaz served in the U. S. Army, from 1996 to 2001. He was born in Honduras and came to the United States in 1992 at the age of 16. His family was granted legal resident status and he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1996. He took his oath to become a U.S. citizen while deployed in South Korea where he served for two years. He then served in Germany for three years.
He lives in Cambridge, Mass., is married and has children from a previous relationship who live in Texas.
When asked how he felt about the donation, Amaya Diaz replied, “It’s an amazing feeling. It’s interesting when we work together amazing things can happen, so this is a very fruitful day.”
For more information about Veterans Inc., visit www.veteransinc.org.