"Miles of Smiles" provides new car for Iowa family

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MARION, Iowa (KCRG) - Christmas came early for one Eastern Iowa family with a new car, thanks to one local organization.

Organizers for the Miles of Smiles event and onlookers stand by a vehicle being given to a family at the Marion Hy-Vee store on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019 (Taylor Holt/KCRG)

The giveaway is part of the Salvation Army's “Miles for Smiles” program. Marion Hy-Vee, Marion Tire, Deery Brothers Ford and several other organizations helped make this possible.

Jennifer and Matt Cronan were speechless when Major Alan Hellstrom with the Salvation Army made the surprise announcement that they would be getting the car. Their family includes a teenager and an adult daughter with three children.

When we talked to Jennifer after the big reveal, she said they thought they were just coming to get groceries but had no idea about the car.

“Wow. I don't know what to say,” Jennifer said. “It's really going to help a lot, with going to all the appointments we have, and having to depend on other people and everything. It's going to help a lot."

The family was selected from nominations the Salvation Army receives from community members.

The car is completely paid for, along with insurance. The family also got bags of groceries and gift cards for gas.