STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
Paula Mays-Hall couldn’t take her eyes off the 2019 Chevrolet Traverse. Then, her eyes got bigger when she heard the vehicle had a total of 6 miles on it.
“I’ve never had a new car,” she said in a lowered voice to an onlooker.
Mays-Hall is the director of Open Door Recovery House, a faith-based residential facility that helps women recover from drug and alcohol abuse and rebuild their lives.
Highland Lakes resident Robert Ruff donated the Traverse to Open Door after purchasing it from Nathan Meyers of Chevrolet Buick Marble Falls.
Now, Open Door Recovery House can give its 1999 Chevrolet Suburban, which was donated to the facility a decade ago, to a former resident.
Mays-Hall said staff have been doing all they could to keep the Suburban running.
She didn’t mince words about what the new vehicle means to the facility.
“I can transport the women without worrying for their safety or the vehicle falling apart,” she said.
Ruff was equally enthusiastic about his gift, noting he could have made the purchase from a different dealership but chose Chevrolet Buick Marble Falls because of its commitment to local groups trying to help others.
The dealership recently donated a Chevrolet Suburban to the Boys and Girls Club of the Highland Lakes.
Ruff said he was “thrilled to be a part of the support for Open Door, which has an incredible reputation and track record and is a pillar of the community.”
Mays-Hall said she received word of the donation in an email that contained a photo of the Traverse with the sentence: “Just purchased this for you so you can transport your ladies.”
Open Door Recovery House currently has seven residents, so staff can transport them to appointments all at once in the Traverse, which seats up to eight people.
The facility doesn’t accept funding from state or federal governments in order to have the freedom to help women in the way it sees fit, Mays-Hall said.
In the nine years Open Door has been in existence, it has a 68 percent rate of women staying sober one year after leaving the facility. The national average is less than 10 percent.
Mays-Hall said her No. 1 request from the community is prayer as the residents rebuild their lives.
“God brings what we need like blessings like this,” she said. “We ask in our prayers for things that meet the needs of the women.”