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A car for Christmas

Joyce C. Nichols of Colonie received a 1997 Mitsubishi Montero as part of a contest held by Otto Cadillac on Central Avenue. The car will make life with her third grade twins Brandon, left, and Krista, right, much easier. Otto Cadillac will also pay for the plates, registration and 8 percent sales tax that would normally fall on Nichols’ shoulders.

Joyce C. Nichols of Colonie received a 1997 Mitsubishi Montero as part of a contest held by Otto Cadillac on Central Avenue. The car will make life with her third grade twins Brandon, left, and Krista, right, much easier. Otto Cadillac will also pay for the plates, registration and 8 percent sales tax that would normally fall on Nichols’ shoulders. Submitted Photo

— “If my son was sick at school I had to walk down the street, get on the bus, go to his school and do the same thing on the way home,” said Nichols. “If I didn’t get a ride for doctor’s appointments I’d have to postpone it or take a cab, which his expensive.”

If the weather was bad, Nichols and her kids wouldn’t leave the house.

“I don’t want to drag them out in the rain and snow,” said Nichols.

Grocery shopping and laundry, tasks that are fairly simple for many families, were carefully orchestrated events.

“You can’t just get up and go. Sometimes it’s two weeks until I can get a ride,” said Nichols. “Now, I can just throw it in the car and go because if I haul things on the bus they look at you like you have 100 heads.”

She said even though she tried to get her kids to as many school and extracurricular functions as possible, it wasn’t always possible without her own car.

“It kind of limited them from stuff that they should do because of the weather. … There’s been a lot of activities not on a bus line we couldn’t go to,” said Nichols.

Even though friends frequently stepped up to lend a hand (and their cars), Nichols said she didn’t think she had enough friends to help her get the car Otto Cadillac was offering her. That’s because even after she was named the winner, the Otto Cadillac Facebook page had to reach 2,000 “likes” for her to get the keys.

“I didn’t think that would ever happen because I don’t know enough people,” said Nichols.

Turns out, she had nothing to worry about. In just three days, Otto’s Facebook page jumped from about 300 “likes” to more than 2,000.

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