TORRANCE (CBSLA) — A Torrance mom and Army veteran got a happy surprise while visiting an auto shop recently when she was given the gift of a newly restored Toyota Avalon.

Raven Smith hasn’t had a car for a year. Her name came up as a veteran who could use some help by the “Support the Enlisted” project, which helps military veterans and their families.

So Allstate Insurance and 20 technicians from Caliber Collision in Torrance teamed up to restore the sedan.

Smith, an 11-year veteran who was deployed twice to combat zones in Iraq,  teared up when she saw the new – to her – car.

“It’s going to change my life dramatically. I’m going to be able to drive to Target just to get groceries,” she said with wide eyes. “I don’t have to pay $10 to go and get groceries, which is just down the street from my house.”

Smith’s last car had started smoking as she brought her 13-year-old daughter home from a medical appointment a year ago. Since then she has had to walk nearly an hour each way to go to work.

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