CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) – One Philipsburg woman hopes to turn her unimaginable loss into hope.
Almost a year after her two-year-old daughter was killed in a crash in Clearfield County, Lori Rodriguez started raising money and accepting car seat donations to give out in September at the Moshannon Valley YMCA.
A final date has not yet been set for the distribution, the Moshannon Valley YMCA branch director said it will likely take place on a Saturday in September.
Two-year-old Penny Rodriguez was traveling with another family member last September when an accident occurred. She was thrown from her car seat and was killed in the crash.
“It’s been very traumatic on our family,” Rodriguez said. “Trying to sort out what happened and how to deal with it.”
Her mother said the car seat was expired. In a mission to keep Penny‘s memory alive, she started the Facebook group “Car Seats in Memory of Penny.” Not only will new car seats be distributed, but safety training and proper use of car seats will also be offered as well.
“Help people learn about the safety,” Chris Calliari, the branch director of the Moshannon Valley YMCA said. “I mean, what’s the point of giving someone a new car seat, and they don’t know how to install it? They don’t know how to use it correctly?”
Rodriguez’s hope is to get the word out about the importance of car seat safety so that no family has to experience the pain her family has the past nine months.
“It can be the difference between somebody surviving in a crash and somebody passing in a crash,” Rodriguez said. “A way we can turn this tragedy into something that can keep us busy, and bring awareness, and keep Penny‘s memory alive,” Rodriguez said.
Since starting the Facebook page in May, more than $700 has been raised to purchase new car seats.
If you are interested in donating a new car seat, but can’t make it to Phillipsburg, donations can be made at your local YMCA, and someone from the Moshannon Valley location will pick it up.
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