No-cost car ownership initiative provides veterans with the means to be self-sufficient and successful.

May 27, 2016 (Deer Park, NY) – United Way of Long Island and the Atlantic Auto Mall in West Islip announced a crucial partnership that provides veterans with the opportunity to own an affordable and reliable pre-owned vehicle, at no cost to the veteran. Wheels for Warriors is a component of United Way’s Switching Gears program, which helps those that are dealing with transportation difficulties gain independence and confidence by having consistent access to a vehicle of their own.

The program could not have come at a more critical time in the lives of the Downy family, who are the first veteran family to receive a vehicle from Atlantic Nissan and Hyundai. Both Alana and David Downy are veterans with two elementary aged children, who recently after being homeless, found respite in housing provided by United Beacon’s Veteran House. David is a disabled veteran who is unable to work, making it very challenging for Alana who works a full-time job and provides for her entire family. Now living in an apartment, the Downy family is grateful for a dependable mode of transportation for their daily travel.

“It can be extremely challenging for veterans on Long Island to come home, and they all too often find themselves struggling,” said Theresa A. Regnante, President and CEO of United Way of Long Island. “These deserving families are hardworking but living on a limited income. By partnering with Atlantic Auto Group, we are able to provide them with the means to drive themselves to work, school, and other locations which may have been unreachable to them without a vehicle. Acquiring a car empowers these families to continue to strive for success and self-reliability, and we are proud to help make that happen for them.”

“At the Atlantic Auto Mall, we are committed to meeting the needs of all of our neighbors, and there is no one more deserving than Long Island veterans,” said Michael Brown, Partner/Owner of the Atlantic Auto Group.

“Through this partnership with United Way of Long Island we want to recognize those who defended our freedom and provide them with the means to be independent when it comes to transportation,” added Jason Montalvo, General Manager of the Atlantic Auto Mall.

Participants in the program receive a warranty that includes yearly maintenance on the car and membership to United Way’s ‘Car Club’, which helps to educate the recipients on how to care and maintain for their vehicle and provides access to supportive services and referrals.

For more information about how a veteran in our Mission United program can qualify, please contact Betty Eberhardt at or (631) 940-3712.

Atlantic Nissan and Hyundai are the official sponsors of the 2016 Mission United t-shirts, which provide United Way of Long Island an opportunity to increase support to veterans and their families as they transition to civilian life. Proceeds from these t-shirts support partner programs that assist with employment readiness, education, health, legal assistance, emergency financial aid, and housing for veterans.

About United Way of Long Island

United Way of Long Island advances the common good, creating opportunities for a better life for all by focusing on the three key building blocks of education, financial stability, and health. We recruit people and organizations that bring the passion, expertise, and resources needed to get things done. LIVE UNITED® is a call to action for everyone to become part of the change. United Way of Long Island is part of a worldwide network spanning across 41 countries and territories, including more than 1,200 local organizations in the U.S. For more information about United Way of Long Island, please visit, Facebook or Twitter.

About the Atlantic Auto Mall

Atlantic Hyundai and Nissan have been serving Long Island for well over 50 years. Whether it is a new or pre-owned vehicle, service, or parts; Atlantic has you covered. With over 1,200 vehicles on the ground at all times, it is no wonder why both the Hyundai and Nissan point are perennial volume leaders in both New York and the country. For More information please log onto or or call 631-587-0700.

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