Feature

Homewood Chevy gives new car to brave mom for Christmas

Homewood Chevy gave Chicago resident Tiease Holmes a Christmas she will never forget. On the morning of Christmas Eve, Holmes was presented with the keys to a brand new 2024 Chevrolet Trax. The moment brought her to tears.

Tiease Holmes and Steve Phillipos in front of the 2024 Chevy Trax that Chevrolet of Homewood presented to Holmes
on Christmas Eve. (Chris Weber/H-F Chronicle)

Homewood Chevy has been playing Santa to locals in need for the past nine years. The dealership selects one deserving person each year to receive a new car. The company’s commitment to giving back to the community through Homewood Chevy Cares has touched many lives.

After narrowing down a field of around 550 applicants to a group of finalists, owner Steve Phillipos and the rest of the Homewood Chevy crew selected Holmes. 

“We asked the question, ‘Whose life can we change?” said Phillipos. “[Holmes] had a great story!”

The generous gesture comes at a time when Holmes needed it most. Not too long ago, she nearly lost everything. After her house caught fire, the mother of four ran into the burning building multiple times to save her children. Holmes is still recovering from burns that covered 40% of her body. Remarkably, none of her children suffered physical injuries. 

The tragedy didn’t end for Holmes when the fire was out. Her burns required a lengthy hospital stay, and she would have to learn to walk again. Not only did she lose her house and possessions, but also her job. Her injuries have prevented her from returning to work as a healthcare professional. To make matters worse, Holmes learned that her car had been towed while she was in the hospital, and the city of Chicago did not help her get it back.

Holmes has not given up on recovering from the tragedy and said that, despite the suffering she experienced, she would do it all again if it meant her children would be safe. Phillipos found inspiration in the resilience that Holmes displayed. 

Chevrolet of Homewood owner Steve Phillipos, center, presents a new car to Tiease Holmes of Chicago. (Chris Weber/H-F Chronicle)

“We believe miracles happen every day,” he said. “This is our ninth year finding a miracle.”

The event at Homewood Chevy was filled with emotions as Holmes, surrounded by her family, expressed her gratitude. Holmes said that the new vehicle would help her immensely. 

“I’ll be able to take my kids to school, go grocery shopping, and go to my doctor’s appointments,” Holmes said. “I have more procedures that I have to go through. The scars will never heal, but I don’t have to worry about finding a ride or taking the bus to get treatment.”

“But that’s not all!” Phillipos announced to the crowd. All the fees, taxes, and insurance were taken care of to ensure that the gift was not a burden on Holmes. 

Homewood Chevy Cares annual car giveaway aims to change lives and inspire others to spread kindness and support within their communities. It is a tradition that Phillipos hopes to continue as long as he can.

The 2024 Chevrolet Trax will be a valuable asset for Holmes as she rebuilds and moves forward from her recent hardships. As the year comes to a close, the Holmes family looks to the future with renewed hope and gratitude.

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