Eric Kendricks (fourth to right) poses with families who received free tires along with representatives from Firestone and Acceler8 (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

NFL free agent Eric Kendricks partnered with Bridgestone and Acceler8 to provide free car servicing and tire installations to eight families from the Los Angeles area.

“I feel like tires are a very needed thing, but you don’t like to always spend money on them,” Kendricks said. “It’s good that we’re giving away some tires and some car service so they can drive around healthy.”

The families were able to select their new tires and get their cars serviced at Los Angeles Firestone Complete Auto Care Store in Mid City.

“This is something that we do, we actually give back to the community and help out people in need and help out people in the community and whatever repairs that need to be done,” Firestone Complete Auto Care Los Angeles manager Alexander Aras. “Rainy season comes around … you need to have some grip on your tires and don’t cause any accidents.”

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Kendricks, an avid car enthusiast, has been in partnership with Acceler8 for two years. Acceler8 is a non-profit organization that reaches youth 14-24 the skills needed to get into the automotive industry.

“One of the ideas we always had eas to be able to do an event where we can give back but automotive style,” said Acceler8 CEO Charles Woodruff. “We were able to reach out to all our other community partners and we picked eight families.”

Kendricks lamented about not having the opportunity to take a shop class. Acceler8 takes kids with minimal automitive skills and teaches them the “nuts and bolts” about cars.

“We try to teach them … entry level, how to do a service on a vehicle, how to do an inspection and we try to keep it within their experience,” said Acceleer8 instructor Russ Bacarella. “A lot of these students that we have now have little to no experience.”

Families enjoyed catering by Raising Canes while their cars were serviced. The restaurant also provided gift bags and bicycles to the families. Having new tires will help Yvonne Cook with her essential needs.

“That is a huge favor for me,” Cook said. “It will help a lot for me going to the doctor, back and forth.”

Barbara Pritchett, the founder of the Gentle Giants Foundation, noted how Kendricks is setting an example regarding giving back.

“It brought tears to my eyes because I actually have a nonprofit and I go back and help families who lost loved ones to gun violence,” Pritchett said. “Just for me to be chosen and I’m always helping.”

Oscar Carranza mentioned how the new tires help because he has to drive long distances for his familial obligations.

“I’ve never really seen any pro football player out doing stuff like this,” Carranza said. “It’s good on both sides, he’s doing something for the community and it’s also helping and affecting us.”