Driving through town, you can’t miss Mark Sardine’s car. Not because it’s a souped up ride, but because it’s covered in ink.
Over the past six years, the Pembroke Park body shop owner’s Nissan Altima has become a collage of sorts for the community to speak out against violence. The paint is covered with messages of peace, pictures of missing children, and pleas to stop drive-by shootings.
“Every day a mother and father can’t afford to feed their kids -- how can they bury them?” he asked.
Sardine takes his car all across South Florida to family events, with a special sign on top. He encourages the public to come by and sign the car, and says people from “all walks of life” have picked up a pen to do so. The exterior is covered with the scribbles of children simply signing their name and age, or full messages like, “Please stop the violence, it’s killing young people.”
See photos below.
The 52-year-old father of two got the idea when he was leaving his house one day and heard a newscast about a fatal shooting involving young children. Today, it still hits him hard when he hears about gun violence, like the funeral shooting that killed two and injured 12, or the 15-year-old girl who was shot multiple times in her sleep when someone opened fire on her house.
“That could have been my kid, that could have been your kid,” he said. “Just put down the gun, pick up a book.”
Although his eye-catching car has been around the community for six years, this year he added a new facet to his mission: photos of missing children. Sardine frequently goes online to look up newly listed children to add to the car, and also keeps track of ones who have been located. He calls them “my kids.”
“These kids cannot get a job and they must eat, they must sleep. We have to take them off the street. We have to help them,” he said.
PHOTOS: Mark Sardine's car, bearing messages from the community: