The Collision Industry Foundation (CIF) is calling on shops, trade groups, equipment makers, paint companies, insurers and all other industry organizations to donate to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.
“We encourage all industry professionals to reach deep and make tax-deductible donations to CIF so we can help those in need,” said William Shaw, CIF chair and director of business development for PPG Automotive Refinish in the United States and Canada. “Please join us in sending our thoughts and prayers to those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. It’s time to roll up our collective sleeves and help our brothers and sisters in Texas and Louisiana.”
CIF, which delivers emergency relief directly to collision repair professionals, noted that no donation is too small.
“Donations don’t have to be just from corporations,” foundation trustee Jordan Hendler told BodyShop Business. “ … I feel people don’t understand that if an individual gives $5, it really does make a difference. And I think that’s something we lost sight of [after Hurricane Katrina], when it was mostly just vendor donations and not individual contributions.”
Lessons Learned from Katrina
As the Collision Industry Foundation mobilizes to help collision repairers and their families in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, lessons learned from Katrina will provide some guidance in the relief efforts.
Foundation members are expecting to see relief requests for personal items such as toiletries, clothing and groceries, depending on whether the flood victims were able to get those items from FEMA or other sources, Hendler told BodyShop Business.
However, as the foundation saw with Katrina in 2005, many of the requests – perhaps even the majority of them – will be for replacement tools.
“I don’t know that we ever say this enough, and we always say it when it comes time for emergency response: Technicians don’t realize their tools are not covered [by insurance],” Hendler told BodyShop Business. “They’re not covered under the shop policy, and very few have a separate policy that covers their tools.”
Hurricane Harvey, which caused extensive flooding, could be especially catastrophic for technicians, as many of them keep their most expensive tools in the bottom drawers.
“When you have brackish, salty water, literally every tool that it touches – including the wrenches – is ruined,” Hendler said.
Hendler estimated that CIF helped between 150 and 200 individuals and families after Katrina. Although the foundation handles relief requests on a case-by-case basis, she said much of the assistance was in the form of Walmart-type gift cards and replacement tooling.
Hendler emphasized that collision repair is “a very resilient industry.” However, after Katrina, the industry lost some technicians and painters who found work elsewhere when their shops closed, and she doesn’t want to see that happen again.
“If we don’t rally around these people and get them right back to work, we lose them, and we all know this is an industry that can’t afford to lose anybody,” Hendler said.
To oversee the Harvey relief efforts, the Collision Industry Foundation board of trustees has tapped Michael Quinn to lead an ad hoc committee. Quinn led the industry’s relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina, and has chaired other industry-wide charitable projects such as Recycled Rides and the First Responder Emergency Extrication programs.
“We couldn’t have selected a better person to lead the Harvey efforts,” said Kelly Broderick, CIF vice chair and vice president of sales and marketing with Dedoes Industries.
How to Donate
To donate to the Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Fund or apply for assistance, visit http://www.collisionindustryfoundation.org, or contact CIF directly at [email protected], (855) 424-3243 (toll-free) or (804) 427-6982 (direct).