As economies in the U.S. and Canada begin to slowly rekindle, the lives of 33 families were made a little easier this year with gifts of transportation. These gifts are the result of collision repair centers that are members of AkzoNobel Acoat selected National Benevolence Program, as well as individuals who choose to share their skills and talents with those in need during the month of December.
The Benevolence Program is a community service endeavor sponsored by AkzoNobel and implemented by collision repair centers that are users of the Sikkens brand refinishing system as well as members of the AkzoNobel Acoat selected program. Established at the suggestion of group members, this program has sustained for 12 years. Its mission is to generate goodwill while improving and promoting the image of the collision repair industry.
“The Benevolence Program benefits so many and in so many ways,” said Mike Sillay, North American services manager for AkzoNobel. “This program touches those that receive the cars as well as those that donate the time to repair. Lastly, and perhaps not so obvious, this program touches the greater global community as a sustainable alternative for vehicles that might have otherwise been discarded.”
Each year, the collision repair industry comes across cars that are “written off” by either the owner or the insurance company. Oftentimes, these are older vehicles that just need some mechanical and body work to get them road-ready and completely safe to drive. Employees at participating shops donate their time and labor to repair the vehicle. Once the vehicle is reconditioned, shops then work with local charitable organizations to help them identify an individual or group that is in need of a vehicle. Other gifts such as auto insurance, oil changes, car washes, grocery store gift cards, clothing, toys and books are often donated by local merchants to accompany the car. In these cases, it is truly a community effort.
Over the 12-year history of the program, more than 300 cars have been donated.