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Collision & Community Involvement: Kindness Pays Dividends

Giving back creates a positive experience for your entire team when you know you’re making a difference in someone’s life.

Tom Martin is the owner of three CARSTAR locations in Ohio – CARSTAR Sidney, CARSTAR Troy and CARSTAR Piqua. He started working in a collision repair shop at 15, then went on to purchase the business. He joined CARSTAR in 2003 with his first location. He opened his second CARSTAR location in 2014 and a third in 2019. He has long been a champion of advanced technology and also training for his team. He also donates his time to a variety of volunteer organizations, veterans in need, the homeless and youth sports. He can be reached at [email protected]

When I was young, I was very fortunate that someone took the interest and time to help guide me in the correct direction. I didn’t have the best home life and could have easily gone the wrong way. My life would have turned out completely different. Fortunately, I had some very positive influences in my life that got me on the right track. Today, that’s my motivation to do the same for others, and it has shaped the way I do business.

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Community Involvement

With three CARSTAR locations in Sidney, Troy and Piqua, Ohio, we’re very involved in our community and give back whenever we have an opportunity. We serve on local boards like Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, YP Connect and the local chamber; support local youth sports, agricultural, arts and music programs; help out the local food banks and Toys for Tots; shop for the Salvation Army’s Angels and families for Christmas; and mulch the Courthouse Square for the United Way Community Action Program, just to name a few.

Invest in the Future

I believe that everyone deserves a chance. At some point in life, most of us will need a helping hand. When you can provide this for someone, you never know the true impact you may have on them just by offering support.

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My real passion is helping kids, especially ones who are “at risk” due to no fault of their own. We know kids are our future. If you give them a chance and some guidance, you may be surprised by what they’re able to accomplish.

Pay It Forward

I’ve always believed in giving back and “taking care of the ones who take care of you.” I’ve done this for the 20 years I’ve been in business and it has treated me well. It’s part of our core philosophy today.

We’ve had countless customers do business with us because we bought their baked goods at the fair, bid on their kids’ livestock, sponsored their kids’ or grandkids’ sports teams, or helped out at a local event. Plus, it creates a positive experience for the entire team when we can help out and know we’re making a difference in someone’s life.

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Our approach to giving back didn’t change during COVID. We knew there were many kids and families who needed support – and in some cases, even more assistance. We still did everything we normally would, we just added some social distancing in the process. We also looked for opportunities where we could help out a frontline worker, teacher, distribution center worker or truck driver who was giving their all to keep the country running. If we could keep them on the road to work or take care of their family, then it helped our entire community.

Summary

When I look back at the path my life could have taken, I’m forever grateful for the people who made an effort to help me find a better direction. If I can have that same impact on someone else’s life, that would be the most valuable reward. After all, when you pay it forward, you’re also paying back the person who invested in you.

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