The National Auto Body Council (NABC) announced that it, along with Nationwide, Farmers, Auto Art Collision Specialist and Mission Viejo Auto Collision, recently donated refurbished vehicles to two deserving Southern California via the Recycled Rides program. The event was part of the Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA) Annual Meeting in Newport Beach.
“We have been working with the NABC Recycled Rides program for four years now, and we are proud to host these amazing giftings and see the impact that our industry can have on peoples lives when they all come together for a common cause,” said Ed Salamy, executive director of the ABPA.
The two vehicle recipients were families selected by Family Promise of Orange County, a non-profit that works with families experiencing homelessness and provides emergency shelter, transitional housing, rental assistance, trauma informed case management, resume building and groceries.
“I can’t begin to tell you what a life-changing event this is when our families receive a reliable vehicle,” said Cyndee Albertson, executive director of Family Promise of Orange County. “Lauren, who received a refurbished Jeep Cherokee today, and her husband were homeless for a few years, and now she works to help homeless individuals get off drugs and get into shelters. With this vehicle, she won’t have to worry about breaking down on the side of the road with her three small children anymore.”
Lauren and her husband were in desperate need of reliable transportation to get them both to work and care for their three young children. They had a vehicle that broke down repeatedly. Despite investing all their savings into this car, it still did not run reliably and would not pass the smog inspection. She was presented with a beautiful 2014 Jeep Cherokee, donated by Farmers and refurbished by Auto Art Collision Specialist in Escondido, Calif.
Lisa, a single mother with two young children, received the second vehicle, a 2020 Hyundai Elantra, donated by Nationwide and repaired by Mission Viejo Auto Collision. Lisa recently found herself homeless, and with the help of Family Promise, she is now working to find permanent housing and achieve her goal of obtaining her California Real Estate License. A reliable vehicle is critical to her finding employment and regaining her independence.
“These two young mothers are great examples of people who sometimes just need a hand up,” said Bill Garoutte, president of the NABC.“ They are working hard to move forward in their lives and take care of their children, and the refurbished vehicles gifted here today will go a long way towards helping them do just that.”
Enterprise Rent-A-Car representatives Mitchel Shenkin and Jennifer Heckman added a special bonus to the event by providing the families with five brand-new car seats, ranging from infant to toddler size, to go along with their new transportation.
Recycled Rides is a program in which businesses representing all facets of the collision repair industry team up to repair and donate vehicles to individuals and families in need of reliable transportation. Since the inception of the program in 2007, NABC members have donated nearly 3,000 vehicles valued at some $42 million.