The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ) announced that a local New Jersey Air Force veteran was gifted a refurbished vehicle at the recent NORTHEAST Automotive Services Show via the National Auto Body Council’s Recycled Rides program.
For the second year in a row, the NABC brought members of the industry together on the NORTHEAST show floor at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, N.J., as they gifted a refurbished vehicle to Timothy Awojobi, who served seven years overseas as a member of the Air Force.
NABC board member Keith Egan thanked AASP/NJ for once again providing them the opportunity to make this special presentation. Since the program began in 2007, NABC has given away roughly 350 Recycled Rides vehicles a year around the country.
“It’s one of those feel-good programs,” said Egan. “There is no monetary gain or value; all we want to do is help positively impact people’s lives.”
Egan thanked AASP/NJ member shop Benner’s Auto Body, GEICO and Enterprise for their continued support in helping to make gifting these cars to worthy recipients possible. Awojobi was gifted a 2017 Toyota RAV4.
“When I came home last year, I was homeless,” said Awojobi. “You would think a veteran would not come back and be homeless, but it happens and it’s sad. But this is the best country in the world, and I would serve again. I thank God for the Department of Veterans which nominates veterans for opportunities to get cars and housing. You are all my supporters. I am no longer homeless, and I now have a vehicle. Thank you all for everything.”
Added Joseph O’Neill of Benner’s Auto Body, “It’s a huge honor for our staff to be part of this program. The body shop industry is really thriving, and our whole aura is about what we can give back to the community. It’s great to make money, but we are not overseas; we aren’t protecting our country. We are just working our normal nine to five, so anything we can do to support our veterans, we will do because we truly believe in the sacrifices they make. We fix cars, so it was the perfect match when NABC and GEICO brought us into the Recycled Rides program, and we will continue to do this as long as they have us.”
Awojobi also received $1,000 from Enterprise Rent-A-Car toward insurance and gasoline as he gets back on the road with his Recycled Ride.
Plans are underway for NORTHEAST 2024, scheduled for March 15-17, 2024 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, N.J. Visit aaspnjnortheast.com for updates on next year’s event as they become available.
For more information on AASP/NJ, visit aaspnj.org.