Wednesday, 03 December 2014 00:00

NABC Gives Away 4 Cars at Annual SEMA Luncheon

La Cara and Marice Washington and their children with their Hyundai Sonata donated by Gerber Collision and Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

Ed Attanasio

Giving cars to the needy is a perfect and proven way for the collision industry to give back. Most of the time, body shops and insurance companies work together to fix cars and return them back to their owners.

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Four formerly homeless Las Vegas families visited the SEMA Show last week and left as proud owners of practically brand new cars presented by members of the National Auto Body Council (NABC) at its annual Recycled Rides Luncheon on Nov. 5.

These four families were selected by Family Promise of Las Vegas, an organization that has been partnering with the NABC for the past seven years to provide at-risk families with reliable transportation, so they can begin to rebuild and regain their financial stability.

NABC’s Recycled Rides program is a unique collaboration of the collision industry. Since the program’s inception in 2007, repairers, insurers, rental car companies and suppliers have teamed up to restore and donate over 1,000 vehicles to individuals and non-profit organizations nationwide.

Collision repair professionals from facilities in Las Vegas volunteered their time and expertise to restore damaged vehicles donated by Allstate Insurance, GEICO, Enterprise Rent-a-Car and Hertz. The local repairers included Caliber Collision, Service King and Gerber Collision and a fourth vehicle was repaired by South County Collision in California.

The recipients selected by Family Promise were:

  • La Cara and Marice Washington and their three children received a Hyundai Sonata donated by GEICO and repaired by Caliber Collision. They both recently graduated from the Family Promise shelter program and are currently employed and have their own housing.   
  • Cassandra Waller, a single mother with two children received a Dodge Durango donated by Allstate Insurance and repaired by Service King. Physical disabilities limit her mobility so a Recycled Rides vehicle will greatly help her to improve her quality of life. 
  • Magan and Wayne Sykes and their two children received a Nissan Maxima donated by Hertz and repaired by the Van Tuyl Group. This couple is successfully enrolled in Family Promise’s Community Partnership for Opening Doors Housing Program.
  • Janiecia Fernandez, received a Hyundai Sonata Hybrid donated by Gerber Collision and Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Fernandez is a single mother of two young children and a participant of the Promises to Keep Housing Program. This vehicle will allow her to devote her time to being a good mother and working with her children’s education.

“Each of these recipient families have successfully transitioned from homelessness into independent housing through our Family Promise programs,” said Terry Lindemann, Executive Director of Family Promise of Las Vegas. “Reliable transportation is the critical link that enables these families to continue on the road to recovery and we are grateful for the support and impact that the National Auto Body Council has made in our local community.”

NABC Executive Director Chuck Sulkala is proud of the NABC’s Recycled Rides program and the success it’s achieved especially this year. “We’re going to give away almost 300 vehicles to people in need in 2014,” he said. “With all of these great insurance companies, collision repairers, paint suppliers, parts vendors and other companies onboard, this is a joint effort every year and it’s amazing to see so many people who go out of their way to make this happen.” 

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