The recipient families this year were chosen by Family Promise of Las Vegas, an organization that helps homeless and low-income families to transition from homelessness to stability and independence. “Without a car, life can be very difficult and tiring,” said Terry Lindemann, executive director of Family Promise of Las Vegas. “Daily tasks like going to the grocery store or the doctor’s office are not easy for people without reliable, safe transportation. Recycled Rides is a wonderful program and the people at NABC are incredible. We’re so thankful to the NABC and all of the local body shops and insurance companies that helped. Every year NABC reaches out to us and helps our member families by providing these vehicles and every year it’s very emotional.”
Participants in this year’s multi-car gifting at SEMA included Enterprise Rent-A-Car, State Farm Insurance, Allstate Insurance Company, Esurance and Hertz, which donated vehicles refurbished by Gerber Collision, Caliber Collision, Sterling Auto Body Centers and Collision Authority.
NABC Vice-President Liz Stein knows that without the support of body shops, insurance companies and other sponsors, the NABC Recycled Rides would never happen. “This program offers a lot of people in this industry an opportunity to really impact the community and change peoples’ lives. How many times does that happen, where we can really improve the daily lives of families that really need it and deserve it?”
In addition, Family Promise received a 15-passenger van donated by Enterprise Rent-a-Car and repaired by Gerber Collision in a surprise presentation. “We were so happy to find this van for Family Promise of Las Vegas, because these larger vans are always in demand and very hard to find,” Chuck Sulkala, Executive Director of the National Auto Body Council said. “Family Promise does a tremendous job by enabling so many families to regain their stability and independence. We recognize that owning a car they can count on could be the key to regaining both their financial well-being and their self-respect. Recycled Rides is a wonderful program that enables so many of us in the collision repair industry to partner with our colleagues and make a positive impact in peoples’ lives.”
Diamond Clark, a single mother of six children, received a van from the NABC Recycled Rides program this year. She looked both relieved and excited, but most of all-very grateful.
“Last summer, my vehicle died and I could not get to work, so I lost my job,” Clark said. “As a result, we got evicted from our house because I couldn’t afford the rent. We've been riding the bus this entire time, having to leave at four in the morning to deliver the kids to school and getting home really late every evening. Now I have a job and a car, so things are turning around for me.”
Family Promise is a non-profit organization with 177 networks nationwide that organizes houses of worship, community agencies, and social service agencies into a community-based interfaith hospitality network. Family Promise’s Family Mentoring Program is a homelessness prevention initiative that trains volunteers to act as advisors and advocates for at-risk families, helping them achieve goals and maintain self-sufficiency. Families that graduate from the program’s transitional sheltering program are enrolled in a mentoring program to assist them with sustaining an independent future. Family Promise of Las Vegas serves up to 25 families daily in one of three housing programs designed to assist families achieve sustainable futures and lasting independence.
The National Auto Body Council is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the image of the collision industry and for more information visit www.NationalAutoBodyCouncil.org; Facebook at facebook.com/NationalAutoBodyCouncil or its Twitter feed @AutoBodyCouncil.