Wednesday, 20 June 2012 20:39

Two Florida Families Receive Cars from Recycled Rides

It is difficult for most of us to imagine leading a productive life without a car at our immediate disposal, yet the United States Bureau of Transportation estimates that over 15 million Americans have difficulty getting the transportation they need.

This fact illustrates a great need for something most of us take for granted, and for this reason, the National Auto Body Council (NABC) is pleased to announce that the lives of two deserving Florida families were changed forever during the CCC Industry Conference which took place on May 17 at the Sawgrass Marriott in Jacksonville, Florida.

The families received the gift of reliable transportation through Recycled Rides®, a national initiative through which National Auto Body Council members—men and women putting their superior craftsmanship to benevolent use—refurbish donated vehicles and gift them to families in need and organizations dedicated to assisting others.

Each Recycled Rides event is local in focus, and the program works with charities in specific geographic areas to find qualified recipients needing a vehicle to help them continue leading productive lives. Both recipient families are graduates of Family Promise of Jacksonville, Florida, a non-profit interfaith network that provides support to families in crisis.

The Florida Autobody Collision Alliance (FACA) was responsible for getting the shops involved and securing the cars to be repaired, which were made available by insurance companies Geico and Allstate. FACA Executive Director Cathy Mills, a Recycled Rides committee member, headed up the effort and the NABC members that worked in conjunction with the FACA to refurbish the vehicles were Sterling Autobody Centers and Sunbeam Auto Body.

The McWhite family is comprised of single parent mom, Delphia, and her two daughters. Unable to complete high school, and without a driver’s license, Delphia had experienced difficulty finding the kind of work that would allow her to support her family. Relying on public transportation for doctor’s visits and transporting her children to other important appointments proved additional hardships.

During her time with Family Promise, Delphia completed her GED, obtained her driver’s license, found subsidized housing and secured a job with her daughter’s day care, allowing the family to move into their own apartment. In addition to making life less stressful and more productive, the refurbished vehicle will assist Delphia in her goal of pursuing a degree in Business Administration at Florida State College.

The Riddle family is headed by Dan, who maintained a home in Arlington for 15 years while he held various warehousing jobs. After injuring his arm on the job, he couldn’t work for 15 months as he underwent surgery and rehabilitation. When he could work again, he was unable to return to his old position, so he took a job as a versatile handyman with a home remodeling/construction company.

When the economy took a turn for the worse, Dan lost his house as a result of insufficient work. He and his son were accepted into the Family Promise program, where Dan continued to look for work and eventually met a volunteer who helped him secure an inventory control position with the southeast distributor for 7-UP/Snapple over a year ago. He and his son now reside in a mobile home close to his place of employment, and he hopes someday to move into a new house with his son, who is of school age. The family’s recycled ride comes into their life at a fortuitous time, as their old car’s transmission had recently given out.

“The McWhites and Riddles are just two of the 150 families who will receive the gift of reliable transportation from Recycled Rides this year,” stated Nick Notte, Recycled Rides Co-Chairman and President of Sterling Autobody Centers. “That’s 150 families who will receive the opportunity make better lives for themselves through the intra-industry efforts of the program. I am grateful to be part of a project that clearly illustrates the giving nature of NABC members and the collision repair industry in general.”

Recycled Rides is a community awareness project whereby members of the NABC repair and donate refurbished vehicles to families and service organizations in need throughout the United States. A green program, Recycled Rides recruits auto body shops, insurers, paint suppliers and parts vendors to contribute in their own specific ways.

Family Promise is a 501-c3 non-profit with 140 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.

National Auto Body Council is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the image of the collision industry. Please contact NABC directly for membership information. Call 1-888-667-7433 (888-66PRIDE) or go to www.autobodycouncil.org.

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