As part of its 15th Annual Benevolence Program, AkzoNobel’s Acoat Selected collision repair centers presented the gift of transportation to deserving individuals, families and organizations during the 2013 holiday season. The AkzoNobel Acoat Selected International Benevolence Program was established in 1999 as a way for participating Acoat members to generate charitable goodwill within the communities they serve. As of right now, member collision repair centers have refurbished and given approximately 431 vehicles to families in need.
Zara’s Collision Center in Springfield, IL, and Bates Custom & Collision Repair in Baytown and Channelview, TX, were among the 23 Acoat members that participated in the program this year. Both of these collision repair centers have participated in the Benevolence Program for many years, and each presented two cars this holiday season.
Zara’s Collision Center, owned by Julie and Brad Zara, has participated in the Benevolence Program for 14 years now.
“We always feel thrilled to see how much these cars mean to each and every family that receives them,” said Julie Zara. “We’ve given away 26 vehicles in total and now have more than 40 other local businesses that join us in the effort by donating all kinds of things like repairs, gift cards, monetary gifts and more. This effort brings incredible joy to everyone involved.”
The cars involved in the program come from the hundreds that are written off by owners or insurance companies. Employees at participating shops donate their time and talents to refurbish and repaint the vehicles, then work with local charitable organizations to select individuals or groups who are in desperate need of a vehicle or vehicles. Other gifts such as auto insurance, oil changes, car washes, grocery store gift cards, clothing, toys and books are also donated by area merchants to accompany the car or cars, so the program typically becomes a community effort.
“It puts a big smile on my face when I see our employees still getting excited about revealing their Christmas gift of ‘wheels’ to families they’ve never met,” said Leila Bates, owner of Bates Custom & Collision Repair in Channelview and Baytown, Texas.