A Palm Springs, Calif., couple found themselves in a typical catch-22 situation – unexpectedly unemployed, unable to afford a car, but without reliable transportation, facing limited employment opportunities.
Thanks to a unique car donation program fueled by insurance companies, repairers and other businesses in the collision industry, Marcella and Damian Walls were given a helping hand in the form of a practically brand new 2015 Nissan Pathfinder at a special ceremony commemorating the 1,000th vehicle donated by the National Auto Body Council’s Recycled Rides program.
The Walls, both of whom became unemployed due to unexpected job layoffs, represent thousands of other individuals across the country whose lives have been positively impacted by the Recycled Rides program.
Twelve out of the top 15 insurance companies have participated in the Recycled Rides program. Since the program’s inception in 2007, members of the National Auto Body Council, representing all facets of the collision industry, have racked up significant achievements:
- Over 1,000 vehicles donated by insurance, rental car, salvage and auto auction companies.
- 65,000 volunteer hours by collision repair professionals to refurbish the vehicles.
- $4 million in parts, materials and services donated by manufacturers and suppliers.
- More than $12 million in refurbished vehicles donated to veterans, active duty service members and struggling families.
While there are many worthwhile car donation organizations, most scrap donated vehicles and use profits to fund charities. The goal of the National Auto Body Council’s Recycled Rides program is to refurbish and donate vehicles so recipients can obtain employment, get to and from work, take care of their families and improve their quality of life.
“Individuals and families without reliable transportation are in a catch-22 situation,” said Domenic Brusco, chairman of the National Auto Body Council. “They struggle financially, cannot afford a car but without it, employment opportunities are limited. Thanks to the collaborative contributions from many in the collision industry, Recycled Rides provides the catalyst that individuals need to restore independence, pride and self-esteem to become self-sustaining.”
National Auto Body Council members partner with local nonprofit charities who select recipients for Recycled Rides. The organization also partners with 1-800 Charity Cars, powered by AudaExplore, a Solera Company, which donates resources to help process the myriad of paperwork required to transfer and register vehicle titles for Recycled Rides recipients.
The Walls Family was nominated by a local Palm Springs nonprofit organization, Variety the Children’s Charity of the Desert. The 1,000th Recycled rides vehicle was donated by the Hertz Corporation and refurbished by Caliber Collision-Coachella Valley. Parts, materials and services were donated by LKQ Corporation, Palm Springs Nissan, Mohica Towing, and Valley Smog and Auto Repair.
Source: National Auto Body Council
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