AkzoNobel hosts its 15th annual Benevolence Program

To date, member collision repair centers have refurbished and presented approximately 431 vehicles to needy families.

The 2013 holiday season was especially joyous in 23 communities across the US and Canada, as AkzoNobel’s Acoat Selected collision repair centers presented the gift of transportation to deserving individuals, families and organizations. 

As one of the first programs of its type in the collision repair industry, the annual AkzoNobel Acoat Selected International Benevolence Program was established in 1999 as a way for participating Acoat members to generate charitable “good will within the communities they serve. To date, member collision repair centers have refurbished and presented approximately 431 vehicles to needy families.

Zara’s Collision Center in Springfield, Ill, and Bates Custom and Collision Repair in Baytown and Channelview, Tx., were amongst the 23 Acoat members that participated in the program this year. Both collision repair centers have participated in the Benevolence Program for many years and each presented two cars this holiday season.

Julie Zara shared, "We’ve had the distinct pleasure of participating in the Benevolence Program for 14 years and we always feel thrilled to see how much these cars mean to each and every family that receives them. 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."

Hundreds of cars each year are “written off” by owners or the insurance companies, many of which are older models that simply need some mechanical and body work to get them in safe, top-running condition. Employees at participating shops donate their time and talents to refurbish and repaint the vehicle, then work with local charitable organizations to select individuals or groups who are in desperate need of a vehicle. The program typically becomes a community effort as other gifts such as auto insurance, oil changes, car washes, grocery store gift cards, clothing, toys and books are donated by area merchants to accompany the car.  

"We’ve been participating in this program for 15 years and 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," added Leila Bates. "We put cars back on the road every day because that’s our job, but we especially love knowing that when we repair these particular cars, we’ve put a family back on the road to independence. It really is a hand-up, not a hand-out. We’ve brightened the future of 25 families so far."

AkzoNobel’s North American Services Manager, Barry Rinehart, concluded, “Having reliable transportation is critical to a person’s ability to move forward in life, which is something these collision repair centers understand and are determined to help provide. Their big hearts are helping their communities flourish, one donated car at a time.”

The Acoat selected International Benevolence Program is sponsored by AkzoNobel Coatings Inc. and is for customers who use its Sikkens brand of automotive refinish products.  To learn more, please visit the Acoat selected website at www.acoatna.com.

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