Collision industry representatives kicked off industry week in Palm Springs by helping the National Auto Body Council celebrate its 1,000th Recycled Rides™ car donation to a local area couple and their four children who have been struggling without transportation.
In a special ceremony in front of the Hilton Palm Springs, Marcella and Damian Walls received keys to a 2015 Nissan Pathfinder 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.
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.
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.
- Total of 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 our collision industry, Recycled Rides provides the catalyst that many 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 nonprofit organization, Variety the Children’s Charity of the Desert. Without steady income, the Walls lost their only car when they were unable to keep up with payments. Recently, Marcella started a new job at a local radio station while Damian works part-time as a high school referee and a youth umpire. Their four children, ages 5-18, are actively involved in church youth group and sports programs. The Walls do not live near a bus line, so the entire family walk or rely on friends for transportation.