On Tuesday, September 18, Tampa veteran Deundre Williams experienced a life-changing event – the presentation of a car to provide him independence and the ability to work and take care of his family – thanks to the National Auto Body Council’s Recycled Rides™program, Allstate Insurance Company, Caliber Collision – St. Petersburg and CIECA. The car presentation was held in conjunction with the annual CIECA Symposium.
“It is an honor to work with our collision repair industry partners to help make a difference in the life of someone who valiantly served our country,” said Bill Garoutte, president and CEO of the NABC. “We are inspired by his commitment to his family and to his independence, and we thank him for his service. And, we thank all of our partners for their generosity and hard work in making this car presentation happen. Together, our industry can make a difference in the communities where we live and do business.”
“This car means the world to me,” said Williams. “I was in need of transportation and I couldn’t get around. Now I can look for work and take care of my daughter, get her to where she needs to be and to her doctor’s appointments. Without Caliber, I would still be looking for rides, so thank you very much.”
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The NABC Recycled Rides™program, Allstate, Caliber Collision-St. Petersburg and CIECA presented a 2016 Kia Optima to deserving military veteran Deundre Williams, a Tampa-area resident. Williams, 43, a U.S. Army veteran, has a 40 percent disability due to his service. He is a single dad with a six-year-old daughter. A participant in the HUD-VASH program, he needs reliable transportation to get a job to support his daughter, take her to school and handle daily errands. Williams was selected by Soldiers’ Angels, a national charity which provides aid and comfort to the men and women of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, their families, and a growing veteran population.
For Paul Knight, advisory council member for Soldiers’ Angels who is a service-connected disabled Marine, the presentation of the car really was a life changing event.
“I know from my own experience being homeless and not having transportation and not being able to work,” said Knight. “Being affiliated with a group that provides vehicles for veterans is great. It provides them a new lease on life. It gives them hope that they can make it through life and take care of their family.”
This NABC Recycled Rides™ presentation was made possible with partners:
Allstate, which donated the 2016 Kia Optima
Caliber Collision – St. Petersburg, whose teammates volunteered personal time to refurbish the vehicle
Soldiers’ Angels, which nominated the veteran for the NABC Recycled Rides™gift
1-800 Charity Cars and its partners Auto Zone, Stepp's Towing & Heavy Transport and Crown Kia
“This is a huge program. One of Allstate’s biggest components is giving back to our local communities,” said Brian King, a leader in the virtual assist Florida Auto office. “When we gift cars, it goes to a very deserving individual. It means a lot to give back to our community and our veterans. And it adds something extra to give back to someone who served our country. We are very proud to be here today.”
“Being involved in the NABC Recycled Rides puts everything in perspective of how we take things for granted, transportation being one of those,” said Mark Self, regional manager for Caliber Collision in Tampa Bay area. “Being able to give back to our military veterans who have served our country and served us -- this is a no brainer for us. All of the labor is volunteered, and the parts are donated. We work long hours to restore our military veterans back to the rhythm of their lives. That is Caliber’s highest purpose and we love doing it and will continue to do it.”
NABC Recycled Rides™ is a unique program in which businesses representing all facets of the collision repair industry team up to repair and donate vehicles to individuals and families in need of reliable transportation. Since the inception of the Recycled Rides™ program in 2007, members of the National Auto Body Council have donated 1,800 vehicles valued at more than $24 million.
CIECA (Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association) develops collision industry electronic standards, codes and standard messages and provides implementation guides to make the industry more efficient. All standards are developed by members. CIECA is composed of members of the automobile collision repair industry: repairers, insurers, vehicle manufacturers, parts and material suppliers, information and software providers, general service providers and related segments and industries. CIECA's goals are to deliver benefits to all participants through reduced development and support costs, lower cost of implementation, reduced barrier to entry and faster development times. For more information visit www.cieca.com.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL AUTO BODY COUNCIL
The National Auto Body Council is the premier organization of collision industry partners dedicated to strategic networking opportunities that positively change lives in the communities we serve. The collaborative membership of the National Auto Body Council has gifted 1,800 vehicles, provided extrication opportunities for over 1,000 First Responders and contributed to thousands of distracted driving pledges in communities through NABC Recycled Rides™, First Responder Emergency Extrication (F.R.E.E.™) and the Distracted Driving Initiative. That effort equates to a 4:1 ROI in dollar value delivered from NABC membership dollars. The National Auto Body Council is changing the paradigm of how the collision industry works and is viewed. For more information, visit www.NationalAutoBodyCouncil.org.