Participate in Nationwide Food Drives
The Collision Industry Foundation (CIF) debuts its Shops Against Hunger campaign—a November volunteer food bank program taking place throughout the collision repair industry. After venturing into hunger relief last year, the CIF is expanding its program across the nation this year.
The CIF started its fight against hunger last year as a bit of a symbolic gesture. Detroit’s economy was hit hard with unemployment rates caused by the area’s struggling automotive manufacturers, so CIF rallied support for three local charities. Not surprisingly, it was tough to win national interest for a local effort.
“It was a challenge for the country to donate to one specific market when there were needs in local markets everywhere,” says Bill Shaw, CIF trustee and director of business development for PPG Industries.
Rather than step away from the challenge, CIF is stepping up its efforts to achieve the audacious goal of organizing Shops Against Hunger in cities across the country.
“Every [neighborhood] in every city in every state has food banks,” says Jeanne Silver, president of CIF and co-owner of CARSTAR Mundelein in Mundelein, Ill. “And they need help.”
Ready to Serve
Trustees of the CIF will lead volunteer efforts in their local markets—including Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles and Philadelphia—to create models and examples of how industry professionals can help food banks.
“We’ve challenged each of the CIF trustees to come up with program strategies to get the industry involved and help people in need,” Shaw says. “We’re trying to start in a few markets and build the right model with examples of what could be done in many markets across the U.S.”
Shaw is spearheading volunteerism and fundraising efforts in Akron, Ohio. Jim Muse, CIF trustee, has organized a “dollar drive” with customers at FinishMaster, where he is vice president of business development. Customers can add a dollar to their purchase to be donated to Shops Against Hunger. He’s also arranged for several shops to serve as drop-off locations for food drives, and for the Automotive Service Association (ASA) to hold its next meeting at the Akron food bank in an effort to bring awareness to the program.
How to Help
The CIF encourages industry professionals to donate time, money and services.
• Volunteer your time. Spend a half-day in November at a food bank in your market. You can either sort food that’s collected or package food to get ready for pickup by soup kitchens.
• Donate money. Give online at collisionindustryfoundation.org. CIF will also have an exhibitor booth and fundraising party at NACE 2010 where donations will be accepted. The fundraising party is open to everyone. The foundation hopes to raise $10,000 at that event alone.
• Donate services. Many food banks across the nation have fleets of vehicles that are in rough shape and need attention. Auto body and mechanical technicians are encouraged to volunteer a hand in refurbishing those vehicles.
Shops Against Hunger isn’t just for repair shops. It’s designed to get all collision industry professionals—including shop personnel, product suppliers, part manufacturers and associations—engaged in volunteering with food banks.
“It’s a volunteer effort across all segments of the industry,” Shaw says. It will involve the entire automotive industry.
“A lot of collision industry companies already give back to their local communities in some way,” Muse says. “Shops Against Hunger enables us to fight hunger with one larger voice—on behalf of our entire industry.”
Visit collisionindustryfoundation.org for more information about getting involved.