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CIF Helps St. Louis Technician and His Family Recover from Flood

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When Charlie Dreppard first received the letter, his reaction was excitement. His St. Louis home—the home in which he and his wife have raised their four children—was no longer considered to be in a floodplain, according to their mortgage company.  After paying for flood insurance for years, this meant a lower payment; that was the good news. 

But Dreppard and his family couldn’t have known what would come next: historic flood levels that would leave their home damaged beyond repair.

Dreppard, a nine-year technician at Schaefer Autobody Centers in St. Louis and a 20-year collision industry veteran, soon had friends and family helping to move his furniture and belongings to higher ground. And he and his family moved in with his in-laws, while they contemplated their next steps.

“We are very fortunate to have friends and family that helped us out during this flood event,” Dreppard says. “We were hopeful to get back into our home, but when that wasn’t possible, we knew we needed to get our lives—and especially the kids—to a more normal state.”

But in order to move into a new home, Dreppard knew he had to somehow come up with a down payment for a house and replace his original house’s daily living items. 

In stepped the Collision Industry Foundation (CIF). With prodding from coworkers, Dreppard reached out to CIF and shared his story and received a swift response.

“CIF exists to help those within the collision industry that have experienced a catastrophic life event,” CIF Board President Bill Shaw says. “When we received Charlie’s request through our website, collisionindustryfoundation.com, we immediately went to work to see what we could do.

“Through our sponsors and fundraising Gala in Palm Springs (Calif.), we were able to donate $5,000 to the Dreppard Family for assistance with closing costs.”

After three months of being displaced due to the flood, the Dreppards found a new home, one in which their children each have separate bedrooms to sleep in. Dreppard continues his work at Schaefer Autobody and says he is thankful for the collision industry’s support.

“It is overwhelming to see the support my family and I received during this time,” he says. “Thank you to CIF and all of the supporters that contributed to help get our lives back on track.  This truly is an amazing industry with fantastic people working in it.”

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