On December 12th, Christmas came a little early for five deserving families as Mike’s Auto Body and local companies worked together to make life a little easier for those less fortunate. This year’s slogan was “A Gift of Charity Wrapped in Dignity” as Mike’s Auto Body commemorated the donation 79 cars since 2000 through its nationally acclaimed Benevolence Program.
Each year the collision repair industry as a whole comes across cars that are “written off” by either the owner or the insurance company. Often times these are older vehicles that just need some mechanical and body work to get them back on the road and perfectly safe to drive. Because we believe these cars are going to waste when there are people who really need them, we decided to do something about it.
Mike’s Auto Body’s Benevolence Program is a community relations program designed to generate goodwill at the local level while improving and promoting the image of the collision repair industry whose mission is to “Present refurbished “new” used cars to deserving individuals or organizations during the holiday season.”
CSAA Insurance Group, Farmers Insurance, State Farm Insurance, Liberty/Safeco Insurance and Enterprise Rent A Car participated this year in the December presentation by donating “written off” vehicles that were given away to five deserving families.
200 people attended the vehicle presentations at Mike’s Auto Body’s ADAC facility in Antioch on a day filled with sunshine and the Christmas spirit. The day always starts with a hearty welcome from Benevolence Ambassador Sal Contreras followed by with an invocation by Pastor Felix Golden. Then there was a flag presentation from the Mt. Diablo JROTC Color Guard; America the Beautiful was presented by Bagpiper Kristopher Muse and then Sandie Browne sang the National Anthem. Then Mike’s Auto Body’s Director of Marketing Dane Dearlove spoke about “Who We Are” and how Mike’s continues to give back to the community, followed by welcoming remarks from Antioch’s Mayor Sean Wright before the five car presentations took place.
Another highlight of the day was when the Contra Costa Firefighters of Antioch’s Station 81 led by Captain Jeff Landis, delivered Santa to the presentation in their fire engine, who then gave brand new bicycles and helmets to the children. As always, local insurance agents filled all the vehicles with gifts and toys for the families.
Next, the Rose family (Ragen, Brennan and Mike), received a Congressional Certificate of Recognition by Congressman Jerry McNerney’s Field Representative Janeesha Jones, followed by closing remarks from Contreras. “A special thank you goes out to our employees and business partners who gave their time, talents and donations to make all this happen.”
This year’s December five recipients included:
· A single mother with two daughters, Patricia Castellanos, received a 2013 Nissan Rogue that was donated by State Farm; sponsored by Sparkpoint Brighter Beginnings in Bay Point; re-furbished by the crew at Mike’s Pittsburg location and presented by State Farm’s Mike Stoiber.
· 24-year-old Ally Jenkins received a 2016 Toyota Prius that was donated by Safeco/Liberty; sponsored by Cortona Park Senior Living Community; re-furbished by the crew at Mike’s San Ramon location and presented by Safeco/Liberty’s Tom Donahue.
· A single mother Erika Quinteros received a 2018 Ford Fusion that was donated by Enterprise Rent A Car; sponsored by California Promise Innovation, Contra Costa College; refurbished by the crew at Mike’s location in Antioch and presented by Enterprise’s Kelly Hunt.
· A single mother Maria Barraza received a 2014 Honda Civic that was donated by Farmers; sponsored by the Hemophilia Foundation of Northern California; re-furbished by the crew at Mike’s North Broadway location and presented by District Manager Dan Brown from Farmers.
· A single mother/grandmother JoAnn Segura received a 2015 Toyota from CSAA, sponsored by the Housing Authority of Contra Costa County; re-furbished by the crew at Mike’s Fremont Street location and presented by CSAA’s Victor Cordon.
“We feel very fortunate to be involved with such a wonderful program and are very excited to be able to give back to the community that has supported us for the past 46 years,” Owner of Mike’s Auto Body Mike Rose said. “Being in this business for that long, repairing the vehicles is the easy part, having to decide on a recipient is the part that’s hard. After receiving hundreds of applications over the years and reading the heartbreaking stories, we only wish that we could do more. But hopefully with increased publicity of our Benevolence Program other shops will adopt a similar program of their own.”