Each year just like clockwork, body shops all over the country come across cars that are “written off” by either their owner or insurers. In many cases, these are older vehicles that just need some mechanical and body work to get them back on the road and safe to drive. Seventeen years ago, we saw that we could genuinely help people by giving them refurbished cars, so we decided to do something about it.
On December 13, Mike’s Auto Body gave vehicles to four deserving Bay Area families. This presentation was our second Benevolence presentation of 2017, which now brings our grand total to 72 cars donated in 17 years.
Everything is donated, including the cars, parts, paint, mechanical inspections, tires, and one year of auto insurance. It’s a total team effort and many of our body and paint technicians donate their time and talents to completely refurbish these “nearly new” Benevolence vehicles.
This year, CSAA Insurance Group, Farmers Insurance, State Farm Insurance and Enterprise Rent A Car participated in our December presentation by donating “written off” vehicles to be given away to deserving families. We also partnered with Recycled Rides, NABC.
Guadalupe Rivera with two children received a 2011 Toyota Camry from Farmers Insurance through the Hemophilia Foundation of Northern California. The crew at Mike’s Auto Body on North Broadway in Walnut Creek refurbished the vehicle include Manager Sam Arvizu and Chris Olivieri and Technicians Ruben Ramos, Jose Ramos, Francisco Cruz, Richard Flores, Jason Greene, Bill Coleman, Josh Duncan, Don Herbert and Bob Rose.
Crystal Morris with four children received a 2009 Toyota Corolla from State Farm Insurance through the Shepherd’s Gate. The crew at Mike’s Auto Body in Pittsburg refurbished the vehicle include Managers Kent Osborne and Angelina Yuen and Technicians Joe Flores, Nick Parks, Romeo Rones, Carlos Ortiz, Raul Anito, Marcos Lopez, Miguel Gomez, Gissele Torres, Mario Aguilar, Sal Flores, Hugo Medina, Manny Ledesma, Jose Cedemo, Abel Mendoza Rios, Dylan Lister, Jose Padilla and Mike Lister.
Tonya Montgomery with two children received a 2016 Nissan Altima from Enterprise Rent a Car through the Richmond Community Foundation and Spark Point. The crew at Mike’s in San Ramon, that worked on the vehicle include Managers Joe Drago, Erica Randall and Technicians Gerardo Cano, Eli Deras, Mike Brown, Luis Rodriguez, Chen Tran and Everado Gonzalez.
Hilda Bravo received a 2014 Nissan Altima from CSAA Insurance through UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. The crew at Mike’s VDM in Concord that worked on the vehicle includes Managers Colin Kendall and Robin Busch and Technicians Bill Laughren, Steve Bartolomei, Dale Kelly, Rafael Avila-Padilla and Jason Cobb.
Special thanks for this year’s presentation include the Mt. Diablo JROTC Color Guard that did the flag presentation; 2015 Benevolence Recipient April Dingle who sang the National Anthem, SSGT Eugene Dingle-2015 Past Benevolence Recipient said a few words on how their lives have improved since receiving the Benevolence car, Matt Tobben-Local State Farm Sales Executive for the Concord Territory; Local Farmers District Managers, Keith Jenkins, Daniel Brown and Hector Zavala; Victor Cordon- Community Affairs, CSAA Insurance Group; Enterprise Rent A Car-Regional Vice-President Enterprise Holdings, Kelly Hunt; Contra Costa County Professional Fire Fighters, Station 81 Antioch.
“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 45 years,” 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 heart breaking stores, 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.”
The Contra Costa Fire Fighters Local 81 was part of the Holiday Benevolence presentation again this year by generously donating brand new bicycles and new helmets for all the children and grandchildren of the recipients. This year, Local 81 showed up with a very special passenger this year when they delivered Santa Claus aboard their fire truck.
“When they presented the bikes to the children, it was hard to determine who was the most excited, the recipients receiving the car or the children receiving the bikes! The Christmas Spirit was in the air,” Benevolence Program Director Sal Contreras said.
Special thanks to all of our vendor partners for donating products and services, including San Ramon Insurance, EBIIA Insurance Group, Integro Insurance Group, Autocom Nissan East Bay, Valley Import Center, Diablo Auto Care, Adolph’s Auto Care, Autocom Nissan Parts & Service, Dan’s Glass, Complete Auto Works, D & H Enterprises, Albany Ford/Subaru Parts and Service, Dent King, Devil Mountain Auto Detail, MAB Towing, Big O Tires, Dent King, Toyota Walnut Creek, Tech. Zone, LKQ Corp, PPG, Lexus of Concord, Geronimo’s Detail and Fireman Paolo Braganza.