“A vehicle provides them with freedom, and so that’s what our goal is---to help one family at a time,” said Executive Director Chuck Sulkala. So far, NABC has given away about 2,000 vehicles.
A 2017 Power of A Summit Award winner, the program brings together all sectors of NABC’s membership to repair cars and give back to the community. Insurance companies donate damaged but repairable vehicles, vendors donate parts and other services, and repair shops contribute shop space while their employees give their time.
“On this vehicle, we all work together, and we help change somebody’s life,” said Sulkala.
NABC works with partner 800-Charity Cars to manage the vehicles, titles and registrations, as well as to vet recipients. It then teams up with local charities to identify families who could best use and maintain the vehicles. Donated cars must be safe and meet certain standards, such as logging less than 100,000 miles and being only 3 to 8 years old.
“These are quality cars that we expect to last somebody for an extended period of time if they continue to maintain it and change the oil---things that have to be done to the car,” said Sulkala.
Launched 10 years ago when the recession made it difficult for companies to donate cash, Recycled Rides allows them to participate in community service by donating time and products instead.
“We get tremendously satisfied employees [knowing] that they’ve made a difference in somebody’s life, we get companies that have realized that they’ve done something good, and we get a family that now has a vehicle to get them back on the track of life again,” he said.