Tuesday, 26 January 2021 10:32

How CREF Distributes In-Kind Donations to Technical Schools and Colleges Around the U.S.

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Each year, the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) receives millions of dollars’ worth of in-kind donations from generous industry companies eager to support the next generation of collision repair professionals.

Donations include tools, equipment and even car parts, which are distributed to the collision repair programs in need at technical schools and colleges around the country.


With so many large-scale donations and a limited staff, distribution seems an impossible task for CREF to manage alone---and it is.


As the foundation’s efforts to raise awareness of the challenges in collision repair education gained traction, the industry’s generosity caused CREF leaders to ask about schools offering warehouse management programs.


The auto body instructor at the Forbes Road Career and Technology Center in Monroeville, PA, quickly introduced the then-instructor of logistics and supply chain management, who “was willing to collaborate with anyone to provide live work for his students,” said Darrell Davis, who currently teaches the program at Forbes. “The relationship was established.”


“Once I began my employment at Forbes five years ago, Melissa [Marscin] from the foundation reached out to me to continue working with their product, and we have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to work with more and more product every year,” Davis added.


So, what is the life of a product donation? It begins with the collision repair professional who graciously donates products or funds to the foundation. Once donations are received, CREF ships them to Forbes.


“Darrell and the Forbes program’s willingness to receive our large-scale product donations, inventory them and then use those as a class project to distribute to collision schools around the country is a life-saver for us [and the schools that receive the donations]!” said Brandon Eckenrode, director of development for CREF. “CREF cannot thank Forbes enough for all their help over the years.”


Once the donations arrive at Forbes, Davis uses them as inventory and distribution projects for his students.


“When the donations arrive, the students will complete a physical count of each type of item received, then...

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