CIF Extends Lifeline to Shops Ravaged by Spring Storms, Everyday Catastrophes

CIF offers relief assistance to people in the collision repair industry affected by natural disasters and devasting circumstances.

Collision-Industry-Foundation-donations
Steve Olson, left, managing partner of Louisville Collision Centers in Louisville, KY, presented Gary Noble, right, with a check from CIF, which raised money to help Noble get back on his feet and pay his medical bills and other expenses after a collision last November that required lengthy hospitalization and rehabilitation.

Jessica Stegner, vice president of the Oklahoma Autobody Association (OKABA), remembers when a body technician from Guthrie, OK, suffered a life-altering accident several years ago. The incident disrupted his ability to work, forcing him to seek support from his family.

Stegner reflected on the missed opportunity to connect him with the Collision Industry Foundation’s (CIF) relief assistance program, which could have provided much-needed aid during his hardship. Despite the challenges, the technician persevered, carving out a successful career as a collision repair instructor.

ABN CIF OKABA JessicaStegner webJessica Stegner, vice president of the Oklahoma Autobody Association.

“I was just made aware of this amazing relief fund from the Collision Industry Foundation a few weeks ago,” Stegner said. “I was so excited to hear about it that I put it on the front page of our website (okaba.org) immediately. This financial assistance can make a life-changing difference for shop owners, employees and their families. We at OKABA are so pleased to be able to help shops in Oklahoma by providing them with information about this valuable resource.”

When Stegner hears about those in the collision industry repair community affected by natural disasters or even personal tragedies, she knows she has a dependable resource in CIF to provide those individuals with a place to turn.

CIF’s motto is simple yet profound: "We answer the call" through its relief assistance program.

With a proven track record of swift and compassionate aid in the wake of natural disasters and other calamities, CIF emerges as a lifeline for collision repair professionals facing adversity.

CIF partners with industry allies like LKQ, NCS and RDA, as well as state organizations like OKABA, to spread the word about its relief assistance program. 

In addition to providing CIF information on its website, Stegner recently connected two Oklahoma body shops with Petra Schroeder, CIF trustee. The two body shops have three technicians whose homes were destroyed by a tornado that ravaged Sulphur, OK.

Schroeder extends a heartfelt invitation to these individuals and others to explore the comprehensive assistance program.

The impact of CIF’s assistance reverberates in the lives it touches. Just ask Gary Noble, a dedicated technician at Louisville Collision Center in Louisville, KY, whose life took a tragic turn following a catastrophic collision. Hindered by months of hospitalization and rehabilitation, Noble found help in CIF’s benevolence, receiving a direct grant of $10,845 to ease his burden.

CIF’s mission goes beyond financial assistance: It’s about restoring faith and rebuilding lives, one individual at a time. Schroeder emphasized that while CIF doesn’t directly aid a company, its mission is clear: to secure and distribute donations to collision repair industry individuals grappling with natural disasters or catastrophic events.

How does the relief assistance program work? CIF is committed to making the relief application process smooth and easy. Schroeder said donations are usually disbursed in 10-15 business days, provided the paperwork is completed quickly and efficiently.

Here’s the three-step application process:

  • Step 1: Affected individuals complete a form, furnishing CIF with crucial details. Access the form here.
    Step 2: CIF verifies the request’s authenticity, ensuring integrity and accuracy.
    Step 3: A panel of rotating trustees meticulously reviews each case, determining eligibility.

Schroeder is grateful to CIF’s generous donors, whose support fuels the relief program’s generosity. From annual contributions to the cornerstone fundraising event at the January Collision Industry Conference in Palm Springs, CA, CIF thrives on the collective goodwill of industry supporters.

Managed by volunteers who embody the spirit of service, CIF’s greatest challenge is getting the word out about its mission. But as Stegner attests, now that she knows about CIF, she can refer others to this industry lifesaver.

For Noble, CIF’s intervention was life-changing, underscoring the transformative impact of its work.

“I want to say ‘Thank you’ to everyone at CIF! My wife and I are so grateful … The funds will keep us from getting behind on our monthly bills, especially since we now have several medical bills,” Noble said.

If you know of collision repair individuals who would benefit from the relief assistance provided by the Collision Industry Foundation, visit www.collisionindustryfoundation.org and contact Petra Schroeder.

Leona Scott

Contributing Writer
With extensive experience in the auto care industry and working for nonprofits, Leona D. Scott has dedicated years to crafting compelling content for print... Read More

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