Mike’s Auto Body Gives Away Vehicles Through its Own Benevolence Program

Mike’s Auto Body Gives Away Vehicles Through its Own Benevolence Program

The holiday season always arrives a little earlier for deserving families in Contra Costa County when Mike’s Auto Body in the East Bay presents refurbished vehicles to disadvantaged and deserving families.

In late 2010, four families received cars from Mike’s, presented to them at a ceremony held at the company’s newest facility in Antioch, CA. Mike’s Auto Body has refurbished 30 cars over the past 10 years, with help from local Bay Area vendors and insurance companies who donate the vehicles, Sal Contreras, Marketing Director of Mike’s Auto Body, said.

Every year, the collision repair industry deals with cars that are “written off” by owners or insurance companies as total losses. For many years, Mike’s Auto Body was a participant in the Akzo Nobel’s National Benevolence Program, a community relations program that presents refurbished cars to deserving people or organizations during the holidays, Contreras said. But a few years ago, Mike’s adopted their own program which they titled Mike’s Auto Body Benevolence Program.

Corey Lawson, a single father of one from Antioch, received a 2008 Chrysler Sebring convertible, so that he can get to and from work every day. Allstate Insurance donated the original car to the program.

Helen Geddes of Walnut Creek received a 2005 Chevrolet Aveo, donated to the program by Safeco Insurance. Joey Farmer got a 2008 Toyota Prius, donated by AAA Insurance; and Lee Waverly of San Leandro received a 2007 KIA Optima, donated by Mercury Insurance.

Contreras never tires of the joy he sees on peoples’ faces when they view their refurbished cars for the very first time. “It’s a miraculous moment when they see their cars,” he said. “Their expressions are priceless and every time we get a real thrill being there to see it happen. Being involved in this program for a decade is one of the best things I’ve done in all the years I’ve been in this industry. People step up to help out in any way, so it’s a team effort.”

Mike Rose, owner of seven Mike’s Auto Body locations, said he is extremely proud once again to be a part of their very own Benevolence Program. “We are in an industry that has the means to get these vehicles road ready,” Rose said. “It’s just a matter of getting our vendors on the same page. For the sake of the other applicants that are still in need of reliable transportation, we only hope that more shops can create a similar program of their own to give back to the community.”

Ed Attanasio

Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist and Autobody News columnist based in San Francisco.

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