CSN-Superior Collision, in Sidney, BC, delivered an early Christmas to a local family last week. Rob Peters, the owner of CSN-Superior Collision, restored and gifted a Cadillac to a local working mother who will be able to use the car to get to work.
Peters took a few minutes away from the shop floor to talk to Collision Repair magazine about the remarkable gift. The giveaway is run in partnership with Acoat, which is a division of AkzoNobel. The company runs the National Benevolence Program, which helps local community businesses to give back to the community they live in. The program sees damaged but repairable vehicles that have been written off repaired and given away to individuals in need of safe, reliable transportation.
“Acoat provides some waivers and things like that. Everyone volunteers to fix it. We take it a little further and get some extra contributions, gift certificates, computers, to fill the car with gifts,” says Peters. “We feel very fortunate to be involved with such a charitable project.”
More than 40 members of the local business community in Sidney pitched in to offer insurance, tires, parts and mechanical services. The work on the car was done at CSN-Superior Collision. Peters says he is having no problems now finding cars to give away to people who really need them.
“In this last year people have just started giving us cars to re-home. This is the third car to give away. Some people are getting older, they decide they don’t want their car, and that they want to give it someone who needs it,” says Peters.
This year three people were nominated by the Sidney Lions Food Bank. The nominees then filled out an application that Peters has set up on his website. Employees of the shop then picked the winner from the three nominees.
“The tough part is choosing the person who wins. Coming up with that person is the hardest part of the whole program,” says Peters. He is considering changing the way the winner is picked next year. “The way I might do it in the future is to have the past recipients vote on it. We’ve got four people now who have gone through the program. So we’ve got a group of people. We always bring the recipients back to the presentation. They all know each other now.”
He says that the giveaway is great for the employees, as well as his peace of mind.
“It restores my faith in people a bit. It’s quite rewarding in that the rest of the community is getting involved. When everyone contributes a little bit, we can do some big things,” he says. “I wish more people would do things like this. It brings your staff together. It gets them going in the same direction.”
Nicole Beaumont, the working mother who got the car, was the most joyful of all. “Thank you is not enough, oh my goodness, it’s like winning the lottery,” Beaumont was quoted as saying at the presentation ceremony. “I have no words, I’m so excited, and overwhelmed, this is amazing, this is truly amazing.”
You can bet Peters will do giveaway number five next year. “I don’t know if it we could quit now if we wanted to. We’ve got all kinds of people saying, ‘Hey, we want to give you give some money to help out.’ It’s amazing,” says Peters.
By Jeff Sanford