On September 27 at 2:00 p.m. Sun Toyota and I will host executives of GEICO® and local dignitaries to donate a 2015 Dodge Journey vehicle provided by the National Auto Body Council (NABC) to Starting Right, Now, a 501(C) (3) nonprofit program for homeless teens. On hand to accept the vehicle from Starting Right, Now will be Vicki Sokolik, its Founder and CEO. As part of its Recycled Rides™ Program, the National Auto Body Council (NABC) has facilitated turning over more than 1,800 cars since the program began in 2007 to deserving veterans, families and nonprofit agencies in need.
Starting Right, Now was founded by Vicki Sokolik in 2007 from her family’s outreach to help provide housing and mentoring services to help area homeless teens reach life goals that would otherwise be impossible. To date, 250 homeless youths have been helped. WEDU PBS recently awarded Starting Right, Now its “Be More Unstoppable Nonprofit (“Nonprofit of the Year)” award. SRN currently provides housing and services to approximately 90 teens in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties who have found themselves homeless because of abuse, neglect or because their parents are incarcerated.
“Receiving an SUV sized vehicle will help us in so many ways,” said Vicki Sokolik. “We provide a lot of transportation to our students every week to appointments and other commitments—and a car will be faster and far more efficient than public transport in most cases. We can also make single trips to the food bank to fill our food pantries, rather than have to make multiple trips to do the same job. We recently had to rent a car for a college tour, so being able to rely on our own vehicle represents a real cost savings to us, as well.”
Donations typically start with insurance, rental car, salvage and auction companies contacting NABC Recycled Rides™ program about a car available for donation. Technicians at car dealers such as Sun Toyota and collision repair companies like Sun Toyota Collision Center then volunteer their time and skills and, with donations of parts, materials from suppliers and automobile manufacturers, refurbish and donate the vehicle to nonprofits, veterans, individuals and families in need.
GEICO first identified the 2015 Dodge Journey when it came into its possession as a stolen recovery. It contacted the NABC’s Recycled Rides™ program to donate the vehicle for good work within the community.
GEICO contacted George Mantzaris, the manager of Sun Toyota’s Collision Center and NABC member to thoroughly check the car, refurbish the vehicle to like-new condition, and facilitate the donation locally. Sun Toyota is a Morgan Auto Group dealership. Its service department found the Dodge Journey to be in excellent condition. Following the service work, the car was polished and readied for donation.
The completion of the vehicle donation will occur, as follows:
Holiday, FL 34691
Thursday, Sep. 27, 2018
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Please arrive no later than 1:30 p.m. to set up.
ABOUT OUR ORGANIZATIONS
About Starting Right, Now: Starting Right, Now meets the needs of a growing population of homeless, unaccompanied youth as the result of abuse, neglect, or parental incarceration. It intervenes with a uniquely holistic approach and has created a comprehensive curriculum to embrace, empower and educate its youth. In addition to housing stability, food, academic support, and life-skill classes, each student is paired with a mentor who becomes their advocate, guiding them with emotional support. Each student has access to health insurance, food stamps, banking (financial literacy) and a network of support. Starting Right, Now intercedes at a critical juncture, breaking the generational cycle of poverty. Unlike other organizations, it provides a deep, holistic and personal approach to end homelessness, one child at a time. It is not a hand-out or bandage. It cures homelessness, replaces life and experience lessons normally learned in the home and family environment, and is already achieving remarkable results. For more information, visit http://startingrightnow.org.
About GEICO: GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) is a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies and is the second-largest private passenger auto insurance company in the United States. GEICO, which was founded in 1936, provides millions of car insurance quotes to U.S. drivers annually. The company is pleased to serve more than 16 million private passenger customers, insuring more than 27 million vehicles (auto & cycle). GEICO policyholders can make policy changes, report claims, print insurance ID cards, and purchase additional products by logging into their car insurance policy. Policyholders can also connect to GEICO through GEICO Mobile, reach a representative over the phone or visit a GEICO local agent. GEICO also provides insurance quotes on motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), boats, travel trailers and motorhomes (RVs). Coverage for life, homes, apartments, and identity theft is written by non-affiliated insurance companies and is secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency, Inc. Commercial auto insurance and personal umbrella protection are also available. For more information, go to www.geico.com.
About National Auto Body Council: The National Auto Body Council is the premier organization of collision industry partners dedicated to strategic networking opportunities that positively change lives in the communities it serves. The collaborative membership of the National Auto Body Council has gifted over 1,800 vehicles, provided extrication opportunities for over 1,000 first responders and contributed to thousands of distracted driving pledges in communities through NABC Recycled Rides™ program, First Responder Emergency Extrication (F.R.E.E.™) program, and the Distracted Driving Initiative. That effort equates to a 4:1 ROI in dollar value delivered from NABC membership dollars. The National Auto Body Council is changing the paradigm of how the collision industry works and is viewed. For more information, visit www.NationalAutoBodyCouncil.org.
About NABC Recycled Rides™: NABC Recycled Rides™ is a unique program in which businesses representing all facets of the collision repair industry team up to repair and donate vehicles to individuals, families and nonprofits in need of reliable transportation. Since the inception of the Recycled Rides™ program in 2007, members of the National Auto Body Council have donated over 1,800 vehicles valued at more than $24 million.
About Sun Toyota: Morgan Auto Group acquired Sun Toyota in February 2016. Managing Partner John Marazzi oversees two Morgan Auto Group dealerships—Sun Toyota and Brandon Honda. The hallmark of a Morgan Auto Group dealership is its keen focus on impeccable customer service. Sun Toyota is located at 3001 US Highway 19 just south of SR 54 in Holiday, FL 34691. For more information, call 727-310-3070 or visit http://www.suntoyota.com/. Visit Sun Toyota’s onsite cafe offering fresh, gourmet food for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks daily for customer and employee enjoyment and convenience.