(Portland, Oregon, February 14, 2007) Margaret Mead once said: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." This is true of a group of folks that wanted to make a difference...and it seems they have done just that.
CARSTAR, a local Oregon group of collision repair franchises, recently participated in a "duel gift" project benefiting the local non-profit organization Portland Impact. Portland Impact provides free transportation to the elderly in addition to helping seniors and adults with disabilities to lead active, healthy and independent lives.
The duel project began when CARSTAR, John Yoswick, a freelance writer for Image Output and representatives from The Hartford Insurance Group, decided to provide a vehicle for the students enrolled in the local Portland Community College collision repair program.
The underlying mission of the project was to identify the opportunities that exist between both the insurance and collision industries which support safer repairs with today's complex vehicles. Thus, the need to support the industry's future technicians must become a priority. Portland Community College was identified as one of the leading sources in the Northwest to offer such a program. The college sponsors a unique program that not only teaches the repairs of such vehicles to pre-accident condition, but auctions the repaired vehicles, investing the proceeds in the college's collision repair program. The Hartford Insurance Group donated a damaged vehicle to the college repair program - providing the opportunity for the students to restore the van for future use.
Once the repairs on the van were complete - it was decided that the Portland Impact could benefit from use of the van. "There has been a shortage of small vans to handle the many needed doctor trips for our elderly citizens - this will make it easier for them to get in and out," says Darrel Lloyd - a volunteer driver and Portland Impact Advisory Board member. "It's nice to give back to the community," noted Mark Crisler of The Hartford Insurance Group. "We are proud to be a part of this project."
The group met on February 7 at the Portland Community College, Rock Creek Campus in Southwest Portland to deliver a Toyota Sienna Van to Project Impact. Jeff Smith of Bob Thomas CARSTAR was the first to arrive at the college. After looking at the van, he responded: "The workmanship of the students exceeded my expectations...I was truly impressed!"
Those who participated in the van donation were: Steve White, PCC Collision Repair Instructor, John Yoswick - Image Output , Mark Crisler and Wally Franz - The Hartford Insurance, Dan Findley, Dean of Manufacturing/Transportation Department at Portland Community College, Mamak Tabrizian, Program Director for Portland Impact, Darrel Lloyd - Volunteer Driver and Advisory Board Member for Portland Impact, Jeff Smith - Bob Thomas CARSTAR, Camille Eber - Roth & Miller CARSTAR, Sheryl Mateson, CARSTAR Corporate, Larry Siembab - CARSTAR Corporate and Jacobus CARSTAR - Vancouver, WA. B & R Auto Service, VeriFacts Reinspection Service, City Towing and Lovely Tires also contributed services during the repair process.