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Letter to the Editor
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Tuesday April 18

Without Your Help There Can Be No Relief: An Open Letter from Chuck Sulkala, Executive Director of NABC

Collision Industry Relief’s call to action continues on behalf of our industry peers devastated by natural disasters. When all is said and done it will be written that the collision repair industry worked long and hard to help its own, but an unfortunate fact remains: our efforts to provide tool replacement and household basics for those in need are falling woefully short.

In seven months our industry has raised almost $175,000 from over 100 contributors, but as more and more individuals find out about the collision industry relief effort, requests for assistance grow. Last month Michael Quinn, chairman for relief efforts, stated that Collision Industry Relief has been required to spend over $10,000 per week just to cover such basics as the tools these professionals need to get back to work, perform their jobs and provide for themselves and their families.

This is a desperate situation, and has a very real effect on the Collision Repair Industry. In a market where qualified personnel are scarce enough, do we really want to risk losing more of our people to another industry because they have run out of options, and us out of funding? And what happens if, as the National Hurricane Center has proposed, hurricanes begin to extend their reach up the Eastern Seaboard, as far north as Boston? The importance of this matter transcends the moment.

As of the time of this writing, we have less than $25,000 left for relief. Money will run out soon, probably by the end of April. Some have stepped up to the plate from the beginning, and I respect others that have chosen to support general relief efforts through the Salvation Army or Red Cross. The fact remains, however, our effort is the only one completely focused on the Collision Repair Industry.

One other note: with a few exceptions, corporate involvement has been noticeably absent. Understand that if you are in a large organization that takes a little more time to move forward, a golf outing or special project fund-raiser can help even if the money does not come in until later. Whether our people are facing down Katrina, Rita or Wilma; a flood in Reno; or a fire in Texas, our goal is long-term assistance.

On behalf of an industry still in desperate need, I thank you.

Sincerely,
Chuck Sulkala
Executive Director, National Auto Body Council

For information on how to donate using a credit card, please visit the website at www.collisionindustryrelief.org or send checks to Collision Industry Foundation Relief Effort, PO Box 3007, Mechanicsville, VA 23116. Questions can be answered at 888-66-PRIDE. As an IRS recognized 501c3 organization, donations to the Collision Industry Foundation are tax-deductible.

©2006 Collision Repair Industry INSIGHT
All Rights Reserved

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