SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) is redoubling efforts for donations as the full impact of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria comes to light and more natural disasters loom.
“Applications for help have increased 78 percent in the wake of recent natural disasters,” AACF President Bob Hirsch said, noting his group continues to work with the Specialty Equipment Market Association, Auto Care Association, Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association and others to reach aftermarket families in need.
Early estimates indicate there may be hundreds of families that need help, Mr. Hirsch said, noting that this season has produced five major hurricanes and 15 named storms, with one more, Ophelia, threatening to reach hurricane strength.
“Parts of Texas, Louisiana, and Florida as well as the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico have suffered catastrophic damage.”
The AACF — a charity that focuses only on persons and their families employed in the automotive aftermarket — allocated $250,000 from its reserve funds in mid-September to address the needs of families in storm-affected areas in addition to donations received.
At that time, the AACF said it was working with SEMA, the ACA and others to identify aftermarket families in urgent need.
“Thanks to the generous response of our industry, we've raised a significant amount toward our goal, and we're so thankful for that,” said Joel Ayres, AACF executive director, “but we continue to ask for industry support.
“Many have lost homes, businesses, vehicles, belongings, and in some cases, loved ones including family pets. Now more than ever, every donation counts and is truly making a difference.”
Tax-deductible donations to the AACF can be made online at http://bit.ly/AACF-Cares, by mail at P.O. Box 864520, Orlando, Fla. 32886, or by calling 772-286-5500.
The foundation noted that many organizations have contributed since the first appeal went out in September, including including SEMA, the ACA, the Motor Equipment Market Association; XL Parts; National Pronto/Automotive Parts Services Group; CAWA; Mighty Auto Parts; Custom Automotive Network; Engine Performance Warehouse; The Shop; Standard Motor Products; Race Winning Brands; Gold Eagle; NAPA; Donald Schlenger; and Robert & Lillian Spar Family Trust.