WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — TBC Corp.'s Midas International franchise brand is launching a national philanthropic initiative, dubbed "Project Spark, to help families, veterans and first responders get back on the road.
Through Project Spark, Midas franchisees will provide repairs, including parts and labor, for vehicles donated through 1-800-Charity Cars, TBC said. This nationwide initiative will help more than 1,000 people in Midas communities across the country.
"Project Spark was created to honor Midas' heritage of being a good neighbor and to always be a touch better," Brian LePorin, vice president of marketing at Midas, said.
"By providing necessary repairs such as a set of new tires, an inspection or an oil change on donated vehicles, Project Spark lets Midas help others by doing what it does best: fix cars."
The initiative launched this week at a franchised Midas location in East Norriton, Pa., owned by Brian Beers.
"I am honored to represent locally owned and operated Midas owners for the launch of Project Spark," Mr. Beers said. "Repairing these vehicles and handing over the keys to those in need gave me and my team a tremendous sense of pride and hope for this initiative and the impact it may have on the lives of the recipients."
Transportation can be a significant barrier to gaining and maintaining employment, Midas said, noting that more than 10 million American households do not have a car and 45 percent lack access to public transit.
"In the end, we believe this program can be the key to removing barriers and getting folks back on the road," Mr. LePorin said.
Established in 1996, Charity Cars Inc. is a 501(C) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing donated vehicles to assist struggling families in their transition from dependency to self-sufficiency.
Midas highlighted three cases already helped by Mr. Beers at his shops in the Philadelphia area.
Jasmine W. — a single mother who works two jobs to support her four young children. Up to now she spent four to five hours daily riding buses to her jobs and other errands. She received a 2011 Ford Escape along with new car/booster seats.
Dorsey S. — a father of two active teenagers who became homeless after losing his job a few years ago. To make matters worse, the family car broke down and was too costly to repair, leaving the family dependent on friends, family and public transportation. Dorsey since has found a new job and the family stuck together. He's now driving a 2008 Buick Lucerne with plenty of trunk space for his kids' sports equipment.
Tim S. — a Marine Corps veteran whose brother was killed in the line of duty as a state trooper. For the past 14 years, Tim has dedicated his time to bringing awareness and raising funds for families of fallen officers. Tim and his family recently lost everything in a house fire and are trying to get back on their feet. Tim received a repaired 2007 Honda Accord along with new car seats.
Midas said it anticipates franchisees in Detroit, Minneapolis and Greenwich, Conn., will take up the Project Spark calling throughout 2019. There are more than 1,200 franchised and company-owned Midas shops in the U.S. and Canada.
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