The Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) is asking for the industry’s support to help it win funds for an ongoing charity campaign.
LKQ’s Holiday Cares Campaign, which runs through Dec. 8, is calling on the public to vote for one of 10 select nonprofits, including CREF, which has some tough competition.
Other organizations include the American Cancer Society, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, UNICEF, The Ocean Cleanup, and BEN Support for Life. The Environmental Defense Fund and the United Nations World Food Programme are participating in the campaign as well.
SkillsUSA, a career competition that brings some of the most highly skilled career and technical education students in high school and college from all across the U.S. to compete, rounds out the list.
Each of the 10 nonprofits will receive $50,000 for participating in the campaign and a share of another $500,000 is up for grabs through the voting process. The organization with the largest share of votes receives the largest portion of the prize.
Brandon Eckenrode, CREF’s executive director, said a vote for his organization would be a show of support for the organization’s initiatives that support schools, students, and instructors.
“It’s only through this funding that CREF can help ensure that technical school programs have the resources (tools, equipment, supplies, etc.) needed to provide a quality technical education for their students and prepare these students for entry-level industry employment,” Eckenrode said. “There are some incredible charities/organizations that are participating in this LKQ Holiday Cares campaign and I would greatly appreciate any industry member [who considers] voting for CREF.”
Eckenrode added that during CREF’s Benchmark Grant Breakfast at SEMA, the nonprofit announced nearly $670,000 in school grants. During the same event, a Houston-based collision school instructor shared that he has 150 students in his program this year and their total program budget for the year is $3,000.
“He highlighted that CREF’s support is a lifeline for their collision program,” Eckenrode said. “Other collision school programs around the country have underfunded program budgets and through the funds that CREF would receive through this fundraiser and the support we currently receive through our industry partners, helps ensure these schools have the funding and resources they need to teach their students.”
Those wishing to vote can do so once per day online.
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