Body Shop Gives Back

Eric J Kos    A Coast Guard family could barely speak in the face of the huge generosity shown as Alameda’s Mike’s Auto Body unveiled their newly refurbished Honda.

Community effort helps servicepeople

Mike’s Auto Body of Alameda helped celebrate the 99th anniversary of the Coast Guard Chiefs by presenting a “new” used car to a deserving Coast Guard family as part of the shop’s Benevolence Program on Coast Guard Island on May 17. 

Each year the collision repair industry comes across cars that are “written off” by either the owner or the insurance company. Often times these older vehicles just need some mechanical and body work to get them back on the road and perfectly safe to drive. Rather than let these cars go to waste Mike’s Auto Body restores them for people who really need them.

Mike’s Auto Body’s Benevolence Program, a community relations effort, generates good will at the local level while improving and promoting the image of the collision repair industry. The program’s mission is to present refurbished used cars to deserving individuals or organizations. The shop calls it “A Gift of Charity Wrapped in Dignity.”

Including the donation last Friday, over the last 19 years, Mike’s has presented a total of 81 cars to deserving families and non-profit organizations.

“It has been so rewarding over the years presenting the cars to deserving individuals and organizations who are working to improve their skills and become independent,” said owner Mike Rose. “Everything is donated, the cars, parts, paint, mechanical inspections, tires and one year of insurance. The body and paint technicians donate their time and talents as well.”

Liberty Mutual-Safeco Insurance donated the written-off vehicle that was presented to the deserving Stewart family who recently relocated to Alameda from West Virginia.

“We feel very fortunate to be involved with such a wonderful program and are very excited to be able to give back to the communities that have supported us for the past 47 years,” said Rose. “After receiving hundreds of applications over the years and reading the heartbreaking stores, we only wish that we could do more.”

Employees from Mike’s unveilled the car at a ceremony featuring Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft, President of Alameda Chamber of Commerce Michael McDonough and Chief Petty Officer Association President Rick Paauwe. The car’s trunk was filled with toys for the Stewarts’ two children. Enterprise Rental Car also presented $250 in gift cards to the family.

Mike’s Auto Body operates 16 locations throughout the Bay Area, including the one at 2050 Clement Ave. in Alameda. For more about  Mike’s visit www.mikesautobody.com.

The Coast Guard first designated the rank of Chief on May 18, 1920, exactly 99 years and one day prior to the ceremony.