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Partnering with vendors to make a difference
Senior Claims Director Debra Dent knew she worked with generous people. That generosity shone through when she coordinated efforts with her work team in our St. Louis, Mo. office—and some of our body shop and parts vendors—to help two of the United Way’s “Neediest Cases” last winter. These are individuals or families who lack the basics we take for granted, like keeping the lights on or putting food on the table.
One case involved a woman raising four daughters, including a 22 year old with profound mental and physical disabilities. The woman worked part time until she broke her leg. Despite hardships, all she requested was a washing machine.
The team bought the washing machine, but didn’t stop there. When Debra learned from United Way directors that the family van had been unusable for a year and a half, it was all hands on deck. Mid America Collision diagnosed what was needed to fix it (including a broken handicap lift). NAPA Auto Parts donated required parts, A1 Towing transported the vehicle between locations, and Northwest Auto Body repaired the van and donated a new tire so it would pass the safety inspection.
“Our partners called on their partners and worked together to donate equipment, time and resources at a cost of more than $2,000,” says Debra. “It was an amazing effort and we had other partners who would have helped, if needed.”
The work team also collected enough money to pay $400 to get the family’s heat turned back on, give them a $300 gift card to buy insurance and gas, and provide personal care items, cleaning supplies, winter coats, shoes, toys and the family’s first-ever Christmas tree (complete with decorations).
It was a real team effort.
Debra and two coworkers display all the gifts going to the families.