“Despite the headlines, there are many great stories of people helping one another. I get to see the good in people every day.” — Joel Ayres, AACF
Sacramento, Calif.—It takes a village. The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) is partnering with industry associations to share information with businesses as it becomes available from federal, state and local levels in response to the coronavirus and economic crisis.
“It’s unprecedented times, and I don’t think anyone really knows where it’s going and where it’s going to end up,” said Joel Ayres, executive director of AACF. “But we’re collaborating with SEMA, Auto Care Association and MEMA, who have departments dedicated to working with the government. We’re actually turning to them more than they’re turning to us.”
AACF provides sustainable solutions for those in great need and is staffed by a team of industry executives who donate their time to the cause. It also depends on assistance from companies and individuals within the industry to provide financial support to fund the foundation.
“We’re in a unique, two-fold situation of people getting sick with covid-19 and the devastating effect it’s having on the economy,” Ayres said, adding that if someone needs help, they can seek assistance by filling out an application.
“For the people we’ve been assisting and caring for longer term for different reasons, we are reaching out and making sure they’re OK and letting them know we’re still here. AACF isn’t going anywhere.”
As the pandemic affects people’s lives, AACF still receives its “regular” applications not related to the coronavirus.
“Those don’t stop. We have several challenges going on,” he said. “My board members are all very concerned with their own businesses and what they and their employees are facing — we’re trying to get through it the best we can while, at the same time, taking care of our applicants coming in and those we have been taking care of.”
Ayres added that it’s important to remember there’s good work being done by many other organizations outside of the aftermarket that also need support right now. For those who don’t qualify for AACF assistance according to its guidelines as a nonprofit 503c, it can assist in seeking aid from other resources.
“There have been all sorts of challenges for the aftermarket over the years, but we’ve always come through stronger. Despite the headlines, there are many great stories of people helping one another, friends and neighbors. I get to see the good in people every day.”
“This is our family and our industry, and we’ll come back thriving.”
YANG partners with AACF for #YANGgive19
Bethesda, Md.—The Young Auto Care Network Group (YANG), a community of the Auto Care Association, is partnering with AACF for a grassroots campaign, the #YANGgive19 Challenge, to raise support for the industry and the charitable foundation during the current covid-19 pandemic.
YANG is encouraging its current members, YANG mentors and the entire auto care industry to donate $19 to AACF, while posting a photo with the hashtag #YANGgive19 on social media outlets (including Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook) in support of the cause and to challenge others to participate.