The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) has launched phase two of urgent response to aftermarket families affected by hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria, deadly wildfires, and looming tropical storm Ophelia.
This season has already produced five major hurricanes, including three catastrophic Category 5 storms, and 15 named storms, the AACF notes. According to the Miami Herald, Ophelia could become the 10th consecutive storm to reach hurricane strength.
“Applications for help have increased 78% in the wake of recent natural disasters,” says AACF President Bob Hirsch. “We continue working with the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), the Auto Care Association, the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) and others to reach aftermarket families in need, and early estimates indicate there may be hundreds of families that need our help. Parts of Texas, Louisiana and Florida as well as the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico have suffered catastrophic damage.”
“You saved me in more ways than you could ever imagine,” wrote one Texas family following hurricane Harvey. “(After) 35 years of being a mechanic, your foundation was the only one that helped my family. I am forever grateful for all your help.”
“I can't explain how grateful we are for your quick response to our situation,” another hurricane Harvey victim wrote. “You really have no idea how much this means to us.”
“Thanks to the generous response of our industry we've raised a significant amount toward our goal, and we’re so thankful for that,” says Joel Ayres, executive director of AACF. “But, we continue to ask for industry support. Many have lost homes, businesses, vehicles, belongings, and in some cases, loved ones including family pets. Now more than ever, every donation counts and is truly making a difference.”
Those in need are asked to complete the new simple application on the AACF website.
Many organizations have already contributed generously including SEMA, Auto Care Association, MEMA, XL Parts, National Pronto/Automotive Parts Services Group (The Group), CAWA, Mighty Auto Parts, Custom Automotive Network (formerly PWA), Engine Performance Warehouse, The Shop, Standard Motor Products, Race Winning Brands (RWB), Gold Eagle, NAPA, Donald Schlenger, Robert & Lillian Spar Family Trust and many more.
“On behalf of our team, our thoughts and prayers are with all those who continue to suffer,” says Ayres.
AACF will provide additional updates on this initiative as they become available.