WU Tech to give away two cars for charity

Washburn Tech students in the collision repair field have been doing a good deed the past two weekends. Repairathon weekends occurred over the past two Friday nights and Saturday mornings.

During these times, students, instructors and industry volunteers repaired cars to be given to those in need as a part of the Washburn Tech & National Auto Body Council Recycled Rides program, the first program of its kind in the nation to be hosted by an educational institution.

Starting at 5:30 p.m. Friday nights and resuming at 7:00 a.m. Saturday, the Repairathon allows auto service and auto collision repair students to put the skills they learn at Washburn Tech to the test, while helping those in need. The current cars, which are the sixth and seventh vehicles to be fixed over the course of the Recycled Ride program’s existence, were repaired over the course of the two weekends and will be given to worthy recipients who were brought to the program’s attention by the United Way Community Resource Council.

These refurbished vehicles will be given away on the evening of Nov 25. Previous Recycled Ride recipients include low-income families, victims of natural disasters, individuals with medical needs, families in transitional living shelters and victims of domestic violence.

“I’ve had a very positive experience working in the Recycled Ride program and would definitely recommend it to other students. It’s a great learning experience and is a great thing to do for the community,” said Cody Hale, a first year collision repair student at Washburn Tech.

Fixing up the old vehicles isn’t cheap. Funds and materials for the Recycled Rides program come from individual donors, as well as corporate sponsors, like the Lawrence AutoZone, Noller Automotive Group and College Hill’s own PT’s Coffee. Another sponsor, State Farm Insurance, gave a little extra, according to auto collision repair instructor and Recycled Rides chairman, Eric Showalter.

“When we started Recycled Rides two or three years ago, we had the opportunity to apply for State Farm Insurance’s Good Neighbor Grant, which funds community efforts and projects. We didn’t hear back from them until recently when we received a check for $10,000 from the State Farm Foundation,” said Showalter.