Washburn Tech’s Recycled Rides program is providing a lift to more local families in need. A ride-away ceremony, gifting two refurbished vehicles to those without reliable transportation, will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 1, in front of Morgan Hall on the Washburn University campus at 1700 SW College Ave. A donation from long-time supporter State Farm Insurance also will be presented.
“This program mirrors our objective at Washburn Tech and that is to change lives,” said Clark Coco, dean, Washburn University Institute of Technology (Washburn Tech). “Students, instructors and mentors spend countless hours working on these vehicles. And, they utilize the generous donations of local business partners and individuals to get these automobiles running again. It is a game-changer for those receiving the vehicles. It is a valuable, hands-on experience for those who fix the vehicles.”
Recycled Rides partners auto service and auto collision students with instructors and professional mentors in the community to refurbish vehicles, which are awarded to individuals and families in need. Local businesses and individuals also donate parts and supplies to get the vehicles on the road again. Lewis Collision Center, of Topeka, is t-shirt sponsor this spring.
In May, recipients will ride-away in a 2011 Hyundai Sonata, donated by State Farm Insurance, and a 2003 Ford Windstar donated by the Bearman family. Alan Bearman is dean of the Washburn University Libraries and Center for Student Success while his wife, Shelley, serves as Washburn University Sexual Assault Education and Prevention Program project coordinator. In addition to the vehicle, each recipient receives a bag of car-care products and the promise of a first oil change and check-up.
“State Farm is proud to be continuing our support of Washburn Tech’s Recycled Rides program for the sixth consecutive year, with a $15,000 grant in 2018,” said Kevin Gamble, public affairs specialist, State Farm Insurance. “This program represents the best type of community building by bringing together community resources and excellent job training to help people in the community realize their dreams.”
Washburn Tech was the first college in the nation to participate in the National Auto Body Council’s Recycled Rides program. This marks the 23rd and 24th vehicles gifted by Washburn Tech’s program.