For more than 130 years, United Way has been the unifying force that goes beyond single issue solutions and temporary fixes to create lasting change in communities around the country and the world. Genuine Parts Company (GPC), a United Way Atlanta partner for well over 50 years, has been working with that organization to make a difference in the lives of individuals and families across Greater Atlanta’s 13 counties and beyond.
In 2020, the GPC United Way campaign “Time for a Fresh Start” is helping support Ride United, a transportation access initiative that is addressing unmet transportation needs of individuals and families. Following a 2018 pilot program with Lyft to schedule and dispatch free rides for those without other transportation options, GPC’s Time for a Fresh Start campaign focuses on providing assistance with automotive repairs.
Here’s how NAPA is helping. During October, the Fresh Start campaign offered NAPA AUTO PARTS stores and customers an opportunity to make a difference. For all direct ship battery orders made from October 11-6 by independently owned NAPA stores, NAPA donated $.50 for every battery purchased. In addition, throughout the month, NAPA customers were invited to donate$1 or more at checkout or at NAPA online to support the Fresh Start program. The United Way receives 100% of all donations.
NAPA drivers also showed their support for the United Way Fresh Start campaign. For example, Ron Capps’ Dodge Funny Car sported a new United Way graphic beside the NAPA logo on his car the first weekend of October.
Why Our Help is Needed
Last year, thousands of people across North America turn to United Way and 211 for support and information related to auto repair. As a matter of fact, nearly 13,000 requests for assistance were made by callers to 211 in 2019.
Unfortunately, the number of requests 211 could fulfill remains extremely low, making auto repair assistance one of the largest areas of unmet need for 211 around the country. On average, across all states, more than 50% of requests at 211 for auto repair assistance go unmet. In some communities, those percentages are much higher.
For example, the state of Connecticut reported 87% of all requests for assistance cannot be fulfilled because there are no solutions that currently exist in the market. In other places with large rural areas like Des Moines, 211 reports being unable to meet a client’s request for auto repair assistance 98% of the time.
Throughout the United States, a lack of reliable, safe, convenient transportation hinders the ability of hundreds of thousands of people to get to good jobs, access healthcare, seek healthy food, apply for public benefits, and more.
That’s why the United Way is especially grateful for the opportunity to work with GPC to pilot a solution to this problem. Addressing the lack of access to auto repair will go a long way in reducing transportation gaps and provide a sustainable solution for those in need.
More than 90 years ago, the National Automotive Parts Association ("NAPA") was created to meet America’s growing need for an effective auto parts distribution system. Today, 91% of do-it-yourself customers recognize the NAPA brand name. We have over 6,000 NAPA Auto Parts Stores nationwide serving all 50 states with a unique inventory control system that helps you find the exact part that you need.