Members of the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ) have stepped up to donate much-needed supplies to health, safety and rescue personnel.
While cleaning his shop during this downtime, Ted Rainer of Ocean Bay Auto Body in Point Pleasant discovered he still had several boxes of N95 respirators that he had purchased through a wholesaler. He immediately donated them to the Point Pleasant Police, Rotary Club and Fire and First Aid Departments. He also included Tyvek suits, gloves and booty covers. The Point Pleasant Police Department later thanked Rainer for his help and generosity on its official Facebook page.
“I’ve been in business here for 48 years, and Point Pleasant has been really good to me all the way around,” Rainer says. “Now, it’s time to give back. In times like these, you always ask yourself, ‘What can I do?’ That’s how we all built our businesses; we all ask customers, ‘How can I help you?’ That’s what we all do.”
Anthony Trama, owner of Bloomfield Auto Body in Bloomfield, donated safety glasses, masks and Tyvek suits that he had in his shop’s backup inventory.
“I had extras, so I figured I’d just give them out if they could help people out at this time,” Trama says.
AASP/NJ Allied Board member Mike Kaufmann (Advantage Dealer Services) picked up these items from Trama’s facility and delivered them to Chilton Medical Center in Pompton Plains. Kaufmann has volunteered to pick up supplies from other shops and deliver them to area hospitals. He encourages repairers to contact him at (973) 332-7014.
“I wish I could do 20 [deliveries] a day. Everybody has to just work together, and we’ll all get through it.”
Karyn Breidt, general manager of Auto Body Distributing Co., is another AASP/NJ community member responding to calls for assistance. The industry co-op has donated much-needed masks and gloves to Hackensack University Medical Center, the Bergenfield Police Department and area First Aid Departments.
“How do we not help these people who are around this? We’re helping out however we can and doing our part.”
Auto Body Distributing Co. CEO and AASP/NJ Treasurer Tom Elder add that the operation is also taking special precautions to protect the auto body industry it serves.
“Everybody in the warehouse is wearing protective equipment, and everything that comes into our warehouse is wiped down. We want to be there for our members, so we’re taking this seriously.”
Members of AASP/NJ and the New Jersey automotive community are encouraged to contact health organizations in their area if they are able to donate items. They can also contact Jenny Collins of Atlantic Health System at (973) 971-7106 or Jenny.Collins@atlantichealth.org or AASP/NJ Executive Director Charles Bryant at (732) 922-8909 for more information.