Washburn Tech donates ‘Recycled Rides’ to local families

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TOPEKA (KSNT) – The Washburn Institute of Technology donated two newly restored vehicles Thursday morning in the Auto Collision Department.

“It takes a big team, it takes lots of help, creativity, and elbow grease, so to each and everyone who participated, if it wasn’t for you we couldn’t do this.” Eric Showalter, Washburn Institute of Technology Instructor.

Vehicles for the Recycled Rides Program are donated by local residents and Washburn Institute of Technology restores them to nearly new condition through the auto collision and auto service technology departments.

The program is organized and coordinated by Eric Showalter, the auto body collision Instructor at Washburn Tech.

This year’s recipients for the Recycled Rides Program are Melissa Perez- Vargus of Topeka and an anonymous recipient from Lawrence, Kansas.

“Recycled Rides” is a program sponsored by the National Autobody Council and has given away 2,750 vehicles valued at $38 million since its inception in 2007. Washburn Institute of Technology has donated 32 refurbished vehicles since 2010.

 Washburn Tech students in auto collision and auto service technology work with licensed technicians to refurbish cars for families and organizations in need. Local businesses and individuals also donate parts and supplies to get the vehicles on the road again.

Those speaking at the presentation include,

  • Dr. Jerry Farley, President of Washburn University
  • Bill Garant, President of NABC
  • Brett Martin, United Way of Topeka
  • Eric Showalter, Instructor Washburn Institute of Technology
  • Mike Strohschein, Associate Dean Washburn Institute of Technology

To qualify for a vehicle, recipients must,

  • Have a valid driver’s license
  • Have proof of income/employment or a verifiable job offer
  • Must be insurable with no DWIs or DUIs on your driving record
  • Must not have any other vehicle in the household in working order that belongs to you
  • Must be drug-free and no extensive criminal background
  • Must be able to pay for taxes, license and fees before receiving the vehicle

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