ANDERSON, IN- Thanks to the efforts of Riley and Sons Collision Center and other area businesses, Shannon Ritenour, a single mother and employee of Hopewell Center received a new/used 1997 Chevrolet Lumina. The car is part of a National Benevolence Program sponsored by Acoat Select. She will also receive insurance, fuel, car maintenance, safety seats, and Christmas presents as a part of the yearly give away.
Each year, Riley and Sons, Inc. spearheads the program by securing a car that needs rebuilt or refurbished. The employees of Riley and Sons “elves” go straight to work repairing the body, paint, and mechanical items to ensure the car is road ready. The work doesn’t end there, and many other merchants assist Riley’s in pulling everything together. They provide items such as children’s safety seats, fuel, a year’s worth of oil changes and insurance, and gifts for the kids and much more.
Tim Riley, owner of Riley and Sons, Inc. believes the program is more than just an important part of their business profile. “We have been serving this community for 50 years and I am very grateful to be a part of the Acoat Benevolence Program. This program would not be possible without the generous giving of our sponsors. Many of our sponsors have been contributing since we began this program six years ago. I would like to personally thank them for their commitment to this community.”
While the program is part of a larger national benevolence program, Riley and Sons, Inc. has taken the lead in developing the local event. Area merchants supply merchandise and services so that the recipients have nothing to worry about for a year. In 2006, Anderson Assoc. of Insurance & Financial Advisors, Auto Glass of Indiana, Applewood Payless, Carquest of Anderson, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Meijers, Perfect Finish, The Employees of Riley & Sons, The Roger Roudebush Agency, and The Wendy Gooding Agency were all program sponsors. Each year, area community service organizations are asked to nominate deserving single mothers. Nominees must be employed and have a valid driver’s license. Shannon Ritenour was nominated by the Hopewell Center where she trains and advocates members of the developmentally disabled workshop.
Shannon lost her car as a result of an accident and has been without transportation for over a year. Despite the daily challenge of getting her daughter to the sitter and then to work, Shannon never missed a day or used her misfortune as an excuse. In a recommendation letter, Shannon’s supervisor, Reina Shelton, said that Shannon, “has consistently come to work and has not wavered in her dedication to the people she serves.” Shannon even managed to greet her clients and coworkers with a smile and an understanding ear.
Dave Driggers, co-owner of Riley and Sons, Inc. felt that Shannon was a perfect match for the program. “Shannon embodies the hard work and commitment upon which The Benevolence Program was founded on. I was amazed that she had been able to keep working without having adequate transportation. Anytime we can support the efforts of someone who is attempting to move forward with their lives, we want to be there. The Benevolence Program is just one way that we are able to contribute to the well being of our community, and we are working to expand the program.”
For more information about the program and how you can participate, please contact Laura Beth Blevins, Benevolence Program Coordinator, at 765/649-4902.