We often think of a term such as “social responsibility” in highfalutin ways, associating it with grand mission statements about corporate ethics, community involvement, and safeguarding the environment.
But a bunch of Virginia auto shops led by Quality Auto Paint and Body gave us a lesson in what it really means: After learning that the car of area college student Jordan Allison had been vandalized repeatedly, including the “keying” of anti-gay slurs on its side, these businesses worked together to give the vehicle a major facelift and upgrade.
Eric Pfeiffer, reporting for Yahoo! News (here), recounts how Quality Auto Paint and Body shop manager Richard Henegar, Jr., took the lead and enlisted others on Allison’s behalf:
Henegar says his shop and 10 other businesses (Parts Unlimited in Vinton, Advance Auto Parts, Moon’s Auto Body, Rice Toyota, Val’s Automotive, The Rod Shop, B&C Exterminating, Twists & Turns, AJ’s Landscaping, and Sunnybrook Auto Spa) went to work on Addison’s car, giving it a new paint job, tires, tinted windows, a new stereo and security system. He estimates the total value of the new parts to be over $10,000.
There’s a nice video news clip that accompanies the article, including the showing of the “new” car to Allison at the auto shop. Henegar, rather than trying to grab credit, actually is apologetic in explaining that his shop couldn’t afford to make all the repairs on its own.
Yup, I plead guilty. Had you asked me what types of businesses are likely to take a stand against bullying and homophobia, auto shops never would’ve made my list.
Here’s to all the workers and businesses who stood up to bullying and supported a young man who had been mistreated. I’m sure that Jordan Allison will remember this kindness for the rest of his life.