Automotive Group pledges $25,000 a month, challenges others to help with hunger relief
Drawing from his Quaker roots, Fred Beans has instilled in his family business the philosophy of “doing well by doing good.” At 81, he finds new inspiration in those words to continue his commitment to “doing good” despite the uncertain timeline for “business as usual” in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. On #GivingTuesdayNow, the Fred Beans Automotive Group launched a 500,000 Meals Challenge. The company will donate $25,000 a month through the end of the year, divided among organizations that fight hunger. Locally, the effort will benefit the Salvation Army of Boyertown.
“We certainly are navigating our own obstacles, as is just about every business, but we can’t wait to get fully back to normal before getting in this fight against hunger,” said Beans. “The need is way too great to wait. I know from my more than 45 years in business that nothing bad ever comes from doing right. I’m confident our business will be ok; we need to make sure our neighbors are ok first.”
The monthly donations from Beans will come from a portion of service and CARSTAR collision bills, online car sales and sales in showrooms upon their reopening. These monthly donations will collectively fund an estimated 400,000 meals through December for individuals in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey communities where Fred Beans does business.
Locally, Fred Beans operates Fred Beans Ford of Boyertown, which also offers automotive services, and a CARSTAR collision center. It also has an AutoRent car rental site. All donation dollars from those operations will directly benefit the Salvation Army of Boyertown, which has seen about a 40 percent increase in lunches served and about a 10 percent increase in food pantry distributions since the pandemic has begun taking an economic toll on the area.
“The Salvation Army of Boyertown’s mission is to meet the physical needs of our community through daily meals and a weekly food pantry, and to provide hope in this time of need,” said Lt. Joseph S. Smith, corps officer and pastor for Salvation Army of Boyertown.
The “Challenge” in the Fred Beans 500,000 Meals Challenge is to Fred Beans’ vendors, customers and employees, who have the financial ability, to provide an additional 100,000 meals by the end of the year. Their donations will help Beans meet – and hopefully surpass – that 500,000-meal goal, helping operations like the Salvation Army keep up with increases in demand.
To join the “Challenge” and donate to help fight hunger, visit https://www.fredbeans.com/half-million-meals-challenge/.
Customers can also make their own contributions by rounding up at the registers of Beans dealerships, CARSTAR collision centers, CarQuest locations and AutoRent sites. Donors can choose to make a contribution to one or more of the organizations benefitting from the Fred Beans 500,000 Meals Challenge. The full list of benefitting organizations includes the Bucks County Opportunity Council, the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, the Flemington Area Food Pantry, the Salvation Army of Boyertown and the Salvation Army of West Chester.
The Fred Beans Automotive Group, headquartered in Doylestown, Pa., encompasses 20 dealerships, 18 brands, six franchised CARSTAR collision centers, two AutoExpress locations, four AutoRent locations, commercial truck sales, and the largest dealer-owned parts operation in the country. The company is family-owned and -operated with Fred Beans at the helm for 45 years. He works alongside his three daughters, Beth, Barbara and Jennifer, who take on various management roles. Beth Beans Gilbert works most closely with her father as Vice President, and she also oversees the Fred Beans Charitable Trust, which was established in 2000 to help prioritize the company’s efforts to give back.
“The current health crisis has disrupted the workforce and the lives of so many people who are now finding themselves food insecure,” said Gilbert. “With more than 26 million Americans out of work, the organizations we are supporting are helping more and more people in this difficult time. We can make a difference to meet the growing need. If we challenge others who are in a position to join our effort, we can do even better together.”
Gilbert emphasized that all Beans customers can contribute to the 500,000 Meals Challenge by having their vehicle serviced or repaired by Beans, as a portion of the bill will go toward the fundraising effort. All car sales, online and in showrooms once reopened, also will result in funds donated to one of the recipient organizations selected by Beans.