Driving Great Futures: Bridgestone Delivers Vans to 10 Boys & Girls Clubs
Getting to school, work, the grocery store—we rely on transportation every day. Without it, life is a lot harder.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) knows this firsthand. Some Clubs aren’t able to take field trips or college tours. At other Clubs, kids have to walk through unsafe neighborhoods to get to Club activities and back home—all because their Club doesn’t have the transportation it desperately needs.
By year-end, Bridgestone Retail Operations (BSRO) will have changed that for 80 Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
- 70 Clubs will each receive a $7,500 grant to help maintain and repair their existing fleets of vehicles, hire licensed bus drivers, and more.
- 10 Clubs each received a $35,000 grant to purchase a new passenger van, equipped with Bridgestone DriveGuard tires.
BSRO, a subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas, has been a National Corporate Partner of Boys & Girls Clubs of America since 2015.
To date, BSRO has raised more than $5 million through the generous contributions of customers and employees across a network of more than 2,200 tire and automotive service centers nationwide, including Firestone Complete Auto Care.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Sacramento was one of 10 deserving Clubs to receive a new passenger van, equipped with Bridgestone DriveGuard tires.
“Transportation is a huge challenge for most Boys & Girls Clubs across the country,” said Kimberly Key, chief executive officer, Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Sacramento (BGCSAC). “Our own organization serves 6,000 youth in Sacramento, and yet we have just two vans and they are often run down and in need of repairs.”
Firestone Complete Auto Care store employees in Sacramento recently collaborated with Kimberly to deliver a Bridgestone Driving Great Futures van to the Teichert Branch, which is the flagship location of BGCSAC. The van was topped with a big red bow and escorted ceremoniously by local law enforcement to an ecstatic group of kids waiting outside.
Watch the moment below:
Patrick Ogeerally, the local Firestone Complete Auto Care store manager, personally delivered the new van to the Club, and took a few kids out for a spin in their new 2018 Toyota Sienna LE.
“I attended a Club in Alameda in the mid-1980s,” said Ogeerally. “It had a huge impact on my life. Being able to deliver the van and improve the local kids’ Club experience is like coming full circle for me.”
“Knowing that we won’t have to stop on the side of the road with a van full of kids to fix a flat tire gives me peace of mind. The Bridgestone DriveGuard tires were a really nice touch,” added Jesus Magana, Club director, BGCSAC.
After the initial oohs and aahs, excited Boys & Girls Clubs kids chimed in.
“The vans we had would break down a lot and the heat wouldn’t work in the winter. But now, I’m pretty sure the heat will come on,” joked 13-year-old Dariyon.
In addition to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sacramento, California, Boys & Girls Clubs in the following cities also received a $35,000 grant to purchase a new van: Green Bay, Wisconsin; Salt Lake City, Utah; Nashville, Tennessee; Kansas City, Missouri; DeLand, Florida; Holyoke, Massachusetts; Myrtle Beach, S. Carolina; Garden Grove, California; and Tacoma, Washington.
Boys & Girls Clubs provide high-impact programming during critical out-of-school hours with a focus on academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. The partnership between BGCA and BSRO is one of many ways that Bridgestone fulfills its global commitment to corporate social responsibility, through Our Way to Serve, particularly to enhance the way young people move, live, learn, and play.