|SABA partners with Hands On Ministries to help inner city youth|
|News - Collision Repair|
|Friday, 07 September 2012 15:17|
By Mark Kimmich
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan -- September 7, 2012 -- Saskatoon’s collision repair industry is stepping up to help at risk youth. On September 25, Saskatoon’s Mayor Donald J. Atchison, members of the collision repair industry and a whole bunch of kids will help kick-off Hands On Ministries’ latest project, a truly “hands on” program for Saskatoon’s youth.
In association with the Saskatoon Auto Body Association (SABA), Hands On Ministries is implementing a new program that will team local collision repair technicians with area youth to restore vintage cars.
“This all started a little over two years ago,” explains Rick Langlais, Founder and Executive Director of Hands On Ministries. He had approached a local shop owner about bringing some kids down to see the operation. That didn’t happen because of safety concerns, but a new idea was born in the process.
“I was in the process of looking for a new location,” says Langlais, “and I thought about including some area for a shop.”
Fast forward to the present day, and Langlais has the new facility almost complete. With help from SABA, an Alberta car collector and local business, the program now has everything from tools and parts to a car to work on.
“It’s a good program and very worthwhile,” says Doug Bodnar of Caruk and Associates. An industry factory rep and member of the planning committee, Bodnar has the connections to get and keep business involved. “The business community has certainly been 100 per cent behind everything that we are trying to accomplish. Its very rewarding. You aren’t begging. People are offering to support the program.”
The key to the program isn’t the physical donations, however, it’s the mentorship that the kids will receive. There are reasons why Langlais thinks that collision repair technicians and inner-city youth will be a good match.
“They are tough chaps. There is nothing that my kids can say that will shock them,” says Langlais. “Watching them get involved is going to bless everyone in a way that I never ever could have done on my own.”
But Bodnar is a prime example of the way that the mentors will benefit from the program as well.
“Once you get down there and you see the passion that Rick has, you can’t help but get involved and be passionate about it,” explains Bodnar. “Once the techs come down to see what we’ve accomplished already, I think that they’ll be surprised at the gratification they get from helping the kids.”
Bodnar hopes that the program will help to address the skilled trade labour shortage that looms over Saskatchewan, and he sees the industry benefitting from the program. “If we have 20 kids participate for the next six months and one of those kids gets involved in the industry, then it has all been a success.”
Langlais agrees and already has an eye to the future.
“We will continue building the project. We are hoping to start including other trades like carpentry, to expand the project,” says Langlais. “I believe that life skills are definitely what we need to bring to our children. We’ve had good success so far, but we’re looking to do even more.”
For more information on Hands On Ministries, please visit handsonministries.com. For more information on SABA, please visit facebook.com/SaskatoonAutobodyAssociation.
© Copyright 2012 Collision Repair magazine
|Last Updated on Thursday, 13 September 2012 13:28|
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