Bridgestone Retail Operations (Bridgestone), a subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas, announced it has donated $25,000 to the A.G. Gaston Boys & Girls Club in Birmingham, Ala., after catalytic convertors were stolen from six Club vehicles in November, resulting in $12,250 in damages. The contribution is part of the Bridgestone Driving Great Futures initiative to provide Club kids across the country with access to reliable transportation.
“When news reached us, that vehicles belonging to the A.G. Gaston Boys & Girls Club had been vandalized, we immediately knew we had to step up to help,” said Joe Venezia, president, Bridgestone Retail Operations. Our “Driving Great Futures” partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America works to help solve one of the biggest challenges kids and families face: safely getting to and from the Clubs each day. We are thrilled that our funds, combined with the incredible support of local community partners, have allowed the A.G. Gaston Boys & Girls Club to get back to their critical work of supporting Birmingham’s young people.”
In addition to supporting Club vehicle maintenance, the Bridgestone funds will be utilized to address technology needs for kids who continue to learn virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic. Local community partners also assisted the A.G. Gaston Boys & Girls Club by starting a GoFundMe campaign and replacing the Club vehicles’ stolen catalytic convertors.
“With the support of Bridgestone & our community, our members will not miss a beat,” says Tim Wofford, A.G. Gaston Boys & Girls Club chief operating officer. “Their daily art supplies, gaming, learning tools, and transportation will remain readily available. We will continue to rally around our members and provide them with some sense of normalcy in the face of this COVID-19 pandemic.”
Bridgestone began its nationwide Driving Great Futures partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America in 2015 to help youth gain access to high-impact, out-of-school programming. Since then, the company has raised and contributed $13.9 million for Boys & Girls Clubs, including $1.6 million this year for Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s COVID-19 Relief Fund. In addition to collecting monetary donations, Bridgestone employees also donate company time to service Club vehicles and volunteer at Clubs in their local communities. The program is part of the company’s Our Way to Serve corporate social responsibility (CSR) commitment to improve the way people move, live, work, and play.