Since 2015, Bridgestone Retail Operations, LLC (BSRO), a subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas, has been a National Corporate Partner of Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA). To date, BSRO has raised more than $5 million through the generous contributions of customers across a network of more than 2,200 tire and automotive service centers nationwide. The national partnership with BGCA allows employees at BSRO to give back to the communities in which they live and work and fulfill the vision of being the most trusted tire and automotive service provider in every neighborhood they serve.
The funds raised by the Driving Great Futures program in 2018 will enable BSRO to provide transportation grants to 80 Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide. Grants are awarded on the basis of need and local relationships between the Clubs and BSRO store locations.
- 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. These grants will be awarded by the end of 2018.
- 10 Clubs received a $35,000 grant to purchase a new passenger van equipped with Bridgestone DriveGuard tires. This vehicle will help transport more members to and from their local Club, as well as to off-site activities to enhance their Club experience. These vans will be donated by the end of November 2018.
“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. Some of our kids must walk through unsafe neighborhoods to get here and others would love to participate but cannot due to lack of transportation. We also have to opt out of field trips because we simply can’t get the kids to off-site locations.”
Firestone Complete Auto Care store employees in the area recently collaborated with Kimberly to deliver a Bridgestone Driving Great Futures van to the Teichert Branch, which is the flagship location of BGCSAC. The kids were excited to receive the van, topped with a big red bow and escorted ceremoniously by local law enforcement.
Patrick Ogeerally, Firestone Complete Auto Care store manager, personally delivered the new van to the Club. “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.
In addition to Sacramento, California, Clubs in the following cities have 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, Our Way to Serve, its global commitment to corporate social responsibility, particularly to enhance the way people live, learn and work.