Above / Dave Sloan, president of the Chicago Automobile Trade Association; Janet Derrick, vice president of CARES Programs at Loaves & Fishes; Joel Weinberger, dealer principal at Continental Motors of Naperville and Continental AutoSports; Nancy Wiersum, vice president of advancement at Loaves & Fishes; and John Hennessy, chairman of the Chicago Automobile Trade Association.

Chicagoland’s new-car dealer association, the Chicago Automobile Trade Association (CATA), donated $1,500 to the Loaves & Fishes “CARES” car program which provides transportation to working individuals in need. In addition to its car program, Naperville-based Loaves & Fishes serves the DuPage community by providing high-quality, healthy food; preventative care; educational opportunities; and wellness services to local individuals who live in poverty.

The CATA created the Chicagoland Dealers Care program in 2008 to build upon the charitable efforts of CATA’s dealer members within their local communities.

Dealer donates vehicles, grant helps keep cars running properly

Continental Motors applied to the CATA for the most recent donation. Over the last six years, the Continental Motors family of dealerships has donated eight cars per year to Loaves & Fishes – an equivalent of $40,000 annually.

“It’s not a surprise that Continental Motors has invested so much in an organization that betters its community,” said CATA Chairman John Hennessy. “This showcases the vital role that CATA dealerships play to help support those within their areas of business.”

Continental Motors of Naperville and Continental AutoSports Dealer Principal Joel Weinberger views his relationship with Loaves & Fishes as mutually-beneficial because his donation is positively impacting his dealership’s community.

“We are so happy to work with such a great community partner like Loaves & Fishes. Their ‘CARES’ program enables us to match cars that we donate each year with individuals whose lives will really be transformed by having reliable transportation,” said Weinberger.

“The additional grant provided by Chicago Automobile Trade Association will go toward keeping the donated vehicles working properly so these individuals can safely and reliably get to work, school and other critical destinations,” he continued.

Loaves & Fishes assists nearly 5,000 families

Loaves & Fishes provides food and support to approximately 19,000 people – nearly 5,000 families – in the Naperville area and throughout DuPage County. Specifically, 2,100 residents received services through the CARES program.

According to the DuPage County Department of Community Services “2016 Community Needs Assessment,” 170,000 DuPage County residents were considered low income – a 78 percent increase from 2000. Additionally, 65,000 DuPage County families are considered to be living in poverty.

Reliable transportation helps individuals get to work

“Since 2012, Continental Motors has donated 40 vehicles to individuals from our car ‘CARES’ program who were referred to us by social services agencies and who all lacked reliable transportation to get to work,” said Janet Derrick, vice president of Loaves & Fishes CARES Programs. “We are extremely grateful to Continental Motors and the Weinberger family for their continued generosity and our long-time partnership which has helped 40 individuals create a bright future story for them and their families.”

The CATA has been a longtime supporter of local nonprofit organizations. Since its inception in 2008, the Chicagoland Dealers Care program has donated nearly $100,000 to local charitable organizations supported by new-car dealers. Additionally, since 1992, the association has raised nearly $48 million for significant Chicago-area charities during the annual First Look for Charity black-tie event, held the evening before the Chicago Auto Show opens to the public.

For more details on the Chicagoland Dealers Care program, visit www.ChicagolandDealersCare.com.

For more information about Loaves & Fishes, visit www.loaves-fishes.org.

Story submitted by Jennifer Morand, Director of Public Relations and Social Media, for Chicago Automobile Trade Association.

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