Photo by Laura Gray

Edgewater, Md. – When tragedy struck recently in the community of Edgewater, MD, the team at Nealey Auto Service successfully helped a family in need when their home burnt to the ground. Nealey’s Core Purpose is Changing Lives by Inspiring Values, and they find there is no better way to instill these core values than by living them. They certainly set the standard through one particular fundraiser for the Kellogg family in Edgewater, Md. 

As a member of the local volunteer fire department, professional photographer, and marketing coordinator of Nealey Auto Service, Laura Gray showed up on the scene of the fire witnessing the Kellogg family home, cars, and boat engulfed in flames, rapidly burning to the ground. As a community-minded individual, Gray thought, “This family needs a lot of help to get back on their feet.” 

Using Pit Crew CoOp’s eWardMe program, Gray took the concept of fundraising for a non-profit and used it for this family. With the permission of owner AJ Nealey of Nealey Auto Service, she hit the ground running with this fundraiser.

The Community’s Response

Photo by Laura Gray

Community awareness for this fundraiser went much bigger than Nealey Auto Service expected. One Facebook post reached over 3,000 people and had 15 shares, far above and beyond their typical outreach.

Within 6 hours, Nealey Auto Service raised $4,000 for the Kellogg family. An anonymous donation raised the total to $7,000 by the end of the weekend. “We don’t know how much it was or who they were; however, they came into Nealey’s to make their donation because they trust us,” stated Gray.

Nate Kellogg, head of household and victim of the fire, said, “With everything that’s going on in this world, it really restores your faith in humanity.”

The fundraiser generated a heart-felt response from the community, as well as the attention of local media stations. Gray said, “The radio and TV stations began calling for interviews; a camera crew even came out when we handed over the check – it was very cool!”

Said Nealey of the experience, “It’s amazing. It’s humbling.” 

How Reward Dollars Can Help Charities and Communities

Pit Crew CoOp’s eWardMe Auto Shop Rewards is a key tool Nealey Auto Service implements for retention marketing. It can save money on future auto repairs and is also a path for connecting customers to a donation campaign Nealey Auto Service uses several times throughout the year. “Essentially, the money doesn’t come out of our pockets – it is discounts that customers would have collected through service and repairs over the year,” said Gray. 

It is one thing to bring first-time customers through the door, and another to win them over and retain them for life. Building community and loyalty throughout your customer base is paramount to growing your business. Nealey says he wants his customers to be their fanbase, screaming from the mountain tops about Nealey Auto Service. With programs like eWardMe on board, Nealey Auto Service’s referrals and repeat customers continue to flood through the door. 

Everyone agrees that auto repair shops that engage consumers with high-value benefits, community outreach, and charitable giving own their market territory and create the most positive impact for their community.

eWardMe Auto Shop Rewards makes it easy for the shop and the customer to track Reward Dollars earned with each service, which can be used to discount future services. Customers can team up with repair shops to support local fundraisers by donating their Reward Dollars, as in the case of Nealey’s fundraiser for the Kellogg family.

“The overwhelming support of the community has just been amazing. We couldn’t have done it without them,” said Kellogg.

Go here for the local news story: Community raises thousands of dollars for Edgewater family displaced by a fire

The DNA of your shop is LOVE for the people it serves and your community.

Your business must operate from LOVE, integrity, a purity of purpose, and communicate that with authentic actions, not empty words. Pit Crew CoOp’s eWardMe Program embeds auto repair businesses so deeply into the fabric of the community, drawing clients and prospects to your auto repair shop without actually knowing why.

Pit Crew CoOp is built around the powerful concept of Self Determination theory. This theory asserts for any human to have a contented life we must feel LOVE for others, be LOVED by others, feel a PART OF something bigger than ourselves and feel COMPETENT at something. We know these statements are true. By putting your shop’s inherent goodness and LOVE front and center – the community begins to relate with you. They trust your shop and feel they are all in it together with you.

To learn more and SHARE THE LOVE, contact Pit Crew CoOp today.