HOW ONE LOCAL SUPPORT EVENT SPARKED A FRANCHISE-WIDE ANNUAL PROGRAM TO ASSIST SINGLE PARENTS
For the past five years, Christian Brothers franchise owners around the nation have supported a great cause as part of the franchise’s National Service Day.
Started in 2005 by Christian Brothers auto repair franchise owners Steve and Barbara Berry of Cedar Park, Texas, the annual event provides free oil changes to single parents in the area, helping many people in need of service. The franchise owners partnered with a local church to provide free oil changes to single parents in their area and, following the success of the first event, the program quickly spread to other areas of Austin, Texas. National Service Day is now a yearly initiative led by Christian Brothers franchises across the U.S.
“Our National Service Day initiative is just one way that Christian Brothers is able to give back to the areas our franchise owners serve and assist single parents,” says Josh Wall, Vice President of Franchise and Strategic Development for Christian Brothers. “Our efforts reflect the Christian Brothers franchise mission: Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Christian Brothers is a highly rated, faith-based, automotive repair franchise with a unique financial model. Christian Brothers assumes a majority of the risk by purchasing and constructing “built-to-suit” buildings, where the franchisee owns and operates the business. Christian Brothers does not charge a franchisee based on the top-line revenues like virtually every other franchisor, but instead on a share of the profits, which is calculated after expenses. Franchisees also pay themselves a salary before they pay the franchisor a nickel.
Area vendors and organizations partner with Christian Brothers franchise owners for National Service Day, an event that assists single parents in the community with free oil changes and repair services.
LENDING A HELPING HAND
Our franchise owners aren’t the only ones who pitch in to support a good cause during our National Service Day. Area churches help register people for free oil changes and offer their on-site support with the event at many of our locations. Youth groups arrive to wash cars for the free oil change recipients, while other church volunteers are able minister to those attendees in need of someone to talk to. Local vendors and other businesses have also stepped in to show their support.
Participation for the event has grown every year. After its first year in 2005, the event spread to Dallas/ Fort Worth and inspired Christian Brothers Automotive to make it an annual, national service event. Since 2010, Christian Brothers franchises around the country have participated in the event each autumn. Technicians at each of our franchises volunteer their time for the oil changes, generous vendors supply oil and filters, and other employees and church volunteers join in to provide car washes, refreshments, entertainment, and fellowship. During the 2014 National Service Initiative, more than 1,800 single parents received free oil changes.
“Here, we partner with a local social service ministry that serves a lot of the demographic that we serve with this industry that we do, and we partner with them to find some of those select people that are truly in great need,” says Brad Fink, Christian Brothers franchise owner in Katy, Texas. “We help with car repairs, and also steer them in the right direction for other areas within the community where they can get support that they need, as well. It goes far beyond just doing a free oil change.
“If there’s something going on a mother’s life personally that’s outside of the realm of what Christian Brothers can provide, that’s why we have members of a local church there to say, ‘Hey, we have these different ministries and opportunities within our church that we can provide, as well. Let me put you in contact with this person at our church.’”
Local churches and youth groups attend the Christian Brothers National Service Day event to help minister to single parents, wash cars, and provide other support where it’s needed.
SUPPORTING THE COMMUNITY HELPS CREATE BRAND AWARENESS, CUSTOMER LOYALTY
Our National Service Day is a great example of the neighborly service and stewardship for the communities our franchise owners serve, and it has also been a great opportunity to spread the word about the Christian Brothers auto repair franchise by generating enthusiasm and interest about our brand. By partnering with area organizations and businesses, our franchise owners have the ability to generate lots of word-of-mouth buzz about our automotive repair services and the ways we assist our local communities.
“It’s wonderful for the business, and I think it is a direct reflection of the heart of what we’re trying to do,” Brad says. “Because at the end of the day, we fix cars. There are a lot of places out there that do that, but there’s so much more we are trying to bring to the table. This is one of the ways we actually get to show our local community a little bit more of what we’re about. It’s not just belts and brake pads, but it’s people who genuinely care about the people we’re serving.”
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