The The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) has entered phase two of urgent response to aftermarket families affected by hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria, deadly wildfires, and looming tropical storm Ophelia.
This season has already produced five major hurricanes, including three catastrophic Category 5 storms, and 15 named storms. According to the Miami Herald, Ophelia could become the 10th consecutive storm to reach hurricane strength.
"Applications for help have increased 78 percent in the wake of recent natural disasters," said Bob Hirsch, AACF president. "We continue working with SEMA, the Auto Care Association, AASA and others to reach aftermarket families in need, and early estimates indicate there may be hundreds of families that need our help. Parts of Texas, Louisiana, and Florida as well as the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico have suffered catastrophic damage."
"You saved me in more ways than you could ever imagine," wrote one Texas family following hurricane Harvey. "(After) 35 years of being a mechanic, your foundation was the only one that helped my family. I am forever grateful for all your help."
"I can't explain how grateful we are for your quick response to our situation," another hurricane Harvey victim wrote. "You really have no idea how much this means to us."
"Thanks to the generous response of our industry we've raised a significant amount toward our goal, and we're so thankful for that," said Joel Ayres, executive director of AACF. "But, we continue to ask for industry support. Many have lost homes, businesses, vehicles, belongings, and in some cases, loved ones including family pets. Now more than ever, every donation counts and is truly making a difference."
Those in need of help are asked to complete the new simple application on the AACF website.
"On behalf of our team, our thoughts and prayers are with all those who continue to suffer," Ayres said.