Years ago, when word of a repossessor’s injury or death occurred, donations quickly followed. Then with the turn in the economy and the slow recovery those donations have essentially stopped…. A troubling sign of the times.
Thanks to the generosity of Anthony Gentile and Dynamic Manufacturing, fundraising efforts have continued at industry functions where the RABF is given the opportunity to sell raffle tickets for a Dynamic Slide-In unit that is provided year after year. But even those sales are down. Of the 3000 tickets printed for the 2015 raffle less than 1000 were sold. The odds of winning were great for those who bought tickets…Congratulations to Mike Eusebio of Digital Dog in California. Mr. Eusebio has been able to see first-hand the RABF respond twice when one of his employees was injured in 2012 and when one whose attention he brought to the fund died in 2015.
In 2015, the RABF was called upon to assist 8 families and just 21 days into 2016, we have already received 2 more requests. Think about that…in just 21 days, 2 individuals have died and left behind families who desperately needed their support and now have to figure out how to do it on their own.
Disbursements in 2015 totaled over $39,000 to help the 8 families assisted in 2015. These funds are collected primarily from the sale of the raffle tickets for the Dynamic Slide-In Unit donated by Anthony Gentile and Dynamic Manufacturing. Anthony has pledged another unit for 2016, winner to be drawn in Nov 2016 at the Baltimore Tow Show (do not need to be present to win) – where Dynamic has a big following and presence; raffle tickets are available for purchase online. http://www.recoveryagentsbenefitfund.org/raffle.asp
2015 also saw more lenders stepping up to donate to the fund and we hope they will continue their support in 2016. The fund also collected over $20,000 from donations and an auction held at the RSIG/Allied Finance Adjusters Annual meeting and almost $10,000 was donated from collection efforts at the Primeritus meeting held in Nashville last year. (A special thanks is extended to Martin Giles of Atlantic Wrecker Sales who donated several pieces of sports memorabilia to the RABF auction that helped drive bids and ultimately donations to the RABF!) Also, a few more individuals are beginning to make regular monthly contributions and several have pledged larger ($500 or more) annual contributions.
In an industry that continues to be fragmented, the RABF is one place where everything should be set aside, where repossessors can come together and show support for one another. The RABF has an advisory committee with a representative from each national trade association and the larger state associations in California and Florida. These individuals have the responsibility and honor of promoting the RABF within their association. Members of the current RABF Advisory Committee are Jim Hall of ARA, Jeff Ramirez of CALR, Patrick Altes of TFA, Carl Purvis of Allied Finance Adjusters, Jamie Blackburn of FLACARS and Michael Howk of RSIG. John Michel of WebWeaver USA serves as the RABF Advisory Committee Chairman and assists in disseminating information to the committee about specific requests, updating the RABF website and donation collection at industry events.
In July RABF advisory committee members, Jim Hall and Patrick Altes met with the RABF accountant to go over the fund’s financials and practices. They were pleased to learn that 95% of donations to the RABF are able to be passed on directly to repossessors and their families. Administrative expenses account for a mere 4.5 – 5% of Fund revenue – which are primarily credit card processing fees charged by PayPal and the Fund’s merchant service provider.
Supporting the RABF should not be left solely in the hands of repossessors. Vendors, service providers, clients and lenders should also step up and support this industry. Repossessors serve a vital role in the financial adjustment industry.
To date the RABF has helped 59 families with disbursements totaling over $279,000.00. As mentioned earlier – we’re already being called on to help 2 families since the start of 2016. Unfortunately we do not see the need for the RABF ending anytime soon and we plan on being here to continue to help; but we could use your help for us to continue our mission of supporting our brothers and sisters in this industry.
To all those who have donated in the past, your support and generosity are greatly appreciated. To those who may just be learning about the RABF, donations can be made via PayPal at our website (www.recoveryagentsbenefitfund.org), or can be mailed to RABF, PO Box 4102, Manassas, VA 20108. To those who have heard of the RABF, but have not donated, we ask you to think about what would happen if you were to find yourself suddenly in the position of having lost your loved one, or the financial provider for your family, not knowing where to turn and no or very little other means of support. And if you’re an employer of someone who has received assistance from the fund we ask you to remember how much of a help the funds were to that family, and ask you in return to support the fund that supported you or someone you’ve known. It’s time to pay it forward!