In early November, Passport Auto Group surprised the entire third grade class at Panorama Elementary School with new bikes through the Bikes for Kids Foundation. Passport Auto Group President, Everett Hellmuth, and Vice President, Jay Klein, heard about the Bikes for Kids Foundation and wanted to sponsor a local elementary school in Prince George’s County, Maryland, where many of the Passport Auto Group stores are located. “We are always looking for more ways to support our local community and surrounding schools,” said Jay Klein. “This program teaches students that hard work helps make dreams come true, and we are excited to be able to sponsor local Panorama Elementary School in this way.”
Prior to the donation event, employees of Passport Auto Group assembled the brand-new bikes at their Passport Collision Center. Passport employees worked together using their own tools to assemble the bikes, from pumping tires to tightening handlebars. Passport then donated the bikes in early November on behalf of the Bikes for Kids Foundation at a school assembly.
The Bikes for Kids Foundation program began by providing books that focused on working hard and dreaming big to the third graders at Panorama Elementary. Then, the students were encouraged to write an essay about what they want to be when they grow up. The third graders were told three essay writers would be picked to win a bike, but to their surprise, they all won a new bike thanks to Passport Auto Group and the Bikes for Kids Foundation.
“It felt like Christmas seeing the students’ faces with surprise and excitement. They worked hard and each deserved to be rewarded for their work. We hope this will encourage these students to continue to focus on their dreams as they can accomplish anything,” said Passport Auto Group President, Everett Hellmuth.
With the holiday season fast approaching, the employees of Passport Auto Group were eager to reunite with one of the district’s oldest emergency shelters, Central Union Mission, during the frigid winter season. With even a small contribution ($2.09), individuals are fed and cared for at Central Union Mission, so Everett Hellmuth, President of Passport Auto Group, has coordinated a large effort over the years to participate in a holiday meal drive. “We're blessed to be able to impact our community even in a small way,” said Everett Hellmuth, "To be warm, to be fed, these are things we take for granted. Everything, especially food costs, are getting more expensive. We can do more together to help those in need.”
Each of the Passport dealerships had a store goal, and the employees of Passport Auto Group began this important initiative to fundraise for meals throughout the month of December. After fundraising just one month, Passport Auto Group and its employees donated over $65,000 to Central Union Mission, which nearly equals to 31,000 meals and care.
Over the holiday season, Central Union Mission expects to provide thousands of Christmas season meals. “The financial support provided by the Passport Auto Group comes at such a critical time. So many people living in poverty or on the street need more help than ever before. With Passport’s generous support, we are able to make sure that we are providing food for the hungry and shelter for the homeless each and every day. Passport is an incredibly important partner,” said organization President, Joseph Mettimano.
“Passport Cares is all about teaming up with those who support our community,” said Jay Klein, Vice President of Passport Auto Group. “We’re proud of all the hundreds of employees that volunteer their own time and pay to support this mission.” Passport Auto Group has been partnering with Central Union Mission for years through their Passport Cares program. To learn more about Passport Auto Group giving back, visit https://www.passportcares.com.