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400 Auto Wreckers promotes children’s literacy with book giveaway

By Michael Raine

Holland Landing, Ontario – July 11, 2011 – For most parents the local auto recycler wouldn’t be the go-to place for children’s books. But most parents don’t bring their kids to 400 Auto Wreckers in Holland Landing, ON. Since last Christmas, Tom Huehn has his staff have been giving a free book to any kid that comes into the facility with a parent. There’s no catch, the folks at 400 Auto Wreckers just love making a child’s day. 

“It’s just fun, the kids light up and the parents light up,” says Huehn, who’s always looking for new ways to promote auto recycling while helping the local community. “We don’t make a production out of it but you know you’re doing some good and I know I’ve handed books to kids who don’t have a lot of books.”

Huehn says the program began last Christmas because he and his staff thought it would be nice to have a little present for their customers’ children. Huehn says the books were so well received by both kids and parents that that they wanted to keep the book-giveaway going year-round.

In fact, Huehn and his staff love making a child’s day so much that the parents don’t even have to buy anything for the child to receive a book With a wide array books to choose from, the staff look for young children who may be just learning to read all the way to boys and girls in their early-teens.

Huehn says the books can be bought many places but many of them come from Scholastics, an educational book provider who sells books by the case or box.

Huehn says it feels so good to give away books that the staff gets excited when a child comes through the door. “Our staff here gets right into everything. Our office guys, a kid comes in and it’s about who will get to the box first for the kid.”

Huehn talks about the program with enthusiasm, obviously thrilled with the response it has elicited from his staff and customers.

“Some people come in and they just can’t believe that this just happened,” laughs Huehn. “I tell them we’re trying to compete with the Happy Meal.”

Of course, the program has other benefits. “The other thing is the kids sit in the office and wait for the car part with their mom and dad and they’re quiet.”

It’s programs like this, Huehn says, that could change the way auto recyclers are perceived in the community and he’d be happy to see other recyclers do the same thing. By giving away children’s books, 400 Auto Wreckers is creating a positive and memorable experience for every parent and child that enters the shop. “We’d like to get to the point where children, when they see the sign at the end of the street, they’re going to be saying, ‘let’s go to 400 Auto Wreckers.’”

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