Changing Lives by Changing Oil

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Byron Rusk, owner of Master Car Care and RNS Auto Care, has a simple deal for residents in need of an oil change – donate $35 to Child Advocates at either of his locations and get two free oil changes for one vehicle for the rest of the year.

Rusk’s businesses have been donating to Child Advocates through this program, called Car Pros for Kids, for the last 23 years. Each February, his auto centers join others across the Houston area in generating funds for the program and have generated about $10,000 to $12,000 each year for the non-profit which assists children who are victims of abuse.

Rusk first recalls joining hands with the organization years ago.

“I thought this was perfect,” Rusk said. “When I heard a presentation about their work I thought it was great stuff. At one point, I went to the organization and met with one of their directors and pitched the idea. I told them they don’t have to do anything and we’ll try it out for one year and, if it works, we’ll keep doing it every year.”

Over 20 years later, people still haven’t stopped coming in each February to donate their $35 for their oil changes. In fact, the initiative has only grown.

“In the first year, we collected $750,” Rusk said. “The next year, it doubled as it spread by word of mouth and then we really started promoting it.”

The numbers continued to roughly double each year, and outreach efforts have continued to grow alongside the advent of the internet, with social media, email blasts, radio commercials and ads in local publications like The Leader. Rusk emphasized that 100 percent of the $35 goes towards Child Advocates and their support programs.

“The most needy in our city are the children who are abused and neglected,” Rusk said. “This is something that everyone can and should support. It’s why we have stuck with the program and our clients appreciate being rewarded with a bargain for their oil changes and the donation is also tax deductible.”

This article originally appeared on The Leader. 

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