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Marine Corps sergeant and family receive vehicle from American Family Insurance and Gerber Collision & Glass as part of Recycled Rides program


American Family Insurance and local body shop Gerber Collision & Glass teamed up to provide a refurbished vehicle to an active-duty Marine Corps sergeant and his family during a presentation at a recent Milwaukee Brewers game.

Marine Corps Sergeant Jesus Garza-Noriega of Madison, Wisconsin was the recipient of a vehicle donated by American Family Insurance and refurbished by Gerber Collision & Glass as part of the national Recycled Rides program.

Through this program, American Family partners with local auto body shops to donate vehicles that have been declared a total loss, which could result from a collision, hail damage or other accident. This nationwide, non-profit project, organized by the National Auto Body Council, repairs and donates vehicles to deserving recipients.

Total-loss cars get new purpose with Recycled Rides
When a car is declared a total loss, American Family pays the customer for the actual cash value of the vehicle before the loss. American Family usually takes possession of the vehicle and can sell it through a salvage vendor. With this program, rather than take the salvage proceeds, American Family donates the vehicles and a local auto body shop donates its services to repair them. Other vendors also offer parts and services. The vehicles are repaired to industry standards and meet state safety requirements. American Family and Gerber Collison & Glass worked together to identify a local active-duty military member for this gift. Recipients meet certain requirements such as need, valid driver’s license and ability to insure and maintain the vehicle. Bernie Brewer, Jesus and family, Tim Constien and Jen Fisher

Recycled Rides latest recipient
Jesus and his family were special guests at the Milwaukee Brewers vs. Atlanta Braves game on May 16 at American Family Field. American Family Insurance Claims Services Vice President Tim Constien and Gerber Collision & Glass Marketing Manager Jen Fisher presented the keys to a completely refurbished 2021 Honda Pilot to Jesus. 

“We’re so pleased to be able, together with Gerber Collision & Glass, to provide someone who is serving our country with a safe, reliable vehicle for his family,” said Constien. 

Jesus fourth from leftJesus, a Wisconsin native, has been in the Marine Corps for six years and currently holds the rank of sergeant. In 2021 Jesus's Madison-based unit, Golf Company 2nd Battalion 24th Marines, was called to service in mission "Operation Allies Welcome,” where he served assisting in the resettlement process of thousands of Afghan evacuees. In 2022 Jesus was part of mission "Intrepid Maven,” and traveled to Jordan to conduct combat training operations alongside Jordanian Marines. For his efforts on deployment he was awarded the Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal. 

During his career he has also received Meritorious promotion from the Marine Corps School of Infantry and a Naval Certificate of Commendation for his performance in Mountain Warfare training exercises. Jesus is currently attending UW-Madison studying Rehabilitation Psychology and hopes to one day open a clinic to help veterans with PTSD. He lives with his wife and two children, ages 2 and 4, in the Madison area.

Also attending the event from American Family Insurance Claims Services were: Jamie Weidner, claims operations specialist; Andy McCormick, claims DRP (direct repair program) manager; Jim Hanneman, product program manager; Jeremiah Libers, claims DRP divisional manager; Ben Bilkey, auto physical damage director; and Christopher Zdroik of Gerber Collision & Glass.

American Family Insurance and Gerber Collision & Glass are honored to participate in the Recycled Rides Program and present these vehicle gifts to deserving recipients like Jesus.

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About the American Family Insurance group
Based in Madison, Wisconsin, American Family Insurance has been serving customers since 1927. We inspire, protect and restore dreams through our insurance products, exceptional service from our agency owners and employees, community investment and creative partnerships to address societal challenges. We act on our belief in diversity and inclusion by constantly evolving to meet customer needs and preferences. American Family Insurance group is the nation’s 13th-largest property/casualty insurance group, ranking No. 232 on the Fortune 500 list. The group sells American Family-brand products, primarily through exclusive agency owners in 19 states. The American Family Insurance group also includes CONNECT, powered by American Family Insurance, The General, Homesite and Main Street America Insurance. Across these companies the group has more than 13,500 employees nationwide.