Hit a deer? Get a turkey.

A & J Collision Repair's holiday campaign gives back to customers, community
A & J Collision Repair has been in business in Conway for 18 years. The automotive repair company provides helpful, professional service in a well-maintained environment. SUBMITTED PHOTO

“In everything that we do, we believe in providing you with helpful, professional service and to give you the assistance you need when it comes to your vehicle. Our superior customer service is completed by listening to you and inspecting your vehicle thoroughly. This will give you a vehicle that will look great and operate the same way.”

 

This is the statement that Jody Gatchell, owner of A & J Collision Repair, uses to drive his business.

He and his team are 100 percent customer focused. Taking care of the customers’ needs and wants has helped his business continue to grow as it has entered its 18th year in business.

During this holiday season, A & J Collision Repair is turning something that you do not want to have happen into something that helps others in the community.

During the last quarter of each year, your probability of having an accident with a deer increases dramatically.

This data is compiled each year by State Farm insurance company. During October, November and December, your likelihood of having an accident with a deer is one out of 101 here in the state of Arkansas, an increase of 5.9 percent over last year.

Comparing Arkansas to the rest of the nation, we rank 13th in the nation for the likelihood of having a deer related accident. The state at the top of the list is West Virginia at one out of 44.

“We see on average of at least one deer-related auto accident per month,” Gatchell states, “but during these last three months, we have seen it increase to an average of eight per month.”

What is significant about this? Several years ago, Gatchell implemented a “Hit a Deer Get a Turkey” program. This program combines the unfortunate run in with a deer with the holidays.

It works like this: For every deer-related accident that is brought to A & J Collision Repair for repair, the customer will be given a turkey for their family’s holiday meal when they pick up their repaired vehicle.

It helps to take the situation that they just had with their accident and turn it into something for them for the holiday.

“My staff and I love to see the excitement and surprise on their faces when they are given the turkey,” Gatchell says. “I am glad that we were able to give the customers something back for the holidays.”

Gatchell was at a business meeting one morning and met Rick Harvey of “The Soul Food Café.”

The two of them began discussing with each other what their specific businesses are all about. After the meeting, Jody was wondering what he could do to help with Rick’s mission.

That is when the idea of combining A & J Collision Repair’s “Hit a Deer Get a Turkey” program with The Soul Food Café’s mission of helping those in need.

This year is the third year that Jody and his team at A & J Collision Repair have helped The Soul Food Cafe by donating turkeys to them.

Over the last couple of years, A & J Collision Repair has donated more than 500 frozen turkeys to the mission.

To help families during the holidays, these turkeys are delivered to The Soul Food Café on the last Tuesday before Christmas.

This is the last day before Christmas that The Soul Food Café distributes food to individuals who need a little help.

This will help to ensure that it is possible that families can get a turkey for their Christmas meal.

A & J Collision Repair is located at 1215 Thomas G Wilson in Conway.

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