There are many stories of the aftermarket pitching in for their communities with supplies and services across Canada, but many community organizations are struggling with the massive increase in need during this COVID-19 crisis.
When GEM-CAR president and CEO Mathieu Brunel saw a Montreal group in need, his reaction was typical of aftermarket professionals across Canada: he immediately wondered what his company could do to help.
Rosemont’s Bouffe-Action was working to collect food and prepare meals for some of Montreal’s at-risk population, who are facing even greater challenges through being isolated during the pandemic. The charitable organization had supplies and refrigerated trucks in place, but they were struggling to get thousands of pounds of food out to those in need in a timely, organized fashion. So they sent out a call for help to assist them in matching supplies and transportation with the needs of some 30 food security organizations in Montreal.
“They put a call out online on a Saturday,” says Brunel, “and I thought, ‘What can we do for them?’ By Sunday we had a team in place. As soon as we talked at GEM-CAR, everybody was all in.
“What they were looking for was to be able to connect online and do a sort of dispatch. Truck drivers would get a delivery sheet, a time sheet, mileage. So, we turned GEM-CAR into a dispatch system.”
He says that the entire team at GEM-CAR eagerly jumped in to offer help and to give back. “Bouffe-Action wanted it up and running by the following Tuesday, and we were” – actually, even a bit sooner than the organization’s ability to move on it, he adds.
And all at no charge.
“The GEM-CAR offer arrived at the perfect time,” says Tonia Mori of Rosemont’s Bouffe-Action. “Their software will help drive our services and strengthen our ability to effectively meet the needs of the various organizations we are involved with. I would like to thank the entire GEM-CAR team for taking the time to adapt the software to our needs.”
“If we can help the community, it is thanks to the mechanic workshops that use GEM-CAR as well as our employees, who have agreed to work full-time at lower wages during the crisis. I thank you all,” says Brunel.
He says GEM-CAR has a standing offer for other Canadian organizations. “If we can duplicate what we’ve already done and help other organizations in other cities across Canada in this way, we are happy to help.”