Terry Franz, aka Car Santa

Recently, I was given the honor of becoming the vice president of the Cars 4 Heroes organization. I’ve been associated with this organization for nearly 20 years now, and I’ve always believed in giving back to my community. That’s probably why this feels so satisfying. Now I’m not just helping with the events I’ve always helped with — giving away vehicles and hosting the Cars 4 Christmas event. Now I get to participate in a bigger way, building the brand and helping expand the reach of Cars 4 Heroes throughout the Midwest. That makes my heart happy.

I met Terry Franz, affectionately referred to by many in Kansas City as Car Santa, 20 years ago. He and I were selling used cars back then. I joined him on the board of directors for Cars 4 Heroes, and we’ve been working together ever since. The vehicles go to veterans, active duty military, first responders, and their families. These are the people who protect and serve our country every day, often without recognition. Being able to provide these deserving people with basic transportation so they can get where they need to go — doctor appointments, jobs, school, etc. — is both fulfilling and humbling. I’m glad we can help.

I loved the idea of Cars 4 Heroes so much that I copied the concept a few years ago and started a spin-off program called Roofs 4 Heroes. My company, Shamrock Roofing and Construction, gives a roof away every quarter to a deserving veteran, active duty military, or first responder. It’s our way of spreading good cheer throughout the year while honoring those who devote their time to serving and protecting others.

All recipients of vehicles and roofs for these two programs are nominated for the gift by friends, relatives, or neighbors. That’s pretty special.

Our most recent roof giveaway went to local Kansas City resident Cedric Walker. A house fire in Walker’s neighborhood started a discussion among residents about insurance. Walker’s neighbors discovered that he desperately needed a new roof, but insurance companies had denied him coverage because his roof was in such bad shape. Walker can’t work because of an injury and can’t afford the roof on his own. Neighbor Lauren Reece started a GoFundMe page for Walker, raising over $5,000 for a new roof. She also contacted Shamrock Roofing and Construction. Needless to say, we were happy to do the work and pick up the rest of the tab.

It’s interactions like these that bring joy to my heart — the heart that was donated by someone else and that I was lucky enough to receive. It gave me a second chance at life. Helping others is my way of paying back my good fortune. I feel blessed every day to be here and be able to help those who could use a hand.

I look forward to making a more significant impact with Cars 4 Heroes in my new role as vice president. We’re doing vehicle giveaways in Columbia, MO, and Tampa, FL, now in addition to the Kansas City metro area. We’re also expanding into Texas.

For anyone interested in getting involved with Cars 4 Heroes, here are a couple of upcoming events:

Cars 4 Christmas Giveaway. This event will be hosted at Shamrock Roofing’s corporate office on December 21. We’re giving a vehicle away to one lucky family. But this time, it will be loaded with toys, cleaning products, gift cards for gas and other items, and groceries to help make the family’s holidays a little brighter. This event is open to the public, and we’d love for you to stop by and see what it’s all about. Pitch in and help, make a donation, or sit on the sidelines and drink hot chocolate. The fun starts at 7:00 am on the 21st. Come join us!

Cars 4 Heroes Gala. I wanted to do something special for Terry to recognize his efforts over the past 30 years as Kansas City’s Car Santa, so I’m hosting a black-tie event on February 3, 2023, in his honor. Terry does so much good in the world and doesn’t often get recognized for his efforts. I want people to know how hard he works for others, expecting nothing in return. Join us at The Abbott in downtown Kansas City on February 3, 2023, at 7:00 pm for Champagne, Cigars, and Heroes 4 Cars. It’ll be lots of fun for a good cause. We’ll have a charity auction, dueling pianos, and more. To reserve a table or make a donation, visit https://shamrockroofer.com/event/blacktie/ or give me a call.

I’d love for more people to get involved with Cars 4 Heroes and Roofs 4 Heroes. To apply for a vehicle through the Cars 4 Heroes program, click here. To donate a vehicle, click here. And to nominate someone for Roofs 4 Heroes, click here. If you have questions about either of these programs, give me a call. Let’s see how we can get you involved in giving back to the community!