Getting a new set of wheels is a rite of passage for many American teens, allowing them the independence to do more of the activities that interest them. As the team at Texas Dodge in Amarillo, Texas, knows, cars, trucks and SUVs aren’t the only wheels that teens need. Sometimes, a set of wheels on a much smaller frame can make all of the difference.
For these wheels, Texas Dodge works with One Chair at a Time, an Amarillo-based nonprofit organization that works to provide sport wheelchairs to local teens with mobility challenges. In 2013, Amarillo resident Joe Chris Rodriguez, a disabled-veteran-turned-wheelchair-athlete himself, started One Chair at a Time to help teens in a similar situation get the resources they need to stay active. The organization helps these teens experience the joy and physical benefits of participating in sports and being part of a team.
Each year, Texas Dodge participates in One Chair at a Time’s Wheelchair Madness basketball tournament. This year’s event took place in April with nearly 300 athletes on 24 teams, including one from Texas Dodge. The team element of the event was a familiar dynamic for the Texas Dodge staff.
“Whenever we take care of something for the community, we all jump in as a team,” says Joseph Chavez, new car sales manager at Texas Dodge.
The Wheelchair Madness tournament raised money to provide more sport wheelchairs to local teens. Rodriguez had hoped to raise about $24,000. In addition to the Texas Dodge team, members of the local media and officers from the Amarillo police department also participated.
Whether it’s suiting up for a wheelchair basketball tournament or contributing to some other cause, the Texas Dodge team sees community involvement as more than good business. “It builds good relationships, but it’s not just that,” says Chavez. “The community is where everything is, including our kids and our families, too.”
For more information about Texas Dodge, visit www.texasdodge.com.
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