The day before the April hail storm struck in Denton, Jason and Brandi Weir decided business was doing well enough at their 5W Collision Repair that they could start donating some of their profits to charity.
They decided that for each vehicle the shop repaired, they would donate $50 to a veteran’s organization and $50 to an organization that helps women. And that was even before the hail storm brought a flood of business.
“One day we were slow, and decided we wanted to give back to the community,” Jason Weir said. “Now it’s booming. I went from five employees to 14, and it’s hand-over-fist work, so I couldn’t be happier.”
The Weirs will present the first of what they hope will be monthly donations this week. Bring Everyone in the Zone, a veteran support organization based in Killeen, and Denton County Friends of the Family, an organization that helps those impacted by rape, sexual abuse and domestic violence, will each receive checks for $2,550.
The couple, who live in Denton, opened the shop in December 2012. One of their children came up with the name 5 Weirs — for the five family members — and Brandi shortened it to 5W Collision Repair. Jason Weir had worked for a larger chain that was sold, and he decided he was ready to start his own business.
“Customers were becoming more numbers than customers, and it was really ‘get a car in and out as fast as you can,’ and my moral compass was having a little fault with that,” he said.
Now that the business is making a profit, the couple decided that reinvesting in the business and donating to charity would be the best ways to use their profits, instead of on themselves.
Weir, a veteran himself, said he decided on Bring Everyone in the Zone after talking to people across the street at the Texas Workforce Commission. The organization is small and provides education and support to returning veterans and their families, and focuses on post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injuries and other trauma from war.
“We’re a really small nonprofit. We help a lot of people, but we’re very small and rely totally on donations,” said Maureen Jouett, executive director of the group. “I was very pleased and happy that they were able to do this for us.”
In the future, the Weirs may change the charities they donate to each month. For example, if a local church decides it wants to do a program for homeless veterans, they would consider making a donation there.
They also hope that the trend will catch on with other local businesses and larger companies, Weir said.
“In our business, there’s a good bit of profit and I want to give back to the community,” he said.
“As long as my wife and I own our company, we’re going to give back to the community.”
JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.