In case you hadn’t yet heard, a Houston, TX area teenager did a remarkable thing for charity, using a Saab 9-5 as a conduit. Sebastian Gupta bought a used model year 2000 example and worked to restore it to sellable condition with the goal being to donate the proceeds to the Houston Area Women’s Center. Here’s a quick video explaning “The Saab Project” from the local ABC affiliate there.
What happened after that story released is something we should all be proud of, not just of Sebastian but Saab Cars North America too.
Sebastian’s been working on this project for quite some time. He explains it best himself, so I’ll refer you to his own youtube channel where you can hear it directly from him. I think when he started the project that he might have hoped for the eventual outcome, but I’m sure when he heard the news that Saab wanted to officially get involved in his project, he must have been elated.
When the story broke in June, the news was sadly buried by all the Saab financial reports surfacing. I’m in constant contact with several of the executives at SCNA, and was asked as a favor to nonchalantly get in touch with Sebastian’s parents so that they could surprise him with an extremely generous proposal, befitting their son’s great gesture. A few phone calls and weeks later, and we’re finally allowed to report on the details.
SCNA will be donating $25,000, with a $15,000 match from Sebastian’s parents to the Houston Area Women’s Center. From what I know from speaking with the SCNA team, they found a buyer for the car so they won’t be taking possession of the 9-5.
“This project touched me in that Sebastian was taking the initiative to make an impact on the Center and improving his part of the world in his own way,” said Saab Cars of North America President and COO Timothy Colbeck when interviewed by KTRK. Michele Tinson, head of SCNA’s PR was also instrumental in organizing this donation.
Before anyone goes into how Saab could give such a donation away or afford such an effort, I’ll just say that I’m impressed that they would honor and take the time to commend a good kid doing a good act. I’d much rather see their budget used to support good causes than pay for a quarter page ad in a paper. The coverage in Houston alone is worth something.
Well done Sebastian, you’re going to do great things in the future. Keep on Saabing.