Autobell® Car Wash - Professional Carwashing & Detailing

2022 Honoree

Notable Acts of Charity

Charitable support and community commitment at Autobell® Car Wash stretch back to its earliest days with late founder Charlie Howard’s nonprofit involvement as a Shriner. The company’s civic and philanthropic efforts and accolades include:

  • Autobell awards annual educational scholarships to numerous qualifying employees. Since the program’s inception in 2000, Autobell has awarded over $2 million in college scholarships to nearly 1,900 applicants.
  • Autobell offers a fundraising program that benefits local charitable organizations in each community and helps the environment by discouraging wasteful and polluting parking lot carwash fundraisers. Organizations sell $20 Autobell gift cards and retain 50% of the proceeds. The program has helped nonprofits raise more than $10 million since 1998.
  • Autobell is committed to environmental protection and water conservation, with recycling, water management, and using only biodegradable soaps and solutions among its top priorities. The company treats 100% and recycles up to 100% of wash water through technologically advanced equipment at each location.
  • Autobell conceptualized, sponsored and assisted in the development and administration of the Autobell Creek Challenge, an environmentally focused science competition for STEM elementary school students in partnership with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

Community Impacts

Other Autobell philanthropic involvement includes employee participation in Adopt-A-Stream and other waterway cleanups; hosting blood and fund drives for the American Red Cross; and fundraisers and support for organizations such as the American Heart Association, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Muscular Dystrophy Association, the USO and Ducks Unlimited. These activities have garnered Autobell many environmental and civic awards over more than two decades, including:

  • Blue Thumb award from the Mecklenburg County (NC) Water Quality Coalition
  • The Charlotte Observer Guardians of the Environment
  • Business Conservationist of the Year from the North Carolina Wildlife Federation Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards
  • Conservation Business of the Year from the Mecklenburg County (NC) Soil & Water Conservation District
  • Community Service Leadership Award from International Carwash Association
  • Outstanding Philanthropic Organization from the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Charlotte Chapter
  • Sustain Charlotte Award – Water category
  • Wells Fargo Vision & Values Award from the Garner, North Carolina, Chamber of Commerce
  • Conservation Business of the Year from the North Carolina Hugh Hammond Bennett Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society
  • Family Business Award from the Charlotte Business Journal and Wake Forest University Charlotte Center