April showers are here at last, and now's a great time to pore over some of the amazing things Caliber Collision has accomplished in the year's first few months. Together, our teammates and loyal customers have made an impact not just locally, but across the nation. From feeding kids in need, to getting veterans back behind the wheel, we've got big plans this year, and invite you to read along and join us in celebrating our Caliber Communities' successes so far in 2018.
Rhythm Restoration Food Drive
During the summer, countless children are left without a stable source of food while school's out, and we're kicking off our seventh annual Rhythm Restoration Food Drive to help. Our Food Drive helps give these kids the fuel they need to focus less on food and more on fun, and a big part of that comes from the help of our customers. Because of your incredible generosity, we were able to provide more than 3.2 million meals to hungry kids last year, and we plan on putting the pedal to the metal and filling more plates than ever before. This year, we'll be accepting donations from April 9th to May 11th, and welcome non-perishable food items (canned or plastic) at any Caliber Collision center and convenient cash donations online. It's because of initiatives like this that we're not just in our communities, we're apart of them, and we can't wait restore the rhythm to more children's lives than ever before.
We're also proud to support our nation's military service members in a multitude of ways. Our most recent event, the Caliber Military Combine, quickly climbed the ranks to be among our most successful yet. 2018 was our second year to partner with the Dallas Cowboys, in which 50 elite military service members took it to the turf at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX, to compete in actual NFL Combine drills. In attendance was a crowd of over 3,000, all cheering on our troops as they tested their grit on the gridiron. Of our competitors, one winner received the honor to announce a 2018 Cowboys Draft Pick later this April, but the fun didn't stop there. Through our Recycled Rides program, we also gifted four vehicles to highly deserving veterans, making the day truly one for the playbooks.
Speaking of Recycled Rides, this initiative has been changing the road ahead for some very deserving people since 2012. All too often, families get blindsided with bad luck, left without a means to get to work, see the doctor, or stock up on groceries, and that's where Recycled Rides comes in. Our teammates across the country are committed to restoring not only rhythm, but hope to these individual's lives by removing barriers caused by lack of transportation. Over the past 6 years, we've gifted nearly 200 vehicles to veterans, active-duty service members and others in need of reliable transportation. In fact, we've already had the privilege of gifting more than 15 vehicles this year alone, putting us on the road to another record-breaking year.
At Caliber, we're proud of our history of employing, supporting, and giving back to the Military Service Members who have given so much for our country. For these men and women, sometimes coming home can present unexpected challenges. That's why we created Changing Lanes, a free 18-week career skills program geared toward job placement in one of our Caliber locations upon successful completion. In last year alone, almost 50 soldiers have joined the Caliber ranks. We anticipate the placement of around 300 military service members across all Changing Lanes training locations this year as we continue our commitment to continue finding opportunities to support our nation's servicemen and women, and we have no intention of slowing down.
Keeping these programs rolling is no small feat, and without the support of our incredible communities and loyal customers they wouldn't be possible. We're grateful for both our teammates and our loyal customers who helped make the start of 2018 one of our strongest yet. With more than 550 locations and a community that spans 17 states, we're honored to be the nation's number-one collision repair company. We may be driven to give back, or cut a rug from time to time, but our experts are equally committed to providing a quality collision repair experience,and restoring the rhythm of lives both on and off the road. We've got big plans for the upcoming months, and can't wait to share more of how we're impacting our communities for good. Until next time!