There is no denying the fact that even in our small town, there is a large need here, especially at Christmas Time.
While we may not see the people who are homeless, or who are struggling just to keep food on the table, without even having the capability of considering getting presents for their kids, the fact is that they still are here.
This is the time of year when charities come knocking at our door, asking for donations to support organizations that don’t necessarily directly impact us. And while they are still important, there is something to be said about meeting the needs that are present in our own backyard.
We’ve all heard the famous quote by Mahatma Ghandi, ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world’. Anyone who has spent time at local auto dealerships knows that this is something they practice regularly. They go above and beyond when it comes to helping out with the community, and not just at Christmas.
From sponsoring sports teams, to random-acts-of-kindness days, providing vehicles for local events, and working together to commit money to Headwaters Healthcare Centre – they are active participants in keeping our community thriving.
But when it comes to the holiday season, some dealerships kick it into full gear, finding ways not just to bless the community, but to provide for those who cannot provide for themselves.
It would be fairly easy for one to look at this and claim that it’s a marketing stunt, or a way to somehow prove that they are about more than money, but if you have met any of the people involved, it’s obvious that this is something they do out of the goodness of their hearts, because they want to. They know the importance of returning something to the community that ‘feeds’ them, and they aren’t afraid to make sure they are doing it.
“I think that it gives us a really good opportunity to give back to the community in an organized fashion,” explained Brent Scobie, General Manager at Hallmark Toyota. “We’re always doing it individually, but this gives us the opportunity to do something as a whole team and a whole company to give back.”
For the last four or five years, that is exactly what Hallmark Toyota has done. Following their annual food drive in October, they host a toy drive in November to provide new toys for the hampers created by St. Mark’s Anglican Church each year. This year, they were able to send approximately 100 toys.
Orangeville Chrysler also jumps on board with their own annual toy drive, the recipients of which are unknown until closer to Christmas. Once collected, they decide which organization or community group has the most need and deliver them.
And of course, there is Orangeville Honda, who kicks off their holiday spirit each year with a clothing drive in November, leading into their participation with the Chum City Toy Drive throughout the month of December.
“We feel good about that,” said John Walkinshaw, General Manager at Orangeville Honda. “We feel good that we have the ability to do those things, to just be more than a car dealership that sells or services cars. That is still important, but in the bigger realm of things, we serve our community.”
Whatever the time of year it is, it’s clear that the dealerships in Orangeville care about the individuals that help keep their businesses alive. And as Christmas approaches, they work together with members of the community to ensure that everyone has a joyous and Merry Christmas.
Written by Tabitha Venasse