Comox Valley Dodge general manager Carson Grant expected a large response for his third Christmas On Us campaign.
His expectations were met.
Christmas on Us is a toy drive campaign Grant initiated upon his arrival in the Comox Valley.
In 2020 he delivered 175 toys to children. In 2021 that number grew to 221.
“It was a massive success this year, for sure,” said Grant. “It was a lot of work, but it turned out great. There were a lot of kids that needed help this year…. It was a tough year, so I predicted that this year would be sort of a record-breaker, and it was.”
Many of the toys were donated by clients. The dealership ran a promotion during November and December for the chance to win some Christmas cash with every vehicle purchased. (Eight $1,000 prizes were awarded.) Any client that wanted to donate a toy to the Christmas On Us toy drive received an additional entry into the cash draw.
Grant also advertised that anyone who dropped off a toy for the drive – regardless of whether they were purchasing a car or not – would be entered into a separate cash giveaway draw (four draws of $500 each).
“That helped bring in some toys for us,” said Grant. “We had an extra 35 people donate toys this year, which was a huge improvement from last year. Obviously, it cost us a little bit of money, but at the end of it, it all went to a great cause.”
Grant used his social media presence to reach out to the community. When parents contacted him, he would ask the age and interests of the child(ren) in need, to ensure the gift was appropriate.
Once the toy was at the office, Grant contacted the parents so they could pick it up and wrap it themselves.
There were a few leftover toys that did not go to waste.
“My daughter and I… drove up to the hospital – there were a couple of kids in the hospital on Christmas Eve, so we left all the leftover toys with them, and they were pretty thrilled,” Grant said.
Grant said his own childhood served as a catalyst for the Christmas On Us program.
“I remember Christmases growing up where we didn’t have all the gifts that some of the other children were fortunate enough to have, and I know how that made me feel. We are so fortunate to live the lives that we have and I know there are a lot of people who are struggling here in the Comox Valley.”
Personal history aside, Grant said initiatives such as this are what he and his company are all about.
“We want to be leaders in the community,” he said. “We want to help enrich people’s lives, and be impactful in a positive way.
“I am hoping that this encourages other companies to do the same.”