XENIA — Detroit Tire is once again collecting food, clothes and toys to make sure Xenia students and families in need are happy and full this Christmas.
General Manager Steve Kemper said Xenia Community Schools Homeless Liaison Kathy Napier’s reaction was one of “relief” when he called her to offer the donations again this year.
“There’s a big need right now,” Kemper said. “She makes sure everyone gets taken care of. We know all the kids are getting fed. We’re happy to help for sure.”
Kemper is continuing the tradition for the fourth year, watching as non-perishable food items, hygiene products, new clothing and toys pile up under the tire-tree in the lobby. He’s also offering $25 gift cards to the tire and auto service center and free oil changes to those who stop by to donate items.
According to Napier, the McKinney-Vento grant from the state, which helps students experiencing homelessness, covers educational purposes but can not be used to buy food, clothing or toys.
“We depend on donations for those items,” Napier said. “It’s a good thing they’ve done this for us because I’m not sure how I would’ve gotten food for all the families I’ve helped.”
Napier said the receiving family doesn’t have to be homeless, but rather just show a need for the food and toys.
“Families with hungry kids, families who just can’t make it from one pay day to the next,” she explained. “I have some students who are 18 and on their own — those students I can help provide food for. If counselors in school know a family in need, they put me in touch with them.”
She also offers items to local shelters like the Family Violence Prevention Center, the Miami Valley Community Action Partnership Donnellan Shelter and Interfaith Hospitality Network- Schneider House of Hope.
“I always check my phone,” Napier said. “I have plenty to share.”
The community’s donations will last on pantry shelves beyond Christmas — even through most of the spring, she hopes.
“I can’t say enough good things about what they’re doing to help us,” Napier said. “It’s wonderful.”
The food, clothes and toy drive started Nov. 1 and will last until New Years Eve, Tuesday, Dec. 31. Detroit Tire, 968 W. Second St., is open 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
Kemper said he hopes for an even “bigger and better” drive next year by challenging local businesses to see who can collect the most donations.
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