XENIA — It was a good year for Detroit Tire to start its “giving” tradition early.
The tire and auto service center started collecting donations of food, clothes, and toiletries at Halloween this time around and has already seen an outpouring of support from the community. All donations go to Xenia Community Schools students and families in need.
“We are off to a wonderful start,” General Manager Steve Kemper said.
For the last few years, Kemper has set up a tire tree in the lobby of the shop around the holidays. The tree isn’t up yet, but the counter has been overflowing with donations from customers, who have also donated $200 in cash and $150 in grocery store gift cards already.
“It’s really fun how the community has gotten around it,” Kemper said.
Kemper said the store reduces customers’ bills or offers gift certificates in exchange for donations, but customers rarely take them. Some customers have even donated back Kroger gift cards offered as part of a promotion when buying a specific set of tires.
“People talk about it all year long. They’ll come up in June and say, ‘Are you going to do your Christmas drive again this year?’ ” Kemper said. “I think people just want to help.”
XCS Homeless Liaison Kathy Napier said she was overwhelmed when she saw the items piled up in the lobby.
She’s working to distribute the first van full of nonperishable items to families in the district who need it for meals during the week. Closer to the holidays, families will receive food for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner as well as toys for Christmas, thanks largely in part to Detroit Tire.
Napier said she has specific families she works with already and counselors will contact her if any additional families could benefit from the items this year.
“I just feel very, very blessed,” she said. “It’s wonderful to live in a community where caring for others is the number one priority and I feel like that in Xenia. I feel like we have a very caring community.”
Families in need of assistance can contact the school or speak with a school counselor to learn more information.
Kemper said there’s plenty of room for more donations. The drive will continue until Thursday, 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.
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