February 24th, 2024

Angel Tree campaign gets a boost from car dealer


By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on December 20, 2023.

Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman Jaime Johnston, of Gary Moe Mazda, at left, along with LFS Angel Tree's Michelle Gallucci and Lana Crowe, stand with some of the donated toys before loading them up for delivery Tuesday morning at the dealership.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

The Lethbridge Family Services Angel Tree campaign received a significant donation of toys on Tuesday from a local car dealership that has supported the campaign for more than a decade.

Gary Moe Auto Group has been collecting toy donations for the Angel Tree campaign for many years, and 2023 was no exception. On Tuesday the company hosted members of the campaign to collect toys that many have placed under their tree at their Mazda dealership.

“We’ve been doing the Angel Tree honestly for as long as I can remember. I’ve been here coming up 18 years and we’ve been involved with it under the old ownership and then when Gary Moe took over they also took over the Angel Tree as their charity of choice at Christmas time,” said Jaime Johnston, financial services manager.

 She said this is something they like to do to give back to all the kids and the families in Lethbridge who maybe are not in the best situation at Christmas.

 “We want to make sure that every child has a gift to open this Christmas morning,” said Johnston.

 She said she was tasked with purchasing the gifts on behalf of the dealership this year with funds donated by staff, clients and members of the community as a whole, so she reached out to LFS to ask what was needed.

 “This year they said they needed things like squishmallows, Lego, hygiene kits and soccer balls, so couple of us went to some stores and purchased about $1,000 worth of gifts to donate,” said Johnston.

She said since they have been involved with the Angel Tree campaign for so many years, many of their customers donate regularly.

“We have lots of customers that year-after-year they bring gifts to us – some of our customers that I can remember from the very beginning working here they still bring us gifts every year, so it’s really heartwarming actually,” said Johnston.

Angel Tree campaign 2023 co-chair Lana Crowe stopped by the dealership to receive the donation and help load the car that delivered them to the campaign headquarters and said she was very happy to see the amount of toys being donated.

“It looks like we’ve got a lot of really great things that we’ve been in need of so that’s awesome,” said Crowe.

She said this donation helps enormously especially with the campaign coming to an end and many gift bundles still to make.

“We’re getting close to the end of our campaign, and we need lots of stuff for teens which is always a big ask. Hygiene kits, soccer balls, squishmallows, any tech items like headphones and things like that, things that we can add to our teen kits would be greatly appreciated,” said Crowe.

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