When Renae Swanson received a call from Cornhusker Toyota-Honda last month that it would be donating to the Crisis Center of Grand Island, she said it was a “wonderful surprise.”
“When he told me $2,000, I almost fell out of my chair,” said Swanson, marketing and resource coordinator for the Crisis Center.
Cornhusker Toyota-Honda General Manager Rick Alexander said Cornhusker Toyota-Honda gave $12,000 total to various organizations in the Tri-Cities area. He said the funds came from a portion of the dealership’s advertising budget that was set aside to give to community efforts.
“We decided to brainstorm what we could do with it (funds) and we had eight organizations in the Tri-Cities area that we donated to,” Alexander said.
The organizations that received monetary donations recently include the Crisis Center, GI Stingers, Hope Harbor, Mission Heart in Central City, Northwest Show Choir and Project Hunger.
“One of my salespeople is involved with Project Hunger and one of my other salespeople is involved with Mission Heart. One of my managers got us involved with the Crisis Center,” Alexander said. “So those are some causes that are pretty good. In this day and age, you have communication and networking kind of deals. So we were able to do that and narrow down the (organizations) who really needed some help.”
Swanson said the $2,000 donation from Cornhusker Toyota-Honda will “be stretched as far as it can” with every cent used. She said the funding will be used to help clients with rent, utility bills and fuel costs.
The donation is more beneficial now, Swanson said, due to the effect the coronavirus pandemic has had on the Crisis Center.
“COVID testing is free, but if we are doing rapid testing, there is usually a little cost to that,” she said. “So those dollars are going to be utilized for our survivors, their safety and well-being. If there are any funds leftover, we will use that to purchase food for our safe shelters.”
Alexander said Cornhusker Toyota-Honda enjoys being able to give back to the communities it serves. He said the dealership hopes to donate funds to various nonprofits in the Tri-Cities every year.
“We didn’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars, but with the limited sources that we had, we thought that we did a good job of spreading it around” this year, Alexander said. “The organizations that we have given it to have been very appreciative.”