SOUTHINGTON — Two businesses are holding a winter clothing and toy drive for clients at Bread for Life.
“We’ve seen such a drastic need in our community unfortunately with housing going through the roof …,” said Jason McCormick, owner of Good Guys Auto House.
The mechanic is donating a $5 Dunkin’ Donuts gift card to Bread for Life in the name of the first 100 customers who come in during December. He is also encouraging customers to drop off hats, gloves, gift cards, blankets and toys. Worldwide Wine and Spirits is also hosting a drop box for donations.
McCormick has been donating to Bread for Life for four years, growing it from a toy drive to include other essential items needed around the holidays and winter months.
“We also see a lot of the adults struggling, so we want to make sure the whole family is taken care of,” he said.
Since founding Good Guy’s 14 years ago, he’s been finding ways to use his business to help others.
“I think everyone in the community needs to be more aware of this. I think everybody in life can trip and fall ... so it's important to help them get back on their feet,” he said.
The donations will go towards holiday baskets Bread for Life distributes to all clients in the days leading up to Christmas.
“It makes them feel so warm that people are thinking of them and that’s so important because so many of the people we serve are suffering from a lack of relationships in their life,” said Bread for Life Executive Director Donna Ayer.
Having businesses encourage customers to donate helps reach residents who might not interact with Bread for Life.
“They both have such a far reach, which is great, and really super that they’re connecting all of their customers with our cause really means the world to us,” Ayer said.
Taylor Deegan, store manager at Worldwide Wine and Spirits, said they’re excited to partner with Good Guys.
“In my opinion it's the way it should be, businesses and organizations have such a platform to give back…,” he said. “Even a small donation into any of the boxes … the smallest thing would be a big help.
Having volunteered at Bread for Life in the past, he said the staff there are able to identify what needs their clients have and work with organizations and donors in town to meet them, including serving hundreds of meals a week through its food pantry. Being able to provide winter clothing to their clients will help them get to their jobs or to the food pantry for those without vehicles.