Reed Nissan: Funding Real Change
Reed Nissan in Orlando, Florida, donates money from each of its car sales to Coalition for the Homeless, an organization that provides services to Central Florida's homeless population. It provides beds for more than 600 people per night, with nearly a quarter of those residents being school-aged children.
Aaron Hill, general manager of Reed Nissan, says the dealership chose the Coalition because it does more than offer free meals and shelter.
"They offer a full line of services to help get the homeless person back on the road to financial stability," Hill says. "They offer job skills training, interview training and financial training" on topics like budgeting and how to save money.
When homeless people complete the program, the shelter helps them find low-income housing. The dealership was impressed with the shelter's success rate: More than 60 percent of the people who complete the program stay off the streets.
In addition to the ongoing donations from car sales, the dealership recently held a donation drive to help raise funds. Reed Nissan was able to collect $14,500 from the local community, and added $30,000 of its own funds to present a total contribution of $44,500 to the coalition. The dealership also funded three months of television commercials for the coalition.
Sheehy Nissan of Glen Burnie: Not Your Usual Saturday Barbecue
In January of 2015, Sheehy Nissan of Glen Burnie presented Arundel House of Hope with a $10,000 cash donation. Arundel House of Hope is a nonprofit organization that provides housing and support services for the poor and homeless in Maryland's Anne Arundel County.
"Arundel House of Hope is very close to us, in more ways than one," says Mike Harrison, general manager of Sheehy Nissan of Glen Burnie. Arundel House is also located across the street from the Nissan store, which sits about 15 miles south of Baltimore. "They help folks right here in this community."
In addition to donating money to help the homeless get back on their feet, the dealership also feeds them.
Every Saturday, Sheehy Nissan has a barbecue or caters a meal, and local homeless people have a standing invitation to eat along with the dealership employees and customers. The Saturday lunches are regularly attended by more than 125 people, and have been a dealership practice for the better part of six years.
"The cookouts give us a chance to get to know the homeless in our area," says Harrison, who usually mans the grill. "We all sit and eat together. We learn each other's names, and we talk. This helps bring everybody together."