KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Lexus of Knoxville chooses a charity every quarter to receive what it calls the Big Give.
The dealership, which has a partnership with B97.5 and WVLT Volunteer TV, donates its advertising spots to the winner to put them into the public spotlight, where they encourage the community to come to the showroom to drop off items for that specific charity drive.
In the past, Lexus of Knoxville has collected fans for those without air-conditioning, cards and games for Alzheimer's patients and stuffed animals for traumatized children.
Knoxville Pays It Forward, which is dedicated to helping others, is this quarter's winner and the dealership is asking for donations to fill crisis baskets. These baskets are given to people who lose everything, whether it's because of a house fire, a flood, sudden unemployment or serious illness. The contents include socks, underwear, personal-hygiene products, cleaning supplies and the like.
"They created this most incredible commercial for us and we're getting calls and Web site hits daily because of it," Knoxville Pays It Forward Founder Kim Cantrell told Edmunds.
As a direct result of the Big Give, Cantrell's group has ballooned to more than 4,000 volunteers, up from about 200 when it started in 2009.
Lexus of Knoxville General Manager Andy White is happy to help make a difference.
"We don't do this to advertise our dealership or sell cars," White told Edmunds. "We do it because we want to give back to the community of Knoxville."
Edmunds says: Community support is one way to pay it forward.