New York Auto Dealers Turn Cars Into Coats For Children In Need


Long Island dealer donates $6,000 for coats

Dawn Cames, general manager of Jaguar Land Rover of Glen Cove, Michael Levitan, Darlene Allen, Deborah Gardner, and Mark Schienberg, president of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, which is collecting donations from its members, and which has collected over 60,000 coats for New Yorkers in need over the past few years, with the blown up check for $6,000, which purchased 300 new coats for children in need, at Jaguar Land Rover of Glen Cove.
(Photo by Joe Licul)

Auto dealers in downstate New York are helping keep children warm this winter by turning cars into coats for those in need, as the COVID-19 crisis has created financial hardship for families throughout the region.
Members of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association (GNYADA) are buying coats by raising money from members for each car sold, as well as donating thousands of dollars more, to provide winter coats to children on Long Island, in New York City and the Lower Hudson Valley.

“New car and truck dealers in local communities all over metro New York are some of the largest contributors to charities each year,” GNYADA President Mark Schienberg said. “One of the most important efforts occurs during the cold winter months when New Yorkers need winter coats. It is the enormous generosity of these vital small business owners, their employees and customers that makes the cold months a little easier for people in need of assistance.”
He added. “This has been a difficult year for all businesses, but auto dealers have once again stepped up to lead the way in helping those who have been impacted by COVID-19 and the economic blow it has dealt to so many families.”

On Monday, Jan. 25, Long Island Auto Group, which includes Jaguar Land Rover of Glen Cove, donated $6,000—enough to purchase brand-new coats for 300 children—to Operation Warm for distribution to the Mildred W. Fairclough Foundation, a local nonprofit organization that provides vital services to Long Islanders in need.
“Our partnership with GNYADA and Long Island Auto Group is a wonderful showcase of their commitment to giving back to the communities they serve,” said Heather Connolly, vice presient of partnerships & development for Operation Warm. “This collaboration has helped hundreds of children in New York communities stay warm this winter.”

Michael Levitan, president of Long Island Auto Group; Darlene Allen, CEO/founder of the Mildred W Fairclough Foundation Inc.; and Deborah Gardner, who received a coat on behalf of her grandson, display the new coats donated by Long Island Auto Group at Jaguar Land Rover of Glen Cove.
(Photo by Joe Licul)

GNYADA so far has raised more than $45,000 this winter, enough to donate 2,300 new coats, from its member dealers, and has collected more than 60,000 coats over the last few years. The association is teaming up with Operation Warm, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to donating coats, which received more coat requests by September of 2020 than it did all last winter.
“Our group has participated in the wonderful event that GNYADA facilitates over the years collecting coats for those that are less fortunate,” Long Island Auto Group President Michael Levitan said. “I was delighted when GNYADA announced the program for this year, as I had feared that we would not be able to collect coats like we have done in the past. I couldn’t let the opportunity slip by and was more than happy that we were able to do our part and contribute.”

GNYADA had been for many years the largest multi-location collector of winter coats for the annual New York Cares coat drive, collecting more than 60,000 coats. This year, because of COVID-19 safety restrictions, dealers could not physically collect coats, so GNYADA turned to Operation Warm to continue its coat drive tradition by donating funds to purchase brand new coats.
GNYADA dealers are among New York’s most generous small businesses, donating more than $21 million to philanthropic causes in 2019. The association represents franchised new car dealerships throughout the 12 downstate counties of New York that support more than 71,000 jobs.

Operation Warm is a national nonprofit that manufactures brand-new, high-quality coats for children in need. The organization aims to donate 500,000 coats during the winter of 2020-21.

-Submitted by the Greater New York Automobile Dealers of America


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