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18 November 2008

JSU Partners in
Classic Cares
Community Toy Drive


(Editor's Note: Following is Dr. Bill Meehan's Town and Gown column about the Classic Cares Community Toy Drive, which ran in the November 12 edition of the Jacksonville News.)

According to the United States Department of Labor, the nation has lost an average of 84,000 jobs each month so far in 2008. We are experiencing the largest employment drop in five-and-a-half years. In September, the government tried the bailout plan; this November, in association with Classic Cadillac Pontiac GMC of Anniston and the Salvation Army, Jacksonville State University and Calhoun county plan to implement the “help-out plan.”

JSU Drop Off Locations/Dates

JSU in Lights
December 1 at 4 p.m.

Public Relations Office
108 Bibb Graves Hall
Drop off toys and gift cards through
Friday, December 12

Ken Wesenberg, owner of Classic Cadillac, moved to Anniston from Florida at the end of 2007. His passion for the community was clear when he immediately saw families hurting economically and children going without during the holiday season and decided to act in order to aid.

For the first time on a large scale, Classic Cadillac will pair with the Salvation Army to sponsor the Classic Cares Community Toy Drive to make some holiday wishes come true.

This period in history has been coined the Financial Crisis of 2008. Former chairman of the Fed, Alan Greenspan, said in a March Financial Times, “The current financial crisis in the US is likely to be judged as the most wrenching since the end of the Second World War.”

In Calhoun County, 674 families have registered and qualified to receive gifts from the toy drive this December. Presents will need to be donated for more than 1,000 children ages 0-16. The groups are collecting new, unwrapped toys and gift cards now through December 13.

Brandy White, customer service manager of Classic Cadillac, suggests placing gift cards into larger, sealed envelopes. Some ideas of stores from which to give gift cards are Bath and Body Works, Gamestop, Target, Wal-Mart, clothing and accessory stores, movie theaters, as well as others. She says it is empowering for kids to walk into a store and make their own purchase decisions.

Drop off locations for toys and gift cards in Calhoun county are as follows: any Wal-Mart, ERA King Real Estate Offices, Cable One, Think Toys, outside KB Toys in the Quintard Mall and WVOK 97.9 in Oxford.

White says the toy drive started as a small idea and it is been a blessing to see it grow to a large-scale event. “We’re really excited about the opportunity to work with the Organizational Council (OC) at JSU,” says White. “It’s great to get a younger crowd involved.”

The OC was designed by the JSU Student Government Association (SGA) in 2002 to ensure each organization on campus could come together in voice and spirit. Director of Student Activities and Orientation Terry Casey said the OC has adopted this toy drive as their December community service project. All of the organizations on campus have been asked to collect toys and gift cards to bring to JSU in Lights – the annual lighting of the campus – on December 1 at 4 p.m.

This drive involving the entire community seeks to help our county’s families, our own spirits through giving, and our economy – three desired effects from efforts this holiday season.

For more information, call Brandy White at Classic Cadillac at 256-236-4444.

Erin Chupp, a graduate assistant in the Office of Marketing and Communications, contributed to this article.



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