The Luther Automotive Group

Dealerships adopt, give to families

North Country Ford car biller Amy Truchinski, center, put on a Santa suit and collected funds from employees to help four families get on their feet again.  With Snyder is, from left, Controller Lisa Snyder, and Finance and Product Specialists Pam Broman and Patilee Yukl-Dinger-Szymanski.

North Country Ford car biller Amy Truchinski, center, put on a Santa suit and collected funds from employees to help four families get on their feet again. With Snyder is, from left, Controller Lisa Snyder, and Finance and Product Specialists Pam Broman and Patilee Yukl-Dinger-Szymanski.

Everyone knows that attractive cars help boost sales, but can a Santa suit increase generosity?

North Country Ford Lincoln car biller Amy Truchinski found out. “Rent it? No, I own it,” she said. And, what better time is there to make Santa’s rounds than after a good snowfall?

The car biller asked her coworkers to be a part of adopting four families in need, three from Ascension Place in north Minneapolis and one with a child having special needs in Anoka County. “They were all looking at me like I was crazy,” she said. “It was a full blown Santa suit, the hat, the mask and the beard.” She collected $2,100 and the store contributed an additional $2,000.

Ascension Place is a transitional housing facility where women live after spending time at a homeless shelter. It prepares them to enter or re-enter the workforce and live independently, Truchinski explained.

Finance and Product Specialists Pam Broman and Patilee Yukl-Dinger-Szymanski shopped for the needed items and delivered them to Ascension and volunteered to cook a dinner for the women and children. “I grew up having things,” said Truchinski. “This made me just see. I walked out of there in tears.” Among the gifts were pots and pans, bathrobes, slippers and a puzzle or game for a child.

Cambridge Motors also adopts

Taking a different approach to the same concept, John Hirsch’s Cambridge Motors called on each store department to purchase gifts for an adopted family connected to New Pathways, a shelter in the city.

A mother and three children made a wish list and employees shopped to fulfill it, explained receptionist Sherri Flannigan. Most of the items were needs, such as warm gloves, a hat and snow pants.

The parts department went a different route in their gifts for a young boy. “They said, ‘The kid is six. He doesn’t want any clothes, he wants toys,’” Flannigan explained.

Office staffers wrapped the gifts in matching paper and added tags. The gifts were opened on Christmas morning. It was the second year for the program.

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