ST. GEORGE — Employees from St. George’s Ken Garff Ford went out Friday morning and delivered 1,800 Lark’s Nest cookies to nine local organizations as the first part of a larger effort to show their appreciation of the groups’ work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The organizations included Switchpoint, the St. George Police Department and Fire Department, the Washington City Fire and Police departments and others.
The cookie deliveries acted as the starting point for Ken Garff Ford’s efforts, with the second portion coming July 10, at which point they will be taking nominations online for people in need of something during the tough times. This doesn’t only include those impacted by the pandemic; Ken Garff Ford is looking to help out the community as much as possible.
“July 10 is going to be the big event,” Ken Garff Ford Marketing Manager Austin Szatlocky said. “We’re going to be donating around $5,000 worth of items depending on the needs of the families we get back from the nominations. They will be catered to their needs. We’ll buy them a bike, a trampoline, or if they need something else we’ll take care of it.”
Besides their Utah locations, Ken Garff has dealerships in California, Nevada, Iowa, Michigan and Texas, and all of the dealerships are participating in an initiative known as “We’re Hear For You.” The project has a goal of giving back during the pandemic by purchasing goods and services from local businesses and giving them to community members in need.
“Local business gives back to our community more so than the big chains,” Szatlocky said. “Costco, Walmart and those places have been open during this time. The local restaurants that haven’t been open (and) have had a harder time are the type of people we’re looking for. The servers, the cooks, those guys that lost their job for a certain period of time. They may need something, and we’re here to see if we can give back to them and keep it as local as possible.”
Ken Garff has seen positive feedback with those impacted by this project, Szatlocky said. For Lark’s Nest, Ken Garff Ford had ordered cookies from them before the pandemic hit. When they reached out to support the local business, Lark’s Nest made 1,800 cookies that were then distributed by Ken Garff Ford.
Szatlocky said that Lark’s Nest was overjoyed when they found out they would be supplying the cookies. He added that their business has dropped due to the pandemic.
“It only makes sense with the values that we have with this company (Ken Garff Ford),” Szatlocky said of the initiative. “Not only do we take care of our own, but it only makes sense to give back to the community we live in who has supported us time and time again. St. George is still a small community, and we rely on everyone. We try to have our hand in a lot of community projects and give back as much as possible.”
In addition to the cookie donations, the Ken Garff Hyundai Southtowne and Truck Center employees are sending personal protective equipment to the Navajo Nation as a part of the “We’re Hear for You” initiative and 42 Days of Giving from 21 dealerships. The shipment of PPE was loaded into a truck on Monday and is scheduled to be delivered on Wednesday.
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