After Jimmy Ellis visited the A. Worely Brown Boys and Girls Club in Norcross, he knew he wanted his company to do something special for the organization.
“John Reid, (the executive director for that location), really just amazed me with what they did up there at the club for the kids,” said Ellis, president of the Jim Ellis Automotive Group. “It’s really a great organization.”
Over the holidays, the group of 13 family-owned and operated car dealerships found a way to give back to that great organization.
On Feb. 1, the Jim Ellis Automotive Group presented the Boys Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta with a check for $65,000 to be used however leadership sees fit. A portion of that money will benefit all three Boys and Girls Clubs in Gwinnett.
“We hope they will utilize those funds in any area they consider most important to the development of those children,” Ellis said.
The Jim Ellis Automotive Group and its customers raised the $65,000 through a holiday campaign. A portion of the sale money from any new or pre-owned vehicle sold between Nov. 25 and Jan. 2 was set aside for the cause.
Ellis said the group has conducted similar campaigns before. He said most retailers do. But the group has never before used the campaign to benefit just one charity. Usually, the money is split between a few organizations.
Ellis said the group felt focusing on one charity might make the donation more effective.
“Sometimes, when you start diluting it like that, then the money one specific charity might get won’t be enough to move the needle,” he said. “Allowing us to focus on a single charity gives us that ability to really make a difference.”
Choosing the Boys and Girls Club as a focus wasn’t a difficult decision for the automotive group. The company had worked with the Club before, primarily by sponsoring them during different events.
It’s a natural partnership for an automotive group that prides itself in community work, especially where families and children are concerned. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta have provided programs designed to help kids succeed in school, in extracurricular activities, in their own health and in communities for more than 75 years, according to a Jim Ellis Automotive Group press release.
Ellis had known for a while the Clubs were worthy of his company’s help. That belief was only strengthened after his visit with Reid at the Boys and Girls Club in Norcross.
“I went up there basically just to learn a little bit more about what the Boys and Girls Clubs do,” he said.
Ellis was blown away by the specific programs offered at the location, including a music education program. He said he was impressed by how all the programs fit into four pillars of success the Clubs try to instill in youth — leadership, character, education and health.
“It’s all part of the program to give these kids something helpful and wholesome and with educational values to do during the day,” Ellis said. “It serves a need in the community for these families that are under-supported by their community.”
Jim Ellis Automotive Group customers seem to have been just as impressed with the groups their car purchases would support.
“Through this campaign, it became clear very quickly the impact Boys and Girls Clubs have made on many of our customers, staff and community members,” Ellis said. “We heard story after story about the personal impact various clubs had made on customers and staff alike during their youth.”
The campaign even affected buying decisions.
“Some felt so strongly about the mission and influence of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta that it became a deciding factor in the timeline of their vehicle purchase, wanting to make sure they purchased during the giving campaign period,” Ellis said.
That spirit allowed the group to smash the $15,000 goal they’d set for the campaign by $50,000.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled about the outcome of the campaign and the organization that we will be donating these funds to,” Ellis said. “It truly was a great season of giving at Jim Ellis Automotive.”