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How you can help others (and win a car) this holiday season

This article is Sponsored by Sanderson Ford

It’s the giving season, which means local charities need your help serving the community. This year marks the 19th anniversary of the Sanderson Ford and ABC15 Operation Santa Claus charity drive, which runs through Wednesday.

The drive is an effort to gather toys, clothes, food and monetary donations for Arizona charities, including St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center, Special Olympics Arizona, Chicanos Por La Causa and Military Assistance Mission.

To show appreciation for community support, Sanderson Ford is offering every person who contributes $5 or more the chance to win a brand new vehicle. One lucky winner will have the choice of a new Ford F150 SuperCrew or luxury sedan Lincoln MKZ. Fifteen additional finalists will receive a $100 Visa gift card. Winners will be announced Thursday.

Authorized donation drop-off locations include the following:

  • ABC15 Studios – 515 N. 44th Street, Phoenix
  • Sanderson Ford – 6400 N. 51st Avenue, Glendale
  • Sanderson Lincoln – 2121 W. Bell Road, Phoenix
  • All UPS Store locations across the Valley
  • Operation Santa Claus events listed at givetotheclaus.com

Thursday, the drive will finish with a human chain of volunteers who will deliver the collected donations to Arizona families in need.

“It’s grown every year for the past 19 years and I’m so proud of our employees and partners working together towards the goal of hitting the one-million-dollar mark for the fifth year in a row,” said David Kimmerle, president of Sanderson Ford and Sanderson Lincoln. “We need to do it again. Hundreds of families throughout the Valley are counting on us. I really believe the community can and will come together to raise the bar one more time.”

More about the charities

St. Mary’s Food Bank relies on individual donors, private grants and corporate donors to feed the hungry in 9 out of 15 Arizona counties. Among other things, the food bank distributes food to food pantries and homeless shelters, sponsors the Kids Café, School Pantry, and Backpack programs, and offers hands-on training to help adults with barriers to employment succeed in the foodservice industry.

Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center is a nonprofit organization that conducts research and develops best practices and training resources to help build inclusive communities for people with autism and their families.

The Special Olympics remain the largest sports organization in Arizona for people with intellectual disabilities. It offers year-round training and sports competitions for adults and children who would not otherwise have the opportunity to develop their athletic gifts. Participation in sports helps these athletes improve their physical fitness, forge new friendships and experience the joy of sharing their gifts with their families and communities.

Chicanos Por La Causa focuses on providing behavioral health services for people living with moderate to severe mental health and substance abuse issues, stemming from sources such as depression, anxiety, trauma, suicidal thoughts and abuse. It offers outpatient services with flexible hours and home-based services for both English and Spanish speakers.

The Military Assistance Mission offers financial assistance to qualifying service members and their families and post 9/11 purple heart recipients. During the holidays, it also gathers and sends holiday cards to the troops, and hosts the Operation Holiday Open House event to collect toys and other Christmas gifts for military children. The collection finishes with a carnival where military families “shop” through the collected items.

For more information on how you can serve others this holiday season or make a donation, call or visit Sanderson Ford or visit givetotheclaus.com.