Sheehy Auto Stores recently announced that the Fairfax, Virginia-based dealership group donated a total of $135,000 to 22 nonprofit charities and organizations found across Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia as a part of its annual giving program.
By the end of last year, Washington, D.C. charities received $71,500, Baltimore organizations were given $37,000, and a single charity in Hagerstown, Maryland known as CASA was given $2,000. Richmond, Virginia nonprofit groups received $26,500.
Sheehy Auto Stores President and CEO Vince Sheehy lives by a philosophy of creating positive relationships with co-workers, their customers and their community.
“We have just felt it’s always been an important part of our culture to recognize that we don’t want to be ‘takers’ in our community,” Sheehy told Mega Dealer News. “Car dealers have always had a good reputation for giving back, whether it’s to youth programs, hospitals or any institutions in need in the community, and we really wanted to take that to the next level and let everyone know who works for Sheehy that this is just an important part of our DNA.”
The Washington D.C. charities included Unity Life Changing Solutions ($5,000), Manna Food Center ($8,000), Good Shepherd Catholic Church ($5,000), Fauquier F.I.S.H. ($7,000), The. St. Lucy Project/Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington ($10,000), The Lamb Center ($2,500), Smashing Walnuts Foundation ($5,000), Mobile Hope Association ($5,000), Good Shepherd Housing and Family Services ($9,000), Ecumenical Community Helping Others ($5,000) and Ron Rosner Family YMCA ($10,000).
The Baltimore organizations receiving funds were the Arundel House of Hope ($5,000), Chesapeake Gateway Chamber of Commerce ($1,000), Mosaic Community Services ($4,000), Center For Children ($5,000), Naval Academy Athletic Association ($15,000) and Bowen Foundation for Autism ($5,000).
The four Richmond groups were Mercy Mall of Virginia ($19,000), ACES ($2,500), Circles Ashland ($2,500) and Patrick Henry YMCA ($2,500).
Sheehy explained that his employees from various dealerships in Maryland and Virginia research and identify the most pressing issues in their respective communities before reporting on which institutions could use the most financial support. Sheehy then prioritizes their funding toward these specific facilities.
One prime example being when Sheehy first heard of a school in Waldorf, Maryland that was ready to close its doors during the school year. Sheehy’s contributions helped the school remain open and provided students a proper education through the end of the budget year.
Sheehy said the responses he receives from the many facilities the company has financially supported has been “heartwarming” and pushes the auto group to keep donating even more the following year.
“It doesn’t take a lot to be very effective at being able to support an institution,” Sheehy said. “Most of them live on a shoestring budget and a contribution of $5,000, $7,500, $10,000 . . . aren’t the big national contributions that you hear about, but those little contributions in the community make a difference for a facility to stay open to serve the ones who need it the most at the critical time.”
Sheehy’s annual giving program is busy throughout the year sponsoring numerous national organizations. In the beginning of the year, Sheehy Auto focuses its time working with the American Heart Association to promote heart health within the business.
Sheehy Auto is also a primary collection site for Toys for Tots, delivers toys to marines in Quantico, Virginia and holds a food harvest by collecting food goods every autumn.
“I would just encourage all of us dealers who have been provided with incredible blessings to take the opportunity to really figure out where we can make the biggest difference in our respective communities,” Sheehy said.