Newcastle Chrysler Dodge Jeep will once again collect gifts for area children during the holiday season.
This is the second year the dealership on Route 1 in Newcastle will host the gift drive. Last year, the drive collected more than 200 gifts for local families in two weeks.
“It was such a big success last year and made so many children’s Christmases special, and we wanted to do that again,” Randy Miller, the dealership’s president, said.
Miller announced the return of the gift drive on the dealership’s Facebook page Saturday, Nov. 26. The dealership is collecting toys, clothing, books, and any other gifts for children of all ages, from infants to 19-year-olds, Miller said. The gifts should not be wrapped.
In exchange for bringing in a gift, Miller is offering $25 coupons to the dealership, which can be used for anything from oil changes to vehicle accessories.
“It doesn’t matter if you bring in one gift or 15 gifts, each gift gets a certificate,” Miller said.
If anyone does not wish to receive a certificate, Miller will donate the money to buy more gifts. Almost $1,000 in unclaimed coupons was donated last year to purchase more toys.
Gifts will be accepted at Newcastle Chrysler through Wednesday, Dec. 21. Miller said he hopes to bring in more gifts than last year.
“I’m pretty competitive with things like this, so I would like to do at least 300 gifts,” Miller said. “I want to fill a van at least three times.”
After all the gifts have been collected, they will be delivered to Healthy Kids, of Damariscotta, for delivery to families in the area. Gifts will also be distributed by the American Cancer Society for children with cancer.
The American Cancer Society recently selected Miller as one of 25 Real Men Wear Pink of Maine. The community leaders worked to raise awareness and funds for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event.
The candidate who raised the most money will be crowned the Real Man in Pink of Maine and win a prize. Miller raised $17,662.83 for the society before competition concluded Oct. 31.
The winner has not yet been officially named, however, Miller’s donations total more than four times those of his closest competitor and make up almost half of the total of $40,436 raised by the 25 candidates, according to the Real Men Wear Pink of Maine website.
Miller said he hopes the gift drive sees similar support.
“This is just a phenomenal community with so much support, and you just have to find ways to give back,” Miller said. “This community has made a difference in my life, and I hope to make a difference in the community.”
For more information about the gift drive, visit Newcastle Chrysler’s Facebook page.