Kelli Kelly, director of N&N Auto Finance in Edmond, has seen her customers experience hard times. This year she is lending a hand with Project Blessing, a toy drive and charity gala in Oklahoma City.
The desire to help led Kelly and others at N&N Auto Finance to team up with Kirk Fuqua's State Farm Insurance branch, Norris Auto Group in Edmond, One Fifteen and charity organizations such as the Salvation Army and Community Action.
“Everyone here has a really big heart. They want to help our community as much as I do,” Kelly said of the company she works for.
Project Blessing includes toy drop-off locations at all Norris Auto Group dealerships, Kirk Fuqua State Farm locations and at One Fifteen, a night club and restaurant in Bricktown.
Kelly said she realized the community's needs after building relationships with her customers.
“I help those who don't meet the requirements of traditional financing,” she said. “Most of my customers live paycheck to paycheck. They're single parents or parents who have gone through some kind of disaster that negatively affected their credit.”
People who have come into her office looking to finance their cars end up telling Kelly their stories of struggle, she said.
Kelly started the toy drive in 2010. The gala is new this year.
“Without our help, these kids won't get Christmas,” she said. “With the natural disasters that hit our state this year, the need is even greater.”
Toys can also be dropped off during Project Blessing's Hummer-themed gala set for 7 to 10 p.m. Dec. 12 at One Fifteen, 115 E Sheridan Ave.
Admission to the gala is free, but Kelly asks that all who attend bring a new toy to donate.
Door prizes and appetizers will be given away at the gala, and items will be auctioned off to raise money to buy more toys for the children, Kelly said. The business sponsors involved in Project Blessing will shop for children’s toys with money collected.
A list of children in need, along with information provided by the Salvation Army, will be used to contact families and let them know when to come by Norris Auto Group for the grand toy giveaway.
“Last year, we were able to help 21 families in need,” Kelly said. “This year, I hope we can go above and beyond that number.”
How to help
For more information about Project Blessing or the gala, call N&N Auto Finance at 749-4900.