A Texas Subaru dealership has made a large donation to support the annual wreath-laying ceremony at a local veterans cemetery.
The funds, totaling $16,085, will go to the Wreaths for Vets nonprofit. Every year, the organization honors deceased service members and their relatives by placing wreaths at graves within the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery. Speaking to the Fort Cavazos Herald, Jean Shine, the group’s founder, noted that storing the wreaths had become a challenge for the small team. “The cemetery was started in 2006,” she commented. “(The) first year, it had 396 military interred there…we are now at 14,500 this year, and that fills four trucks of wreaths for us to deliver and to store for the year.” Armed with its donation from the Subaru dealership, the nonprofit intends to build a new storage unit on cemetery grounds to keep wreaths stocked for the annual ceremony.
Cleo Bay Subaru of Killeen arranged the donation in partnership with the Share the Love initiative hosted by the automaker every year between November and January. During the event, the car manufacturer and its retailers save a portion of every car purchase to donate to charity. Thanks to the program, the Texas Subaru dealership has given $177,000 to local nonprofits since 2008. Donating the funds to a veterans charity “only makes sense,” noted sales manager Jon Locklin. “It helps the majority of our population here — retired, active, spouse, family.” Cleo Bay Subaru of Killeen is situated near Fort Cavazos, a military post harboring the “III Armored Corps Headquarters, 1st Cavalry Division, 1st Army Division West, 13th Armored Corps Sustainment Command and other separate brigades,” according to the U.S. Army’s website.
The donation underscores the impact retailers can make on their communities and neighborhoods. Subaru dealerships have been especially generous this year thanks to the automaker’s Share the Love program, but other franchises host their own initiatives to drive support for both national and local charity. With the year drawing to a close, dealers should begin looking for ways to participate in these programs or even consider hosting their own donation drives to ensure nonprofits have the resources they need to continue operating into 2024.