When L&S Toyota of Beckley decided they wanted to give back to the community, they never expected it to have such a great impact… and it all started with a Facebook post three years ago.
“I didn’t even a Facebook account at the time. It was my first Facebook experience, and the people who were doing Facebook for my business, they were struggling, and saying they didn’t know how to get more people and all this stuff. So I said, okay let me try. So I got in my truck one day, driving my kids to school, and thought, I’m going to give away $5,000 to a charity, but I’m going to let people on Facebook do it. Right when I posted it, we had, I think 5,000 people had viewed it within an hour,” Shawn Ball, the owner of L&S Toyota, said.
The Facebook post asked the community to nominate one charity to receive a donation. The charity that got the most nominations would be awarded $40,000 dollars.
“We just wanted to bring awareness to smaller charities and funnel them money because it’s not easy for them to have fundraisers and a lot of them is volunteer work. They don’t have paid staff to do a lot of the things that some of the bigger charities have, and I just wanted to bring awareness to that,” Ball added.
This year, the leaders at L&S Toyota decided to help out all of the charities, and before they knew it, they had a list of over 86 charities that they would be splitting the donation money to.
Margaret O’Neal, the Executive Director of United Way, said, “We live in a special place, and it’s days like this that we are reminded of that. Every community isn’t like this. Every business owner isn’t Shawn Ball. It’s a great day.”
And Wednesday’s event wasn’t just about the money giveaway. It was a way to learn about all the hard work and compassion that goes into running these charities.
“You know, that’s the fun part. That’s why I come to work every day. I love this. This is my favorite time of the year. This day.. this is it,” Ball told us.
L&S Toyota says they do plan on hosting this event again next year, and are hoping that even more charities participate.