Kids' shoe box gifts to launch from Northwest Collision

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A local auto repair business is fixing to send a lot of love to children in need around the world.

Northwest Collision is serving as a drop-off point for Operation Christmas Child, which sends shoe boxes full of toys, school supplies and necessity items to children in 100 countries. Locally, about 2,150 boxes are expected to be packed by volunteers.

The collection period runs Nov. 14-21 at the business at 1330 W. Poplar St. Northwest Collision is open Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1-3 p.m., according to a news release. The business will be open from 8 a.m.-noon the second Monday of the collection, Nov. 21.

For more information on how to pack a box and what kind of items are recommended, go to www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/OCC.

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Walla Walla Dental Care is in the midst of its post-sugar shock candy buyback and has already reached 150 pounds of candy redeemed for gift cards to Inland Octopus.

The sweets are going to be part of holiday stockings sent to service members overseas, according to Amy Kate Bond of Walla Walla Dental Care.

Last year's collection netted more than 100 pounds of candy for the effort as well as 65 $5 gift cards to Hastings for local children who gave up the goodies.

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If you had $15,000 to give to a local nonprofit, which would you choose?

Abajian Toyota-Scion is making that question a little less rhetorical. The dealership and Toyota Motor Co. plan to ante up the cash, and let people vote on recipients at the company's Facebook page. You can find Abajian at facebook.com/abajiantoyota.

"This is such an exciting opportunity to give back to our community, especially to do it in a new and innovative way by doing it on Facebook," owner Scott Abajian said in a news release.

Voting will run from Nov. 12 to Dec. 12, according to the release. The top three vote-getters will be submitted to Toyota for final approval and will receive $5,000 each.

Which groups qualify? A nonprofit must be recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3). Political and lobbying groups are off limits, as are those that discriminate on the basis of race, gender or creed or serve their own membership exclusively.

The groups must do work in the Walla Walla, Dayton, Waitsburg, Dixie, College Place, Touchet and/or Milton-Freewater areas, according to the release.

Strictly Business is a local business column. Alasdair Stewart can be reached at alasdairstewart@wwub.com or 526-8311.

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