The Waxahachie Autoplex held a toy drive benefitting the Waxahachie Salvation Army on Friday, Dec. 21. The toys were delivered to Lt. Jeremiah Romack late Friday afternoon and were used to meet emergency Christmas needs.

Those (toys) not used this holiday season will be placed in storage for next year or in case of emergencies.

Romack said it doesn’t matter what time of year it is, the Salvation Army can always use donations.

“We take donations throughout the year,” Romack said. “The Salvation Army is here to aid the people of Ellis County. Sometimes we face emergency situations where toys and clothes that were provided this time of year come in handy.”

Whether it’s a family that was displaced by a fire or another type of disaster, Romack said the donations are always put to good use.

Autoplex Service Manager Jerad Martin said they started the toy drive several weeks ago. He said people dropped off toys here and there, but they decided it would be a great idea to designate an entire day to their mission.

“To help make the toy drive a success, we chose to offer free oil changes to anyone that brought in a new unwrapped toy,” Martin said. “The idea to provide the oil changes proved to be a great success because we have been slammed.”

While several people dropped off boxed gifts, the majority of them decided to donate bicycles. The lobby Christmas tree was surrounded by bicycles of all colors and sizes.

Wes Spence serves as the general manager of the Autoplex and said giving to the community has been one of their main focuses. He added that the dealership has not been very good in that area in the past, but it is his heart’s desire to turn that around.

“Giving back to the community is very important to me and something I wanted to institute,” Spence said. “This year we gave to many high schools and sports programs, but we are really going to step things up in 2013.”

Spence said in 2013 they plan on making a huge commitment to other charity groups in the community.

“We’ve given back to schools, churches and local charities,” he said. “And we will continue to do that.”

He said they make their living by selling cars, and without the people of Ellis County that wouldn’t happen.

“The people of this community are the one’s who help us feed our families,” Spence said. “And we will continue to give back to them, because without them, we wouldn’t be where we are.”

Follow Melissa on Facebook.com/MelissaCadeWDL. Contact her at 469-517-1450 or melissa.cade@waxahachietx.com.