Critical Funding, Toys, and Cars Are on Brandt’s Christmas Gift-Giving List
A joyous, festive time of year, the holidays are about sharing, caring, and spreading joy, not just with your loved ones but also with others. While Jessica Brandt prioritizes giving year-round, she believes the holiday season is an exceptionally special time to give back. As CEO of the Ray Brandt Auto Group and President of the Ray & Jessica Brandt Family Foundation, Brandt enjoys leading in a variety of ways—and that includes prioritizing partnerships with local organizations that uplift the children and families of her community.
One way the Ray Brandt Auto Group brings smiles to children and families is through its work with Toys for Tots. From October through December 23rd, each dealership collects new, unwrapped toys and monetary donations to bring hope and joy to thousands of children this holiday season. With toy collection currently in full swing, they encourage employees and customers alike to donate.
“Every toy makes a difference!” says Brandt. “It’s always a happy experience for a child to receive gifts from friends and family. Unfortunately, that’s not a holiday experience all children get to have, as some families suffer from economic strains. That’s where Toys for Tots comes in—this program brings holiday cheer back into children’s lives.”
Since 1947, the Toys for Tots program has distributed 584 million toys to 265 million children. Their mission is to “provide a tangible sign of hope to economically disadvantaged children at Christmas,” and that hope makes a tremendous difference in each child’s life.
“When you are involved with Toys for Tots, whether donating a new toy, donating a few dollars to the cause, or volunteering your time, it is life-changing for these children,” says Brandt.
The Ray and Jessica Brandt Family Foundation is also working to benefit children in local hospitals and recently sponsored Children’s Hospital New Orleans’ Light Up the Season event. The event serves as the official lighting of the holiday season on the Children’s Hospital New Orleans campus. As part of the sponsorship, a $50,000 donation from the Foundation will help fund travel, housing, and food for patients and their families, alleviating some of the worry along their journey to healing.
“During the hustle and bustle of this busy season, Children’s Hospital never stops,” says Brandt. “Children continue to need and receive critical care, and dedicated hospital staff continue to work to heal them. What a gift they both are, and what an honor it is to help.”
Children’s Hospital, a member of LCMC Health, is a not-for-profit medical center serving children from birth to 21 years. For more than 60 years, they’ve delivered expert pediatric healthcare.
“As the first and largest free-standing Children’s Hospital in Louisiana, we rely on partners like the Ray Brandt Auto Group to care for every child, regardless of his or her family’s ability to pay for treatment,” says Kelley Adamec, Director of Annual Giving at Children’s Hospital New Orleans.
Children’s Hospital’s Light Up the Season Radiothon took place December 9th and 10th with the Hospital broadcasting the flipping of the switch via Facebook Live. The Ray Brandt Auto Group joined in supporting the event by “Lighting Up” all 13 dealerships at the same time as Children’s. They encourage those interested in supporting patients and their families at Children’s to donate at chnola.org/lights.
Impacting the lives of children is a large part of the mission of the Ray and Jessica Brandt Family Foundation and the Ray Brandt Auto Group. In addition to working closely with Toys for Tots and Children’s Hospital New Orleans, Brandt is donating two brand new INFINITI Q50s to the 2022 St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway, which benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“Being able to give is a privilege—there’s nothing better than putting a smile on someone’s face,” says Brandt.
As CEO, she has made giving an integral part of Ray Brandt Auto Group’s company culture. According to Brandt, when you work for the Ray Brandt Auto Group, you become part of a community—a family—that supports fellow employees, clients, and the local organizations that uplift others. Additionally, a percentage of every vehicle sale within the Auto Group is set aside to be put towards charitable causes. By bringing smiles to children and families, Brandt and her team hope to inspire others to give during this celebrated, heart-warming time.
“This community contributes so much to our success; it’s only right that we contribute right back. The holidays are a perfect time to give even more,” she says.
December 15, 2021