Every dealership feeds a customer’s need for speed. But one dealership is looking to do more by also feeding its community. Powersports Business staff reporter Nick Longworth learned about how Magic City Harley-Davidson in Minot, North Dakota, is helping its community during COVID-19 with a food drive.
Throughout April the dealership collected a total of 624 pounds of non-perishable food donations from its patrons to be donated to the Food Pantry at the Minot Salvation Army.
Throughout the beginning of the COVID-19 onset, sister store Black Magic Harley Davidson in Williston, North Dakota, decided to institute the idea of a freewill donation bin after being inspired by a post its shared general manager had seen on social media.
“He asked us to run the food drive for both locations. We have a donation bin in our vestibule to our entryway, and it’s become a little stopping point for most people,” said Kelsey Schlag, business and marketing manager at Magic City Harley-Davidson.
“We have the bin for donations, but to both sides of it along the wall are now completely stacked up and full of bags filled of canned goods, pancake mix, granola bars, canola oil — anything and everything you can think of. It’s amazing how full it is in there… All of a sudden we’re getting older grannies who are stopping by to drop off food, talking to younger bikers,” said Schlag with a laugh.
With the seed planted, Schlag researched a non-denominational donation recipient that could help disperse donations throughout the community. The supplies will be used to bolster the reserves for those in need throughout the surrounding communities.
“We started out with a simple Google search, found the Salvation Army and spoke with Lindsay [Kreger]. She told us about how on a regular month they feed 300-400 people, and it almost doubled during the beginning of the pandemic; it was such a strong wave of people who needed help that they didn’t know what they were going to do,” said Schlag. “She said all the local pantries kind of trade and share supplies among each other — if one place has a bunch of peanut butter and the other a bunch of corn, they will swap. We figured this would be a good way to help everyone… It seems like everybody that comes in, came with at least two bags full of stuff.”
If established with the intent of goodwill, charity drives and other philanthropic community events are effective ways of advertising for dealerships.
“We’re a business and we think about both sides of things, but in the end we’re all human and if we don’t help when we can, how can we expect to be helped in the long-run if needed,” said Schlag. “Double your efforts with as many platforms as you can, and reach out to people. Yes it can help with publicity, but it’s really about what you’re doing as well. We’re just trying to help the community — we’re a locally owned business and we’re a part of this community as much as everybody else.”
Hats off to the dealerships that go the extra mile for their patrons in times of need. If actions speak louder than words, communities will remember the shops that were seen often in times of need.
Got a story to tell about your dealership during COVID-19? Send an email to Nick at nlongworth at epgmediallc.com.