CJ's Tire & Automotive Service is celebrating Christmas in July by helping others in need.
All this month, the Exeter Twp., Berks Co.-based company has been asking customers at its 12 locations to donate their change to "Operation Nine Reindeer," a charity that benefits local families in need.
"We have great customers and great employees at CJ's. They have always responded whenever we’ve asked them to support a good cause," said Bill Bainbridge, director of marketing for CJ’s Tire & Automotive Services.
Operation Nine Reindeer was founded in 2012 by Dutch Schrap and his partner, Jenn Schubert, as a foundation to provide the best Christmas to selected local families that truly need help and cheer during the holidays.
"No child should be without a Christmas, so our mission is to deliver gifts and a special memory to local families carefully selected based on their very special needs,” said Schrap. “With the help of local businesses, donations and private gifts, our vision is to continue to grow each year so that we can help more families and ensure that more children don’t go without a Christmas.”
In addition to the in-store donations it's collecting, CJ's is also taking part in a pair of events to support Operation Nine Reindeer.
The first will take place Wednesday from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Chick-fil-A in Exeter Township. Change-Up the Turtle, Screwball, the Chick-fil-A Cow and Santa Claus will serve as special guests.
"There will be treats for everyone, raffle prizes, a spinning prize wheel, and the chance to check with Santa and learn if you’re on his mid-year naughty or nice list,” Bainbridge said. "And if diners bring in a special invitation available from CJ’s website, Chick-fil-A has agreed to donate 15 percent of their proceeds from not only our dinner event, but also all day on the 25th, as well, to benefit O9R.”
The Christmas in July celebration will continue Thursday at FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading, with CJ's and Santa on hand to collect donations and hand out goodies to kids of all ages.
The Fightin Phils will then take to the field in special "Santa jerseys," which fans will have the chance to win after the game, thanks to CJ's, Y-102 and 69 News.
"Bring your whole family to the game. It is going to be a fun-filled evening, while also helping out a really great cause," said Bainbridge. "I've always believed that small change can make a big difference."