SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)– It was a sunny but brisk day in the Electric City as Toyota of Scranton had a bit of a surprise set up to help a local animal shelter.
“We’re always on the lookout for organizations who support the community so we can give back to the community a little bit,” said their chief financial officer Patrick Rogers. “We also poll our employees on a consistent basis. They all get an input as to where we’re going to spend some money as far as supporting the community.”
The team effort at the dealership resulted in the donation of a brand new 2019 Toyota RAV-4 for the Griffin Pond Animal Shelter in nearby South Abington Township.
“We like to support community endeavors here and we’re very proud to support Griffin Pond,” he added. “We’re very proud that Griffin Pond is doing the work that they do. We’re just a very small part in trying to help out a little.”
The shelter only had a relative idea of what was going to happen Wednesday morning.
“We didn’t know exactly what was coming our way,” said the shelter’s executive director Ashley Wolo. “This was definitely a surprise and a magnificent one at that. We’re so happy and so blessed to have this.”
The shelter’s needs definitely include an upgrade to their fleet of vehicles — and with reason.
“We always have transportations for the animals. We are always picking up and rescuing animals, all around the county. It is absolutely amazing,” she added.
The only thing left to do for the day was to get the new donation back to the shelter. The new wheels hit the lot and the buzz within the shelter was palpable.
“When you run a shelter sometimes you have to take what you can get. We have some older vehicles that are on their last legs,” said behavioral coordinator at Griffin Pond Jimmy Mancus. “To have this new vehicle is really incredible for us. It’s all about the animals — everything we do is for the animals.”
Shelter employees say days like this better help them with the day-to-day operations.
“Without the public’s help we wouldn’t be here. We can’t stress enough how much we appreciate and need the public’s help,” he added. “Anything from the biggest monetary donation to a tub of peanut butter, it all helps from top to bottom.”
Griffin Pond Animal Shelter has had to undergo a complete overhaul after spending several years under the microscope with investigations and personnel changes, but the new executive director is seeing them to better days.
“Griffin Pond has come such a long way,” noted Wolo. “We’re constantly implementing new policies and procedures. We’re trying new things. This just goes to show what we’re doing and how we help our community.”
Toyota of Scranton’s donation goes a long way towards the overall mission of the Griffin Pond Animal Shelter; who rely on donations, heavily, year-round. Employees noted there has been a 180-degree change between what the shelter used to be versus what it is now and what it does for the community.