12/06/09 — CCOG gives back to community

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CCOG gives back to community

By Dennis Hill
Published in News on December 6, 2009 1:50 AM

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Rochelle and Travis Moore, center, are seen with Isaiah and Isaac receiving their toys from Santa at the Christmas party Saturday at Payless Shoes on Spence Avenue. The annual event is sponsored by Chevrolet-Cadillac of Goldsboro.

Because of a simple desire to help youngsters at Christmas, more than 40 foster children's holiday were brightened Saturday with the gift of shoes, coats and toys.

For the past seven years, Chevrolet-Cadillac of Goldsboro has, without fanfare, sponsored a giveaway of shoes and other items at Payless Shoe Store on Spence Avenue each December.

CCOG owner Paul Benton came up with the idea out of what he called a simple wish to give back to the community.

"It's nothing outside just a desire to do something for the children in this community," Benton said. "It's very gratifying to me."

The dealership works with the Wayne County Department of Social Services to identify the foster children who are the recipients of the gifts. On Saturday, the shoe store was filled with smiles, on the faces of the children, the foster parents and the employees of both CCOG and Payless.

"They absolutely pride themselves on this," Benton said, referring to his employees, noting that several days before the party the dealership's workers get together to gift wrap toys that the children chose themselves from a wish list.

On Saturday, they received the toys from Santa himself, after they roamed the aisles of the store, picking out the shoes they wanted and a coat that had already been chosen to fit.

Benton praised the foster parents, who receive a stipend that helps in taking care of the children, but which often isn't enough to provide the holiday gifts and trimmings that most children expect.

He also noted that state budget cuts will reduce the amount of the stipend next year and that he hopes lawmakers will find a way not to force the cuts upon the foster parents.

Benton said that in previous years there have been as many as 100 foster children at the party and that he wishes the number could one day be reduced to zero. But he said he expects it could turn out to be higher next year because of the budget cuts.

He added that he encourages other companies to find ways to give back to the community during the holidays.

"I hope that other businesses in the county would extend their hand at the holidays," he said.