Home > Charity, Donation, Non Profit > Special Thanks to Jack Taylor for New Minivan in Alexandria

Special Thanks to Jack Taylor for New Minivan in Alexandria

February 8, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Captain Ken Argot accepted the keys to a 2010 Toyota Sienna minivan on February 3 during a brief ceremony held at Jack Taylor’s Alexandria Toyota.  Still reeling from the effects of a lackluster Red Kettle season, The Salvation Army Officer had become even more concerned when the Corps nine-year old minivan died in their parking lot.  We asked Captain Argot to tell us how such a blessing arrived to The Salvation Army’s doorstep in his own words:

I’m fairly new to The Salvation Army. Most of my life I knew The Salvation Army meant good people providing social assistance by managing thrift stores and in some places providing shelter.  However, I wasn’t aware just how much goes into the role of Salvation Army officer.  During my officer training a few years ago, I had a wonderful community mentor named Fritz Van Winkle. Fritz is a well established business person in Atlanta who knows most of the CEO’s in town. As part of his mentoring, Fritz placed me in front of business leaders to gain greater perspective from their side of the desk teaching me the art of “the ask”.

 I never forgot those lessons. 

Upon my arrival in Alexandria, I quickly became acquainted with Jack Taylor.  Early on, I approached him about making a donation to The Salvation Army.  It was then I learned of Alexandria Toyota’s commitment to the community.  Skeptical there would be any funds to offer to us, suddenly Mr. Taylor, started talking about his late mother, Ms. Pauline Taylor.  She’d always given to The Salvation Army. Then, minutes later, his executive assistant put a check in my hands.  I took a deep breath and made another “ask”.  After all, Christmas was coming and I needed a vehicle for bell ringing.  I asked for the use of a vehicle during the Christmas season.  Mr. Taylor smiled, leaned forward, and said, “Yes, I think we can do that too.”

Not bad for someone who hates to ask for things, though Mr. Taylor made it easy for me.

For the past 4 years, Jack Taylor and Alexandria Toyota have loaned us a vehicle for 6-weeks during the Christmas Season to transport bell-ringers, volunteers, and collect angel tree toys, clothing and food. A few months ago, a van that we’ve had for 9 years finally died in our parking lot.  If not for the mini-van from Jack Taylor,  a significant portion of our $167,000 raised during Christmas would have been completely lost. With no additional funds for repairs, the issue before us was how would we transport children and seniors to and from programs at the Corps about to restart after Christmas break.

I emailed Jack Taylor thanking him for the Christmas season use of the vehicle and the amount of money that his gift helped generate for The Salvation Army in Alexandria. I also stated, “If you ever want to donate the vehicle outright to us we would be very grateful.”  Within 15 minutes, I received a reply stating, “Let’s do it!  Can I add a picture of my mother in memory of her?  She probably wouldn’t like it, but I can’t think of a better way to honor her and her love for The Salvation Army.”

Thank you Jack, it’s a pleasure to know you.

Captain Ken Argot
Corps Officer
The Salvation Army in Alexandria


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