Hometown Hero: Oglethorpe Driving Club

Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 5:34 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 5, 2022 at 8:14 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Oglethorpe Driving Club is always a key contributor to WTOC’s toy drive campaign.

A shared interest in cars is not all that brings members of the Oglethorpe Driving Club together.

“it’s very rare in life you get to hang out with people who like what you like. In this case, they like charity and they like giving, so it all works out together,” Michael Short said.

The club meets for Cars and Coffee events every month, but in December they are driven to help children in Coastal Empire and Lowcountry - with their annual toy drive supporting the U.S. Marine Reserves Toys for Tots campaign.

“Coming out here, it’s absolutely amazing. Seeing all these cars and vehicles, it’s a beautiful site out here,” Xavier Lockhart said.

And so is the support the Oglethorpe Drive Club has gotten from the community and given to the Marines for a decade now.

“So far, in the last 10 years, we’ve helped raise about 500,000 toys, about 50,000 a year.”

Those toys are distributed to families across the Costal Empire and Lowcountry later in December to provide Christmas presents to children who might not otherwise receive any. An effort that can get inside even a tough Marine’s image.

“Usually, we’re seen as professional Marines and that’s all good. But it’s great around this time of year to see the human side of us and everything with us being able to donate. So, it’s a really good experience. It’s about seeing how the kids react. They are so happy.”

And the WTOC Hometown Heroes with the Oglethorpe Driving Club were once again happy with the support their toy drive continues to receive.

“I’m surprised every year by people donating so generously. It’s nice and they bring more than just little cars, even though we like the cars.”