Taft Chevrolet employees to devliver food baskets to 25 families


No business in Taft felt the effects of the economic downtown more than Taft Chevrolet.

First came sharply rising gas prices, which changed consumers tastes in vehicles, then came the credit crunch along with job losses and pay cuts.

Few could afford to buy a car, new or used.

Devinder Bains, the general manager of Taft Chevrolet Buick, was forced to take money set aside for special holiday events and use it just to keep the business running.
That means he was unable to deliver Thanksgiving food baskets to needy Taft residents last year, something he had done every year since coming to Taft.

“We had to take the funds allocated for Thanksgiving just to survive,” he said. “ We had to take the employee Christmas funds just to keep the business open.”

Even though he had no choice, the decision to forego the Thanksgiving food basket program didn’t sit well.

He’s been bothered by both his conscience and his loved ones since then.

“My wife and my family kept reminding me throughout the year,” Bains said

So this week Bains and his employees at Taft Chevrolet will be delivering 25 food baskets, working with the West Side Community Resource Center and other groups to make sure no family that needs help for Thanksgiving will do without.

“It’s just the right thing to do,” Bains said. “There are needy people in this world. We can try to make somebody else’s Thanksgiving meaningful.”

Bains said he’s been touched by the support he’s received from Taft during the hard times and he wants to acknowledge it.

“I just want to say ‘Thank you’ for the great support of the community,” he said. “It seems like they just wrapped their arms around this business. Many times I had people just walk into the showroom just to check on me, just to see how I’m doing. They tell me ‘Devinder we don’t want you to go anyplace else. We want to see our only remaining new car dealership succeed.’”

Now that the situation isn’t so dire, he and his employees will be doing their part for the holiday.

“It seems like business is going in a better direction, but it doesn’t mean we are out of the woods yet,” he said.

But he wants to keep giving at Thanksgiving.

“I just pray that the Lord gives me the strength to support more families in the future,” he said.