The Power of a Philanthropic Partnership
The Ray Brandt Auto Group has a long-standing tradition of giving back to the community, and as CEO, Jessica Brandt has made giving an integral part of the company’s culture. Perhaps a little-known fact—a percentage of every vehicle sale within the Auto Group is set aside to be put towards charitable causes. With every purchase, customers not only receive a dependable, high-quality vehicle for their family or business, but they also support the larger community.
Whether providing assistance to schools or holiday toys for families in need, the Auto Group betters the lives of community members by working closely with organizations such as schools in the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Toys for Tots, the American Heart Association, the National WWII Museum, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, New Orleans City Park, UNCF, LCMC Children’s Hospital, and East Jefferson General Hospital.
“My community involvement is a core part of who I am, but I feel most compelled to help children, especially the most vulnerable,” says Brandt. She is dedicated to impacting children through various means: awarding academic scholarships, hosting toy drives during the holidays, and donating vehicles to help raise funds for worthy causes.
For Brandt, partnering with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital—a leading children’s hospital that treats the toughest childhood cancers and pediatric diseases—makes perfect sense.
“Why St. Jude? They serve as a beacon of hope for children with the rarest and most dangerous cancers and other life-threatening diseases,” she says. “And they accept patients not only from all over the country but from around the world! The best part is that no family ever receives a bill—treatment, travel, housing, and food are all covered,” says Brandt.
Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since it opened in 1962. According to St. Jude Development Specialist Megan Rook, “The organization won’t stop until no child dies from cancer.”
This marks the second consecutive year that the Auto Group and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will come together to form a “dream team.” As part of the 2022 St. Jude Dream Home® Giveaway—a fundraiser that awards new homes and other prizes to raffle winners across the United States—the Ray Brandt Auto Group is donating two “Dream Cars.” These vehicles will be given away as a bonus prize for two of the raffle’s campaigns: one for the New Orleans area, and one for the Mississippi Gulf Coast. This means that two lucky people will receive keys to a 2022 St. Jude Dream Car: a brand-new INFINITI Q50. Thanks in part to the car donations, the hospital can continue fighting to help children live longer, healthier, and fuller lives.
Since its inception, the national Dream Home Campaign has raised more than $460 million with every raffle ticket sold supporting the hospital’s mission: “Finding cures. Saving Children.” This year, tickets for the New Orleans campaign sold out in record time with all 21,000 tickets reserved in only nine days. The Mississippi Gulf Coast campaign alone raised $850,000 in six weeks.
“It’s wonderful to see the success of the Dream Home Campaign and the public’s eagerness to get involved and contribute to a greater cause,” says Brandt. Jessica Brandt and the Ray Brandt Auto Group look forward to handing over the keys to the two Dream Cars and helping children and families heal along the way.
The Mississippi Gulf Coast Dream Home Giveaway announced its prize winners on April 24, 2022. The New Orleans Dream Home Giveaway will take place on June 16, 2022. Tune into WVUE-FOX8 for additional information. If you would like to donate to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, visit stjude.org or call 800-805-5856.