The holiday season has a way of bringing out the very best in us. From sharing to caring, residents find ways to pour out their hearts to those in need.
But, for one local businessman, that spirit of giving is one that continues throughout the year – every year.
Richard Perry, along with friend Jeff Penn, founded the non-profit organization Cops 4 Kids & Communities 18 years ago.
“We wanted to find a way to get the kids off the streets before we had to rescue them,” Perry said.
Through a variety of after-school activities that include the arts, dance, martial arts and even boxing, Perry said Cops 4 Kids seeks to reach at-risk youth, grow their self-esteem and assist them with making healthy choices in their relationships, education and career goals.
With 26 years of proven sales and marketing in the auto dealership industry, Hemet Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram General Manager Perry also puts his leadership skills to work with an oft-forgotten group – the elderly.
“We don’t want to forget our seniors. Through the dealership we go to assisted living facilities and visit with the folks there. Then we get their requests for Christmas and put them on the tree. For many of them, it’s the only gift they’ll get for the holiday,” Perry said.
Lap blankets are usually among the top requests, according to Perry.
Perry, named Man of the Year by the Hemet/San Jacinto Chamber of Commerce in 2009, said that he actively works to align his corporate values of service and integrity to the personal responsibilities and goals espoused by many non-profit organizations.
Perry added: “We have the resources to help each other. The truth is, I don’t do this for the credit. I do this because I am passionate about helping others.”
To learn more about Cops 4 Kids & Communities, visit www.c4kc.org.
Kerri S. Mabee can be reached at email@example.com. Follow me on Twitter @kerrimabee.