ST. CLAIRSVILLE, Ohio (WTRF) – Freedom isn’t free.  

This is a value Robert Thomas and his family believe and what inspires them to continue their mission of supporting those who gave their all to protect our nation.  

That’s why the Freedom Tree project was started back in 2012 when Thomas Auto Centers moved to their new dealership as a way to give veterans and their families a helping hand during the holidays. 

“Just sitting here in our brand-new dealership back in 2012, I felt so blessed. And I don’t feel that we’d have had that opportunity if it wasn’t for our veterans. So, this is our way to give thanks from me and my wife Robin and our dealership.” 

Robert Thomas | Vice President, Thomas Auto Centers   

Currently, they help 36 local families by supplying them with toys for children and gift cards to buy food and other household items.  

They even include pets in their project, giving families toys and supplies for their furry friends.  

“We do separate donations all year long for toys. We accept money cards, gift cards, gas cards, telephone cards, cash cards. Obviously, we take cash, we take checks. The whole town of Flushing has been so good to us. I really wouldn’t be this far in this program if it weren’t for the little town of Flushing and the great people out there.”

Robert Thomas | Vice President, Thomas Auto Centers   

American Legion Riders Post 366 presented Thomas with a $9000 check for the Freedom Tree Project.  

Thomas says the gifts will be distributed during the second week of December.  

If you’re interested in donating, you can visit Thomas Auto Centers in St. Clairsville or call their number at (740) 695-0452.