HIGHLAND | Kempo Jujutsu Martial Arts is celebrating 20 years in business this month by sponsoring a holiday toy drive.
“In our 20th year, we are going to focus even more on community development," said Jordan Hestermann, co-director of the martial arts school. "We are currently running our annual toy drive with Becoming We the People, a nonprofit organization, which allows us to connect with more than 20 businesses and organizations.
"In the new year, we plan to develop a type of community council that gets small business owners together to help promote each other businesses and help our communities, without the membership costs involved in other similar activities,” Hestermann said.
The toy drive runs through Dec. 18 and has drop-off locations throughout Lake County as well as Chesterton and Lansing, Ill.
“There are two unique parts of our toy drive. One is that we collect used toys, in good shape of course, as well as new toys. The other is that we collect all our toys locally and we distribute them locally. We know exactly where the toys go and at most of the places we donate the toys to, we get to see the toys go straight into the hands of the kids receiving them. It is pretty awesome,” said Dale Hestermann, co-director of Kempo Jujutsu.
Toy drive drop-offs are located at the following local businesses: Kempo Jujutsu Martial Arts Academy, 8929 Indianapolis Blvd., Edward Jones, 8415 Kennedy Ave., Krooswyk Trucking & Excavating, 9731 Indianapolis Blvd., and Family Eye Care, 8417 Kennedy Ave., all in Highland; McInnis Auto, 1901 U.S. 41, Schererville; Dairy Queen, 1084 Joliet St., Dyer; Cavalier Inn, 735 Gostlin St., and Healthy Horizons, 7034 Indianapolis Blvd., both in Hammond; Hobart Karate, 517 E. Third St., Hobart; Family Eye Care, 1820 E. Columbus Drive, East Chicago; Central District Organizing Project, 2452 Massachusetts St., Gary; Century 21 McCarthy Realty, 9525 U.S. 41, The Steeple Gallery, 11107 Thiel St., and Pine Tree Martial Arts Center, 9722 Industrial Drive, all in St. John; Robert Plantz & Associates, 8501 Georgia St., Spill the Beans, 7992 Broadway, and Jelly Pancake House, 399 E. U.S. 30, all in Merrillville; Alice’s Garden Toy Boutique, 206 S. Calumet Ave. Suite B, Chesterton; and Beggar’s Pizza, 3524 Ridge Road, Lansing.
The business connection meetings will begin in January. Anyone interested in attending can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (219) 838-9875 and ask for Jordan.