JOPLIN, Mo. — A near decade-long tradition culminated with another batch of generosity today in Joplin.

For the past 7-years, Roper Kia has used the month of April to help the Children’s Center of Southwest Missouri.

April is Child Abuse Awareness Month.

Roper collected toys from customers — enough to fill a vehicle in the lobby — and also set aside a portion of the proceeds from each vehicle sold last month.

$15,000 is going to the Center.

The toys will be used as comfort items for the kids who come through its 4 locations — Joplin, Nevada, Monett, and Butler.

“It means everything to us, you know. We are funded about two-thirds by grants, which leaves us about a third we have to do with fundraising and so we couldn’t do it without these important community sponsors that we have to help us keep our mission going,” said Matt Stewart, Children’s Center.

“We’d really like people to take away that there are a lot of good nonprofits out there doing a lot of great things, and so if they can really get behind somebody and give them a good solid push, that would be what we’d want to do as an example, and just so as a business here in the community we want to do that,” said Jack Frost, Roper KIA.

The Children’s Center is hosting a 25-year celebration at its Joplin facility on Wednesday, May 25th. It runs from 11 to noon — and will be open to the public.