Subaru Shares the Love with the Tulalip Foundation

Robb McCalmon, Roy Robinson Subaru General Sales Manager, with the Tulalip Foundation display.

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

You may recall a heartwarming TV commercial from last year’s holiday season where several families and individuals sang a cover of the popular song, Put a Little Love in Your Heart. Towards the end of the commercial it was revealed to be an advertisement for Subaru, with a message of spreading love throughout the local communities of America. The company stated that for every new Subaru sold or leased during the holidays, they would donate $250 to the purchaser’s choice of charity, for a campaign known as the annual Subaru Share the Love event.

Their latest television spotlight showcases that over the past ten years, Subaru donated approximately $140 million through Share the Love, claiming the money raised help protect over one hundred National Parks, rescue over 50,000 animals, deliver over 2 million meals to elders across America and grant 1,800 wishes for youth living with life-threatening illnesses; donating the funds to the National Park Foundation, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), Meals on Wheels America and Make-A-Wish Foundation respectively. 

In 2013, Subaru afforded each dealership the opportunity to choose a local charity or non-profit as a fifth option for their customers to choose from each year. Out of six hundred and thirty dealerships nationwide, six hundred and twenty-eight participate in the Share the Love event annually, including the friendly crew at Marysville Roy Robinson Subaru.

“We used to do Make-A-Wish, the Washington and Alaska chapter, but this year wanted to do something more local,” says Robb McCalmon, Roy Robinson Subaru General Sales Manager. “The Subaru Share the Love event is a campaign that Subaru does with their retailers starting each November and running through the new year. They allow us to partner with a hometown charity and it hit us last year that the community does so much for us, we want to return that love and show our appreciation. We reached out to some of the elders of the tribe and we discussed where the donation would best benefit the community, and with their guidance, we selected the Tulalip Foundation.”

The Tulalip Foundation is a non-profit organization that’s been dedicated to empowering the wellbeing of the Tulalip reservation and surrounding communities since 2007. The Foundation works with a number of programs to create a brighter future for the tribe; programs that are based on three important values to many tribal families: education, culture and justice. 

The organization originally began as a way to raise the remaining million dollars needed to open the Hibulb Cultural Center. Since the museum’s opening, the Foundation has raised money, accepted donations and applied for a number of grants to provide several programs and departments with money for events, incentives and services including the Betty J. Taylor Early Learning Academy Parent Committee, Tulalip Office of Civil Legal Aid, Tulalip TERO Vocational Training Center and the Tulalip Veteran’s Quilt Project. Additionally, the Foundation also hosts a number of fundraisers throughout the year such as the Hibulb Cultural Center Salmon Bake and the Foundation’s annual Giving Tuesday event.  

“It was a huge surprise that we were selected for the Subaru Share the Love Event,” says Tulalip Foundation Executive Director, Nicole Sieminski. “We have to give credit to Gus Taylor. He’s a friend of one of the upper management team members at Roy Robinson. They mentioned to him that they were looking for a local charity for the event this year, Gus shared that information with Marjorie James, one of our trustees, and together they got the ball rolling.”

In recent years, the Share the Love event has generated upwards of $40,000 each year at the Marysville dealership, a number that Robb is hoping to match but Nicole and the Foundation isn’t necessarily anticipating, stating she’s happily thankful for whatever amount is raised. Because the final donation remains to be unknown until the end of the event, the Tulalip Foundation Board of Trustees will determine how the donation is distributed once the total is revealed. Robb ensures that his crew is dedicated to working hard this holiday season, with a goal of delivering a ‘big check’ to the foundation. Roy Robinson also created an information kiosk located inside the dealership so people buying or leasing a new car can learn more about the Tulalip Foundation when determining which of the five charities they can select. 

“Anybody who wants to buy or lease a new Subaru, we’ll give them the opportunity to donate that $250 towards the Tulalip Foundation,” he says. “It’s an awesome event during the holidays and we’re hoping for a successful season like we’ve seen over the past few years.”

The Tulalip Foundation is assisting with the upcoming Betty J. Taylor Early Learning Academy Christmas Concert & Silent Auction and is also raising funds for the Tulalip Veteran’s Quilt Project by selling hand painted stone pendants, created by Tulalip Artist David Spencer Sr., at the Hibulb Cultural Center gift shop.

“We are so thankful to be selected as the hometown charity for Roy Robinson’s Subaru Share the Love event,” expresses Nicole. “We have a pretty broad umbrella and we now have the opportunity to support even more programs and help a lot of people. We’re excited to partner with a company that has such a large presence in the greater Marysville area and hopefully this will help get our name out there too, because right now we’re still pretty small in terms of a non-profit.”

 For more information, please visit Marysville Roy Robinson Subaru or contact the Tulalip Foundation at (360) 716-5400.

Campaign launched to stem panhandling

 

By Rikki King, Herald Writer 12-9-13

ARLINGTON — Two north Snohomish County cities are trying to curb panhandling by asking people to give to local charities instead.

Arlington and Marysville officials are working with local businesses to post signs and window stickers as part of a new campaign called “Keep The Change.”

Photo source: King5 News

Photo source: King5 News

“It’s okay to say no, just a simple no,” Arlington Police Chief Nelson Beazley said. “This community is tremendous so far as being a giving, caring community, but give appropriately.”

Beazley sees a link between the rise in panhandling problems and heroin use. Not all panhandlers are addicts, but those who are cause trouble, he said.

Panhandlers are creating traffic and safety concerns in Marysville as well, Mayor Jon Nehring said. Some are using their income — up to $90 a day — to buy drugs and alcohol, he said. They’re often seeking handouts a short walk from the local food bank.

“There are places to give the money where it will truly help the needy,” Nehring said. “What we’re trying to do is essentially stop the subsidization of the drug and alcohol habits for some of these folks who stand out there.”Nehring’s office received complaints from parents who said they were approached in parking lots while loading their cars up with kids and groceries, he said. In Smokey Point, young families reported similar issues outside a dance studio.

“Keep The Change” started in Marysville after local barber Kelly Muma learned of an initiative in southwest Washington. Muma and his wife own HotRod Barber Shop on State Avenue.

“I’ve been cutting the mayor’s hair since way before he became mayor,” Muma said.

They got to talking about the panhandling problem.”The community is so giving, but yet unfortunately we’re giving to the wrong people,” Muma said. “This is truly what this sign is about. Those who truly need the help know of the food bank, know of the centers to go to. It’s educating the general public.”

Marysville posted signs along Fourth Street, 88th Street NE, 116th Street NE and 172nd Street NE. Those roads routinely see people posted with cardboard signs, asking for money.

Marysville expects to have window stickers available soon.

Arlington officials saw Marysville’s signs and liked the idea, city spokeswoman Kristin Banfield said. The police chief and others met with local business groups before moving forward.

Police officers are limited in what they can do about panhandling, Beazley said. In most cases, the activity isn’t illegal unless it’s deemed aggressive or it becomes trespassing. An arrest or citation doesn’t always lead to a prosecution.

One of the downtown Arlington business owners who supported the campaign was Jeanne Watanabe, of The Silver Hanger consignment shop on N. Olympic Avenue. Business owners have been working closely with the police department since seeing an increase in illegal activity downtown, she said.

“We wanted to find out why it was occurring and what we could do about both helping people on the street and making sure the street stayed safe. It’s definitely two-fold,” she said. “Our community is amazingly rich with people who have a heart for helping people who are homeless. We have lots and lots of programs for that.”

Arlington has 10 “Keep The Change” signs posted in the Smokey Point and downtown shopping areas and about 100 window stickers have been distributed, said Paul Ellis, the city’s community and economic development director. More signs are planned.

Earlier this year, the Washington State Patrol also asked folks not to give to panhandlers at freeway ramps, citing concerns about traffic safety and pedestrian deaths. That message is ongoing, trooper Mark Francis said.

“Panhandlers are at even greater risk on I-5 on- and off-ramps due to the higher speeds,” he said. “We are citing panhandlers and arresting re-offenders on limited-access highways.”

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

More info

Resources in town: Marysville Community Food Bank, 4150 88th Street NE, 360-658-1054, http://marysvillefoodbank.org/.

Marysville cold-weather shelter: 360-659-7117.

Arlington Community Food Bank, 18810 59th Drive NE, Unit B, 360-435-1631, www.arlingtonfoodbank.org/.

Arlington cold-weather shelter: To learn if the shelter is open and where it will be, call 360-403-4674. Volunteers are needed: Call 360-435-3259.

You can research charities at the Secretary of State’s website, www.sos.wa.gov/charities/search.aspx, and at the state Attorney General’s website, www.atg.wa.gov/SafeguardingConsumers.aspx, under “Consumer Issues A-Z.”