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Four Washington companies have been honored for giving back to their local communities.
They received the 2016 Corporations for Communities Award, which honors exceptional Washington businesses that make it a priority to help the community.
Representatives from Kent-based Sleep Train and Republic Services in Bellevue are the two winners of the large-company category. Birch Equipment in Bellingham and US Martial Arts Center (Olympia) are the two small-company winners.
Secretary of State Kim Wyman presented the four companies with a National Association of Secretaries of State Medallion Award during a ceremony in her office Tuesday at the Capitol. The award recognizes civic engagement, voter education efforts, government services and a commitment to giving back to the community.
“We are fortunate as a state to have many businesses that help their communities by giving back,” Wyman said. “I’m proud to recognize and honor some of our many caring corporations that make a difference.”
Seven additional companies received honor roll certificates for their community efforts. They include Data Link West (Bellingham), Fit 4Life Studio (Sequim), Gator Girl Rocks (Olympia), GHB Insurance (Olympia), Massage Envy (Covington), Stormans (Olympia) and Targa Sound Terminals (Tacoma).
A closer look at this year’s four winners:
Sleep Train was nominated for hosting many donation drives at retail locations, collecting more than 380,000 items last year, including pajamas, shoes, clothing items, school supplies and gifts during the holidays, to support foster children. The company supported many local nonprofits; hosted its annual Pajama Bowl in Seattle to support foster children, raising nearly $170,000; donated $100,000 to Treehouse to help foster youth obtain GEDs and get into college; and provided more than 2,500 tickets to foster kids and foster families for admission to Wild Waves Theme Park, the Washington State Fair and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
Republic Services was nominated for the great work of its employees, who donate gifts to the Kenmore Secret Santa program, sponsor and provide volunteers for the Evergreen State Fair, take part in curbside food drives, teach students about waste reduction, and organize and support the Monroe High School Memorial that honors former students who lost their lives in service. The company encourages and supports the efforts of its employees to engage in many of these activities.
Birch Equipment was nominated for giving more than $100,000 annually in cash, free rentals, prizes and trade to hundreds of organizations, including local schools, Whatcom Hospice, American Cancer Society and American Red Cross. The company’s employees are also active in the community by volunteering with local organizations including Whatcom Hospice, Arthritis Foundation, Toys for Tots, Boys and Girls Clubs and other organizations; and helping at local events like the Whatcom Hospice Foundation Golf Tournament and Gala, Blaine Library fundraisers, Bellingham Brain Cancer walks and Relay for Life.
US Martial Arts Center was nominated for raising about $75,000 at the annual Board Break-A-Thon to support the Olympia and North Thurston Education Foundation, and providing complimentary programs on fitness, bully awareness and active shooter safety to schools. Employees volunteer at local events like the Lacey Spring Fun Fair and Lakefair Kids Day by providing free lessons. The center also requires that those seeking a Black Belt volunteer at the Thurston Food Bank to qualify for Black Belt testing.
Corporations for Communities is a recognition program within the Secretary of State’s Corporations and Charities Division.