Nice To Meet You, Neighbor
It’s hard to believe that another year is coming to a close. Yes, we have a couple months left in 2018 but we are into the tail end of the fall foliage here in Oregon, and that means the whirlwind of the holiday season will be upon us. Halloween is the opening act to two months of traditions that center on spending time with family and giving gifts to our loved ones. Family gatherings, hearty meals, and unwrapping warm socks from under the tree are my memories of the season, but sadly not everyone looks forward to the holidays. For some fond memories are in stark contrast to their current situation and bring more pain than pleasure. The traditions of the season only put more pressure on those who struggle to make their way in the world. Couple the added need for assistance and the giving spirit of the holiday season and the holidays are a time when compassion and charity thrive. But, what about the rest of the year?
Guaranty Locally Owned Chevrolet and Guaranty RV Super Centers are nationally recognized leaders in their respective industries, but we are still a family run business that prides itself on a small town America approach. Collectively we have over four hundred employees and I would be surprised if Shannon, GM and RV Principle, didn’t know all but the newest team members by name. Same could be said for a good number of our customers who are greeted on a first name basis when they enter our dealerships. This simple act means the world to people, even if they don’t realize it. Knowing and using someone’s first name means you have taken the time to care about them as a person you value as an individual, and they are appreciated. To me this is an example of the nature of our ownership that is permeated throughout our work force. Everyone wants to be valued and appreciated, or at the very least recognized as a person, even those who have been less fortunate or made some unfortunate choices in life. That’s where the rubber meets the road, pun intended, when it comes to small town treatment. Treating people as neighbors and friends is ingrained in our day to day. This country was built on helping friends and neighbors raise a barn or bringing a pie to the family that moved in next door. Maybe this is why we are so active in our community, or maybe we’re active in the community because it’s the right thing to do. I guess, if you think about it, being active in the community is the right thing to do because it helps our friends and neighbors. So as the holidays approach remember our community needs us year round, and Guaranty is proud to oblige.
Consistency In Generosity
You can find more in-depth information on the many charities we support and the various donation drives that go on here at Guaranty RV Super Centers and Guaranty Locally Owned Chevrolet by reading our previous blog “Guaranty Supports the Community Because the Community Supports Guaranty “, but here is a quick synopsis, some of which was recognized by the RV Industry Association for Corporate Social Responsibility here.
• St. Vincent De Paul – over thirty thousand socks and counting ( the number one requested item in homeless shelters) and over 1000 hand knit hats
• Lane Blood Center – at least four times a year the blood mobile visits Guaranty – blood is need every two seconds and by 1 in 7 people entering a hospital making blood donation maybe the most “important” donation drive we participate in
• The Cosmos Bellotti Foundation – hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and in-kind product donations to local non-profits and schools in the area
• Lions Club – nearly one hundred pairs of eyeglasses donated that are recycled and provided to mid to low income families and seniors
• Bags Of Love – provides necessities and comfort items to children who are in crisis due to neglect, abuse, poverty or homelessness, Guaranty has donated cash and clothing through donation barrels at our facilities
• Junction City Local Aid – a local food bank serving an average of 250 households per month, Guaranty has donated nearly a ton of food and several thousand dollars
• Grandview Rehabilitation Home – a local senior residential facility, every Christmas Guaranty adopts the residents and donates gifts specifically requested by the seniors who live there
That’s enough to keep us busy year round but Guaranty found the time and energy to add to our community involvement and our support of local and national charities in 2018.
New Friends For 2018
In addition to our annual Socktober drive going on now our HR department has organized what started as a winter coat drive and has become more of a clothes closet. It is accessible to employees in need and the remaining items will be donated. Originally we had planned to donate them to one of the usual suspects, Goodwill or St. Vincent De Paul, but a forward thinking parts employee who volunteers at the Egan Warming Center in Eugene proposed cutting out the middle man and donating them directly to folks who could really use some warm clothes.
Habitat for Humanity is a worldwide non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening communities by building or improving places families call home. Strength of community is also a goal for Guaranty and that makes our relationship with Habitat for Humanity a special one. Not only are we proud to support the organization, but we are also proud to sponsor their events like the recent Tenth Annual Blues Build. A fundraiser disguised as an all-day Blues festival. Habitat for Humanity has even provided a long time and extremely dedicated Guaranty employee and his wife a lovely home here locally.
We made a lot of amigos at the Noche Cultural celebration this year, and had some amazing tacos. Thanks Shannon. Noche Cultural is a gathering to celebrate the history, folklore, and traditions of Mexico. It’s meant as a celebration of both family and community, seems like I have heard that somewhere else, and it’s a chance to explore Mexican culture through traditional music, folkloric dancing and Charreria which is horsemanship and roping. Horsemanship may not do the demonstration justice, the horses were even dancing to the traditional music.
Thursday September 20th was United Way’s Day of Caring and Guaranty sent a delegation to volunteer at NAMI Oregon, the National Alliance on Mental Illness’s Oregon chapter dedicated to improving the quality of life for individuals living with mental illness, as well as their families and loved ones. According to United Way, “Day of Caring is a fun, meaningful way for your business or organization to strengthen teamwork while actively improving the community. One day a year, hundreds of volunteers perform service projects for dozens of non-profit agencies across Lane County. It’s a great way to connect, get out in the community, and lend a hand to local non-profits.” This year forty participating companies assisted 43 non- profit partners in 5 cities across Lane County. That’s 902 volunteers who gave 3,608 total hours with a total monetary value of $89,081!
A Strong Need For A Strong Community
There may be no time in my memory when there was a stronger need to remember the old fashioned way to treat each other. In the grand scheme of things if you are not family then you are a neighbor, whether you live next door or a world away. Our local communities can have a global impact, and strong communities are vital in that struggle. Charity and community support are very important here at Guaranty and they are the most evident ways we strive to strengthen the community. Less obvious is creating a place where you are valued for who you are and recognized as an individual. Being valued gives you confidence and confidence lets you achieve things you may have thought you were incapable of. A community comprised of confident citizens can achieve unheard of heights. It may be hard to believe but changing the world could start with greeting everyone with their first name. Maybe not, but let’s give it a try. Come on in to Guaranty RV Super Centers or Guaranty Locally Owned Chevrolet and let us get to know you on a first name basis. My name is Quinn and I look forward to meeting you, neighbor!