The 2015 Community Impact Awards: Business of the Year | Large Firms
October 19, 2015
JEANNE LANG JONES
Holland America Line
The Seattle cruise ship company Holland America Line is a strong supporter of nonprofit fundraisers. The company donates approximately 650 free and reduced-fare cruises to fundraisers annually and hosts more than two dozen charitable luncheons for thousands of attendees in its homeport cities, including Seattle, where proceeds went to the Seattle Childrens Hospital and the Seattle Theatre Group, among others.
Twenty-seven Holland America staff members serve on the boards of 31 nonprofits in the Puget Sound region. Last year, cash and in-kind contributions topped $4.3 million. The company also donates reusable shipboard items such as cookware, televisions, computers and furniture to those in need.
As a hospitality company, Holland America recognizes it has a unique opportunity to find a broader audience to engage more people in helping others, says President Orlando Ashford. Cruise passengers can participate through 5-kilometer fundraising walks on every sailing. Since 2006, these walks have raised more than $4.5 million for cancer organizations around the world.
Nationally, the rate of employee participation in giving campaigns is about 30 percent. At Symetra, a whopping 90 percent of employees contributed during its 2015 I CARE campaign. In all, the life insurance companys workforce gave more than $620,000 to some 640 charitable organizations. Staff members were also generous with their time, spending 1,300 hours volunteering at 30 local nonprofits during Symetras annual Week of Service.
Puyallup Tribe of Indians
The Puyallup Tribe is the sixth-largest employer in Pierce County and a strong supporter of local charities. Traditionally known as the generous people, the Puyallup Tribe contributed more than $2.5 million during fiscal 2014 to local charities and organizations, including a donation to help expand the emergency departments at Tacoma General and Mary Bridge Childrens Hospital.