Community

Arlington's AMT boosts 'Stuff a Bus' food and toiletries drive

From left, Camden, Sophie and Tami Losey of Stanwood pose with Oxy Gene at the
From left, Camden, Sophie and Tami Losey of Stanwood pose with Oxy Gene at the 'Stuff a Bus' food and toiletries drive by the United Way of Snohomish County and Community Transit at the Lynnwood Albertsons on July 28.
— image credit: Courtesy photo.

The "Stuff a Bus" food and toiletries drive by the United Way of Snohomish County and Community Transit at the Albertsons in Lynnwood was deemed a success even before it started on Saturday, July 28, thanks to the employees of an Arlington company.

One day earlier, on Friday, July 27, a team of employees from the Arlington-based AMT, a division of Senior Operations LLC, delivered 2,000 pounds of food and toiletries that they'd collected over the past several weeks to United Way's offices in Everett.

"It's a great example of our community coming together," said Dennis G. Smith, president and CEO of United Way of Snohomish County. "It's about serving the whole county. It really shows the spirit of generosity that is a hallmark of our community."

The community's generosity continued to be demonstrated on July 28. In addition to the food delivered by AMT on July 27, and a significant contribution by the American Girl store at the Alderwood Mall, the Lynnwood Albertsons made several in-store announcements during the day, and made it easy for shoppers to donate 15 shopping carts full of food by preparing $5 and $10 pre-made bags. The food will be distributed by Volunteers of America Western Washington to food banks throughout Snohomish County.

"Our theme for this year is 'Get on Board,' and that's precisely what people did," said Joyce Eleanor, CEO of Community Transit and the United Way 2012 Campaign Chair.

In addition to the food, more than 400 individual toiletries were collected, including 103 bars of soap, 79 toothbrushes and 84 tubes of toothpaste. The toiletries will be distributed to the YWCA, Cocoon House, Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County and the Interfaith Family Shelter.

Another $380 was given to United Way's Local Community Fund, which supports 102 programs run by 39 agencies throughout the county. The single biggest contribution, a check for $200, came from the Lynnwood Elks Lodge.

Contributing to the party atmosphere on that Saturday afternoon, Oxy Gene — Community Transit's "defender of truth, justice and really clean air" — offered tours of a double-tall bus emblazoned with United Way’s "Live United" slogan. Bomber the Fox and cheerleaders from the Washington Stealth Lacrosse team helped draw in shoppers, and volunteers with Youth United offered face-painting for the younger contributors. Everett-based Granite Construction offered cones and safety equipment.

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