Every two seconds, someone is need of a blood donation – and in Alaska, that problem is compounded even further, considering our geography and topography. That’s why Continental Auto Group’s team held a blood drive on December 20th.
“We are all a part of the bigger picture here”, says Derek Adolf, Principal Owner of Continental Auto Group. “Community doesn’t work unless we all do our part, no matter if it’s a pint of blood or donating a can of food.”
One donation, one unit of blood, can be separated into several components: red blood cells, plasma; platelets and cryoprecipitate. Donated blood is used during trauma cases; platelets drawn from donations can help patients with leukemia and many people who suffer from severe sickle cell disease must have monthly blood transfusions
During Continental’s Blood Drive, over 21 units of blood were taken; potentially saving 63 lives in Alaska. “We’re definitely committed to having the blood mobile out again this coming summer. It’s just the right thing to do for our community,” says Adolf.
In carrying on the tradition of ‘giving back’ to Anchorage communities, Continental Subaru has selected the Alaska chapter of Newborns In Need as our 2016 Hometown Charity during this year’s Subaru Share the Love Event.
Nationally, Newborns In Need is an organization that is mobilized across the United States to offer baby items to those families who need help. Newborns In Need believes that communities can and will help each other if given the vehicle to do so. Whether crafted with love by the hands of a volunteer or donated by others who understand we need to take care of each other, Newborns In Need has positioned itself as the first response for the baby in crisis.
With a volunteer staff of only six active volunteers, the Alaska Chapter of Newborns in Need is an organization that offers baby items to those families who have been identified as needing a helping hand in what can be a very stress-filled time in their lives. Each month, the volunteers provide 30 filled diaper bags (360 bags a year) that are then distributed throughout various family practices and providers in Anchorage as well as Bethel – an outlying bush village 400 miles east of Anchorage and only accessible by plane.
Each diaper bag is filled with formula, diapers, wipes, clothing, quilts, infant caps/blankets/booties and other baby essential items valued at approximately $110. Many of these items are hand-made by the volunteers of Newborns in Need.
“Last year, our total operating budget was just $595. Yet every month received the right amount of donated items for the bags needed. If we fall short on something, our volunteers donate items out of their own pocket to make sure that diaper bags are filled and available for delivery to those who are in need,” says Kim Schlimgen, vice president of this small Alaskan charity and Continental Subaru’s Customer Relations Manager. “Being chosen as Continental Subaru’s Share the Love hometown charity this year is going to make such a huge impact on our entire community. With the donations we will receive from the Subaru Share the Love Event, we will be able to provide hundreds of filled diaper bags and increase our outreach for those families in need for years to come.”
Continental Subaru chose Newborns in Need during a company-wide nomination process.
“We have many of our team members that are involved in various non-profit charities within Anchorage. The entire team at Continental Subaru had a say of what charity to choose this year, and Kim’s charity ‘won’. We love our work family and we support and encourage each other to volunteer in our community”, says Derek Adolf – Principal Owner.
“We all play a part in our community - and sometimes that means we’re going to get a little dirty”, explains Derek Adolf, Principal Owner of Continental Auto, “but it’s important work.”
During Anchorage’s annual May Clean Up Week, the Continental Auto Group family elected to clear out a nearby wooded area that had been used as a dumping ground for years.
“We found all sorts of interesting items back there – dilapidated tents, Christmas ornaments; moldy furniture; cable wire – and other bits of nasty things…it was just a mess”, explains Ivan Rivera – Continental’s IT Director.
About twenty-five Continental team members donned on working gloves and boots and drove out 15 truck beds full of junk and trash in just under two hours of time.
“Look at what we can do when we work together – it feels fantastic to spruce up just a little of our part of Anchorage.”
Our Community Core Value Commitment –
We have a responsibility to support our community with time, effort and funding in meaningful ways. Many Continental employees devote time and energy to local charitable organizations, causes and community events. Continental Auto Group as an entity participates in events of interest. Donations to charitable organizations, team sports and foundations are made to support customer, employee and community interests.
The fastest growing homeless segment in our nation is women with young children and the second most traumatic event that can happen in a child’s life is being homeless.
Last November and December, Continental Subaru chose two Anchorage Catholic Social Services’ (CSS) programs to benefit from Subaru of America’s Share the Love campaign: Clare House and Charlie Elder House.
Women who find themselves homeless are in crisis. Their primary concern is finding food, shelter and clothing for themselves and their children. Anchorage’s Clare House provides a 24-hour, safe and warm emergency shelter and meets basic needs for women with children and expectant mothers for up to 30 days.
Charlie Elder House provides housing for homeless, teenage boys. In the house, boys learn to live independently and learn life skills such as setting short term goals; learning to cook; find a job, etc. Residents of Charlie Elder House are expected to make high school graduation (or obtaining a GED) a priority and are encouraged to contribute back to the community.
On April 27th, Continental Subaru presented Anchorage’s Archbishop Schweitz; Catholic Social Services Directors and Staff; a combined total of $43,000 for these two Catholic Social Services programs:
Our dedicated Continental Subaru team and our loyal Subaru customers are proud to provide our community members with resources that truly make impactful and meaningful differences in the Anchorage community.
Clare House - $28,000
Charlie Elder House - $15,000
Because it’s about Love – and it’s what makes a Subaru.