Bess Cohn Humanitarian Award Nominee - It Takes a Village

For This Seattle-Area Distributor, It's All About The Kids

Habitat for HumanityAccording to Treehouse, a charitable organization for fostered youth based in Seattle, less than 50% of foster children graduate high school on time, and fewer than 2% earn a four-year degree from college. It's these statistics that the organization is trying to improve through the donations of time and money from individuals and companies across the country.

Enter Image Source (asi/230121), a full-service promotional merchandise and apparel agency based in Kirkland, WA, that also has a sales presence in the Bay Area and Washington, D.C. markets. For the past two years, the company has been an official partner of Treehouse, donating time, money and items for the organization's efforts to serve area children.

"We began company-wide, organized community efforts in the early 2000s," says Jeff Holt, vice president of marketing, who has over a dozen years of experience as a distributor. "In 2006, we established an internal Community Committee that drives our charity involvement. We have a written community mission statement and focus our efforts on partnering with charitable organizations that provide for the basic needs of children in our local community."

The team at Image Source was working on establishing a strong charitable presence in the community when they came across Treehouse. "We partnered with them officially in 2011, when an employee of ours, who was already personally involved, shared her experiences of volunteering with them," says Holt. "We decided as a group that it aligned with our community mission and was an organization we would like to support."

So it was during the holiday season in 2011 that Image Source officially launched its efforts on behalf of Treehouse. The organization collects donations of clothes, toys and school supplies at its warehouse and sets up the items in a shopping atmosphere for foster children and their guardians. "We've supported this cause with a holiday giving tree in the office, an effort for which we also get tremendous client and supplier support," says Holt. "We also send a volunteer team to the warehouse shopping space to help organize the donations and prep them for the kids and foster families to come in and browse, taking those items that they need."

In addition to its support of Treehouse, Image Source works with Habitat for Humanity, the Northwest Harvest food bank, the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and local Tent City homeless shelters. "We're also currently partnering with Seattle Children's Hospital and the Seattle Mariners in a fundraiser to support the Ken Griffey Jr. Family Pediatric Cancer Research Endowment at Children's," says Holt. "This fundraiser is a big part of Ken Griffey Jr.'s induction into the Seattle Mariner Hall of Fame, and we're working to help sell table sponsorships, provide donations, recruit new donors and promote a VIP event where they hope to raise $250,000 for the endowment."

The members of the Image Source team pride themselves on being community volunteers who meet the needs of local organizations. "It's of critical importance that companies give their time," says Holt. "One of our top-level business objectives is to make a positive impact on our local community, give back and share our success. We feel so strongly about this, we have a page on our website dedicated to social responsibility, with community involvement as one of the areas of focus. Our people are passionate about helping the local community."