Suite 4 owner, Rachel Karl, is one of the most passionate business owners you’ll ever meet when it comes to social responsibility. So passionate about social responsibility that when she became frustrated about the hunger, homelessness and improper clothing issues that families (and children in particular) in Yamhill Valley are facing, she decided to open up Suite 4’s annual holiday party to the public and turn it into a benefit for those in need.
The Suite 4 team all live and work here in the Valley and on average they each spend 8 hours a month volunteering in the community. They help out with Mac Habitat, the See Ya Later Foundation, the Better My Town Challenge, Meals on Wheels, McMinnville Cooperative Ministries, Homeward Bound Pets, and more. “It’s important to us to give back to the community,” says Karl. “We literally want to feed the community that feeds us.”
As the business and the team grew, Rachel’s frustration with the growing need of families in the Valley also grew. In December of 2015, the Suite 4 Social Responsibility Program was officially launched at their first annual Holiday Party & Open House. The community came together and helped Suite 4 support the “Coats for Kids” drive, which collected 471 jackets, and Aden’s Toy Drive, which collected more than 600 toys.
This year, Karl and the Suite 4 team plans to focus more heavily on feeding those families in need. “As a mother of 3, I was shocked and heart-broken when I learned how many children and their families right here in our backyard go hungry every night.” Since 1980, Yamhill Community Action Partnership (YCAP) has served residents of Yamhill County. Suite 4 has pledged to match each food donation with one of their own to help combat the food insecurity that we face here in the Valley. Their goal is to fill the barrel with over 200 food items.
Diane Longaker, YCAP’s Food Bank-Resource Development Coordinator, shared that “in 2015, the YCAP Food Bank distributed 1.5 million pounds of food through our partner agencies in Yamhill County. Having local companies like Suite 4 participate and support YCAP is awesome because every 1.2 pounds of food donated is the equivalent to 1 meal. When we are serving between 10,000 and 15,000 people per month, every single meal adds up!”
In addition to YCAP, we will again collect toys for Aden’s Toy Drive, and will match each and every toy donated. Aden’s Toy Drive was founded more than 10 years ago to celebrate the life of Aden Monagon. Aden was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor and, after his passing, his sister created Aden’s Toy Drive to ensure no child ever feels alone when faced with hospitalization.
To help us feed the Valley and provide children with some joy this holiday season, you can drop non-perishable food donations in the YCAP barrel and toys in the Aden’s Toy Drive box outside the Suite 4 offices at 410 NE 3rd Street, Suite #4. The bin and box will be at our office from now until December 9th. Toys and non-perishable food can also be brought to the 2nd annual holiday party taking place at the Suite 4 offices on Friday, December 9th, 2016 from 4:30pm to 6:30pm. For more information, visit our Facebook event page here.
We look forward to seeing you soon!