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Bartell Drugs customers donate thousands for relief efforts

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EVERETT — The Salvation Army received a donation Wednesday of $100,000 to help with ongoing recovery work following the Oso mudslide.
The money came from Bartell Drugs, which raised most of it from customers in the form of checkout donations.
“We typically don't do fundraising that way,” said Helen Neville, Bartell's senior vice president of marketing.
“We felt and heard from our customers they wanted a way to support the community,” Neville said.
The initial plan was to raise $10,000 and then the company would match that amount.
Plans changed.
“The customers donated more than $80,000 in a matter of days,” Neville said.
The company raised its own contribution to make it a neat $100,000, then presented it Wednesday at a ceremony at its store in Everett's Silver Lake neighborhood.
Bartell has a long- standing partnership with the Salvation Army that goes back decades, Neville said.
“They're humble and a quiet organization that doesn't get the credit they deserve for the work they do in their communities,” she said.
Salvation Army has been working alongside other aid organizations since the March 22 mudslide that wiped out the Steelhead Haven neighborhood and killed 43 people.
In the first week after the slide, the organization provided $25,000 in aid to support families affected by the slide, including covering temporary housing costs, food, clothing and gas cards.
With the recovery effort now focused on rebuilding, Salvation Army has joined with other agencies in providing case workers to help individuals and families meet their needs.
“We are very much in it for the long term, and that's where the Bartell money will be really helpful,” said Shaun Jones, Salvation Army's emergency disaster director.
Pointing out that they stayed in Centralia for two years following the December 2007 flooding, Jones said that Salvation Army's approach is to use case workers to identify needs among the communities directly and indirectly affected.
“There are people who lost everything, and we're trying to work with them, but there are also people who were on the fringes who were also affected,” Jones said.
Bartell, which raised the money at all 63 of its stores in Snohomish, King and Pierce Counties, has only imposed the condition that the donation go to help people in the communities affected by the slide.
All of the $100,000 donation will be dispersed into the local community over the long term, with none of it funding administrative costs, said Lori Marini Baker, the organization's director of marketing and communications.
Chris Winters: 425-374-4165; cwinters@heraldnet.com.
Story tags » Disasters & AccidentsOsoCharity

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