Charity is focus of bus tour

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Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald Sandra Gonzalez makes friends with a puppy offered by the Grant County animal shelter for adoption. It was part of an effort to promote charitable activity by businesses Tuesday afternoon.

MOSES LAKE — Businesses do better when they encourage their employees to get involved in charitable activities, inside and outside their communities. That was the message from participants on a bus tour that stopped in Moses Lake Tuesday afternoon.

And of course cute puppies were required.

The puppies are one of a number of charitable projects promoted by the employees at the TCC location in Moses Lake. (That’s company shorthand for The Cellular Connection, which sells Verizon and DirecTV services.) Puppies from the Grant County animal shelter came to the store to promote adoption of rescue animals.

The Moses Lake employees also are interested in promoting education, said store manager Jessica Benedict. They planned to make a donation of school supplies to teachers at North Elementary, but bad weather canceled school and the donation ceremony. It will be rescheduled, Benedict said.

The bus tour is also the promotion of the idea of a “Culture of Good,” which is the name of the company’s charitable foundation. It was co-founded by Ryan McCarty, who has launched it as its own company. McCarty wrote a book about Culture of Good, and signed copies of the book at the Moses Lake store. A portion of the book sales go to the promotion of animal adoption.

The planned donation at North Elementary is 17 kits of school supplies for teachers. That kind of giving back is "really at the heart of what Culture of Good is all about,” McCarty said.

Employees of stores from East Wenatchee, Yakima and Ellensburg came to town to take part.

“It’s really neat to give back to our community,” Benedict said. Along with promoting animal adoption and education, the crew has volunteered to make sandwiches for the local warming shelter every Tuesday while it’s open, among other things.

“It all comes back to our local community,” she said.

Regional manager Darrell Niemiec drove over from Seattle. Niemiec said in his opinion it’s better – for workers and the business – if employees are invested in their jobs for more than a paycheck. “What if we could give meaning and purpose?” he said. “It’s important, I think,” for a business to give back to the community. Possibly other businesses will follow the lead, he said. “How much better can we make the communities that we’re in?”

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