Season of Sharing Is Upon Us
It is the most wonderful time of the year to be grateful for what we have and to share it with our community. Les Schwab Tire Centers are hosting food, toy and bike drives and more to help those in their communities in need.
Kicking off the holiday season with a Thanksgiving fundraiser, the Sacramento-area Les Schwab stores got behind this year’s 10th annual Yuba-Sutter-Colusa United Way Turkey Drive. The stores served as collection sites for the $20 donations that bought turkeys, hams and holiday dinner fixings for families in the area. These donations were then shared with nearly 20 local nonprofit organizations who then distributed meals to local families.
Toy drives have been a fixture in Les Schwab’s community giving: In California’s Central Valley, 20 stores are participating in the third annual Fox 26 Les Schwab Tires Toy Drive. Store managers have set up appealing displays to encourage patrons to bring in new, unwrapped toys for children. Les Schwab Tire Centers are proud to work with local nonprofit Poverello House. Other nonprofits throughout the Central Valley can sign up at the Poverello House website to be among those organizations that benefit from these donations.
Meanwhile, nearby Les Schwab stores are tuning up their fleet of trucks for the 10-mile Parade of Toys that will deliver donations to the Sierra Vista Mall, in Clovis, Calif., on Dec. 15. In 2015, Les Schwab delivered 30 truckloads, which were distributed to participating charities.
Les Schwab stores in Sacramento and Rancho Cordova, Calif., have their bike pedals to the metal participating in the CHiPS for Kids annual drive to raise funds and donate bicycles. Volunteers from the California Highway Patrol - Valley Division and other local organizations have already assembled the bikes and are anxiously awaiting the donation drop-off at the Cal Expo on Dec. 9.
In 2015, approximately 1,000 bikes were donated to area children. Keep an eye out for Les Schwab trucks and the California Highway Patrol, which will again transport the bikes and escort the caravan.
In Utah, where cold winters are a sure thing, having a warm coat is essential. To help those in need to stay warm, the North and South Logan Les Schwab stores have teamed up for the third year with the United Way of Cache Valley for the Warm Coat Drive, which benefits multiple Cache Valley charities. Customers can donate gently used coats, gloves and hats through Dec. 31 at both stores and the Cache County Sheriff’s Office.
The Logan Les Schwab stores have also partnered up with the Cache County’s Sub for Santa annual toy drive. Leslie Canada, director and participant for 30 years, is thrilled to have Les Schwab’s help. In honor of the inaugural year, the Logan stores will give coupons for free tire rotations and free pre-trip safety checks to everyone who donates a toy.
Thank you to everyone who has come by one of our stores to keep this wonderful time of the year alive in many hearts. Happy holidays to all!
Band Plays for Les Schwab’s Tireless Teacher
For students at Antelope High School, in Antelope, Calif., every pep rally and sporting event serves as a reminder of their band director Ritchey Hodge. Hodge wrote the school’s official fight song, which the band performs at school events. Hodge’s many talents, including the example he sets for student leaders as a performer and songwriter, have won him 2016’s Les Schwab Tireless Teacher Award.
The recognition is thanks to his band students, who wrote one-page essays about the teacher they believe best represents positive culture on campus. The Tireless Teacher Award recognizes outstanding teachers who have a positive effect on students. Students nominate a teacher they believe most deserves the award.
We at Les Schwab Tire Centers are proud to celebrate Hodge and teachers like him, who go above and beyond the call of duty with hopes of inspiring our future leaders. Thank you, Hodge, for being a superior role model for the Antelope High student body.
Youth Ag Leader Grows Career With FFA Role
As a third generation Future Farmers of America (FFA) member, Lauren Millang brought a family legacy to her role as vice president of the FFA’s California chapter. “I can recall my grandpa telling me about the different contests he competed in during high school and hearing about my parent’s fair animals,” she said. “I’m proud to be part of an organization that is rooted in tradition.”
Lauren spent a year traveling throughout California facilitating FFA workshops, hosting conferences and learning about the agriculture industry. Over the four years that Lauren was involved with FFA, she found the experience invaluable in developing her agricultural knowledge and her leadership skills.
“I was blessed with opportunities to attend leadership conferences, compete on numerous teams, hold officer positions and even raise animals for our county fair,” she said. “I know these valuable moments spent in FFA have prepared me for a future career in agriculture and have provided me with the tools and experiences I need to become a successful advocate for the industry.”
Some of Lauren’s most memorable FFA experiences include the Washington Leadership Conference in Washington D.C., as well as competing at the American Quarter Horse Youth Association World Show in Oklahoma and the FFA Nationals in Kentucky.
Lauren says the FFA offers a place for just about everyone who’s interested in agriculture. “From computer sciences, to raising livestock, crop sciences or speaking contests, students can truly find their niche and excel,” she said. “FFA is a unique organization that truly gives students a hands-on experience.”
With her move into the VP role, Lauren graduated from a corduroy members jacket that said “Woodland-Pioneer” across the back to a one that says, “Association.” “With this new jacket comes new opportunities, friendships, places and growth,” she said. “Only one word comes to mind when I think of the journey ahead: gratitude.”
Following her year as California FFA state vice president, Lauren is attending Oklahoma State University to pursue a double major in agricultural communications and business. “I am proud to be involved in an organization that creates the future leaders of the agriculture industry,” she said. “And I am proud to be a future agriculturalist.”
At Les Schwab, we’re honored to support Lauren's hard work, dedication and leadership both in California’s agriculture industry and its local communities.
Les Schwab Stores’ Generosity Makes Field Trip Possible
Field trips are valuable to teachers and students.
“As a teacher, if I get to see them experience what they are learning, that is the most rewarding part of my job,” said Christine Donley, August Knodt Elementary school teacher.
The good news: the school’s fourth-grade class had plans to visit Sacramento as part of their coursework on California history. All 75 students anticipated taking the bus to visit Sutter’s Fort, the California State Indian Museum and the California State Capitol. The bad news: this was going to cost $1,400 the Stockton, Calif., school didn’t have.
Then the managers of the Lodi and Stockton, Calif., Les Schwab stores stepped up. Gary Holm, Matt Buchmann and John Burgess donated the funds and the field trip was back on schedule.
“When I told the kids we were finally able to go, they were ecstatic! Les Schwab made this trip possible,” said Donley.
The Lodi and Stockton communities have been supportive of Les Schwab over the years and the store managers were honored to repay just a little bit of that back and help encourage students’ love of learning and to celebrate California’s history.