Giving back to organizations in our communities

At the end of each year, A&R Solar makes donations to nonprofits that our employee-owners have chosen (we now have 18 employee-owners!).

To close out 2017, we wanted to add a little twist to our giving. While we are still donating to choices from our owners, we also asked our solar customers to recommend organizations in their communities.

A&R installs solar across Washington and Oregon, and we were so pleased to see a diverse group of recommendations, including animal shelters, food banks, health care, music programs, tiny houses, a bee habitat, and even a pickleball league started by seniors. It was evident by the number of responses how passionate our customers are about giving back and doing good in the world. Many expressed their heartfelt gratitude and wonderful stories about the organizations they recommended. Out of the dozens of suggestions we received, we chose 30.

Here are the 49 nonprofits that our employee-owners chose and the ones we selected from our customer recommendations. These organizations have been sent checks between $100 and $700. We’ve added a little description if it’s not obvious what they do. Feel free to visit their websites and make your own donation!

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ACLU of Washington

Adventures Without Limits
Provides access to outdoor adventure to all people, regardless of their ability level, socioeconomic status, gender, ethnicity or age

Arms Around Bainbridge
Provides assistance to neighbors who are caught in financial crisis as a result of serious illness

We would highly recommend Arms Around Bainbridge, a wonderful local group that provides temporary financial assistance to individuals and families who have financial crisis because of illness and unmanageable health costs for the illness. Every cent goes to individuals because administration and fundraising are done by volunteers.

Beacon Food Forest
Provides an edible urban forest garden that inspires our community to gather together, grow our own food and rehabilitate our local ecosystem

Coastal Conservation Association Washington
An advocacy group for salmon, steelhead, and our other Northwest fish

I would like to nominate Coastal Conservation Association. They are actively involved in protecting our wild steelhead and salmon. Many of our fish are or are becoming endangered. CCA promotes conservation and projects that help to maintain or strengthen these special runs of fish in our state.

Coral Reef Alliance

Crisis Clinic
Offers telephone-based crisis intervention and information and referrals to community services for youth and adults

Ekballo School

Experimental Education Unit at The Haring Center at UW
Offers a comprehensive early childhood school community that provides inclusive education to children with and without disabilities

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Girls Build
Provides girls 8 – 14 years old the opportunity in summer camps to learn the basics of many trades from skilled female instructors

Give Directly
The first NGO that allows people to give money directly to the extreme poor

Grace Clinic
Offers free healthcare services to those in need in Benton and Franklin Counties and Burbank

Grace Clinic is a free clinic that provides medical, dental and mental health services to low-income uninsured residents of Benton and Franklin counties. It sees about 1,100 unduplicated patients and provides more than 5,000 patient visits during the year. It is operated primarily by volunteers and has been in operation for 15 years.

Hamomi Children’s Centre
Improves the lives of orphaned and vulnerable children in Nairobi, Kenya by allowing them to develop into adults with the skills necessary to improve their own social and economic condition

Hearts With A Mission
Serves homeless and at-risk youth by providing shelter, educational support, mentoring, and transition planning

Highline Schools Foundation
Raises funds to help students pay for things like classroom supplies, sports equipment, field trips, and scholarships

Hope Street Project
Creates tiny homes to help people move into stable housing and homeownership

There is a small group in Colville, Washington, doing work with the homeless, building tiny homes. It is run by a local doctor, Dr. Barry Bacon, who also is involved in numerous other projects including providing medical care to the local jail population and recovering addicts, and working at reducing the lack of access to and the discrepancies in obtaining health care. He does much of this work on his own, with little outside funding. His work is direct, not theoretical or bureaucratic, with little overhead and no employees and often little help. There are some local business partners, and they are trying to work with the city government to provide needed housing.

Provides a network of critical social services through a number of different programs – including housing, transportation, family development, financial assistance, employment programs, adult education, financial literacy training and five food banks.

Supports people sleeping outside or in their cars to transition out of homelessness into permanent housing

Lummi Island Heritage Trust
Creates a legacy of abundant open space, native habitat, and natural resources on Lummi Island by inspiring people to protect and care for the island’s farms, forests, wetlands and shorelines forever

Math is Cool
Provides math competitions to accelerate and promote math education

Matsiko Children’s Choir
Made up of orphan and at-risk children from around the world, the choir performs to help raise money to sponsor other orphaned or at-risk kids’ school costs.

MEOW Cat Rescue

This small, no-kill cat shelter is doing wonderful work locally in addition to partnering with other animal support organizations in Seattle and beyond. 

Metropolitan Youth Symphony
Provides music education and performance opportunities for young musicians of all ages and levels of experience

NW Honey Bee Habitat Restoration

I would like to recommend Northwest Honeybee Habitat Restoration for all they do for the local honeybees and community. Honeybees are critical to our local environment and they are helping them to survive, thrive, and spreading the word of their importance to the community.

Outdoors for All
Enriches the quality of life for children and adults with disability through outdoor recreation

Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences
Emphasizes recruitment of students from rural or medically underserved locations and educates students in such areas with the intended outcome of graduates returning to practice in those or similar communities

Rainier Scholars
Offers a pathway to college graduation for hard-working, low-income students of color by providing access to transformative educational opportunities

Rainier Scholars serves those students with the greatest number of barriers to achieving a college education – students of color from low-income backgrounds who will be the first in their family to earn a college degree.

Rainier Valley Food Bank

Raise for Rowyn
Provides families with financial and emotional support during the loss of a child

Riverview Community Church
Collect, package and give bags of food for the weekend to families who are on the free or reduced lunch program

Riverview has been a longtime partner with one school, and they help to collect, package, and give bags of food for the weekend to those families who are on the free or reduced lunch program. The school has found that the last meal those students eat is lunch on Friday until breakfast on Monday.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western Washington & Alaska
Supports seriously ill children and their families

Scott Firefighter Stair Climb at Columbia Center
Raises money to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society by running up 69 flights of stairs in full fire gear

Second Harvest
Brings community resources together to feed people in need through empowerment, education, and partnerships

Senior Dog Rescue of Oregon

Senior Life Resources Northwest
Provides critical nutrition services like Meals on Wheels and home care services that enable people to remain living in their homes for as long as possible

Sequim Picklers
Promotes the sport of pickleball within the City of Sequim and the surrounding region

Sisters of the Road
Nonprofit cafe working to create systemic change that will end poverty and homelessness by providing nourishing meals in a safe, dignified space

Snoqualmie Valley Shelter Services
Provide life-changing services to those experiencing homelessness by working with our communities to provide emergency shelter, social services, and connections to permanent housing

Step It Up
Provides youth with access to educational and career development resources

Tacoma Community Boat Builders
Creates transformational opportunities for at-risk youth through boat building and positive mentorship

Tacoma Community Boat Builders’ focus on design and building of boats helps to develop a broad range of skills in an environment of adventure and exploration. At-risk youth learn pro-social and team-centered behaviors that increase empathy, altruism and optimism. They find a place where they are safe, and where they belong.

Transition Projects
Helps people transition from homelessness to housing in the Portland metro area

Provide support and resources to youth in foster care to graduate from high school

VFW Post 239 New Roof Campaign
Provides assistance to veterans and other members of the community

Washington Alaskan Malamute Adoption League

Wounded Warrior Project

Write Around Portland
Holds writing workshops targeting low-income adults and young people

Yoga Behind Bars
Brings yoga and meditation to prisons, jails, and detention centers

Can you imagine how different your own life would be if you were able to regularly act and react from a place of compassion for yourself and others? Yoga Behind Bars is there so these folks aren’t left behind, that there are creative ways to address rehabilitation and to ensure that communities are inclusive and safe for everyone.

Builds confidence and self-sufficiency for homeless youth by providing a continuum of care that includes outreach, basic services, emergency shelter, housing, counseling, education, and employment training