Recognizing how you make a difference in your community

Last October, the American Rental Association (ARA) and the ARA Foundation kicked off “ARA Makes a Difference in Your Community Month” as a way to highlight how rental operators and their employees, either individually or as a group, give back to their communities.

As a result, ARA learned how:

  • Donna Smithey, owner of In Tents Events in Tallahassee, Fla., and her employees participate in dozens of fundraisers for charitable organizations and support a variety of worthy community institutions and events, from the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life to the Leon Advocacy and Resource Center (LARC).
  • Willie Strange, owner of Eagle Rentals in Seguin, Texas, volunteers for her state Habitat for Humanity board and has participated in two dental and medical mission trips to Honduras.
  • Shannon Botten, owner of Botten’s Equipment Rental in McMinnville, Ore., her husband and parents, found that living out their rental store’s motto of “One Family, One Community, One Purpose: Excellent Service” has offered a tremendous boost to their community and generated goodwill for their new business.

This is just a sampling of the tremendous outpouring of responses ARA received from rental operators. This October, ARA and the ARA Foundation will team up again for another celebration of giving to honor how ARA members give back to their communities.

Whether you plan a “giving back” event for October or have something scheduled for later in the year, ARA wants to hear about it and underscore how rental operators and their employees are a very generous and giving group by highlighting these stories during October’s “ARA Makes a Difference in Your Community Month.”

How you give back might inspire someone else in another part of the country to follow your lead or take a little bit of a different approach that would benefit their communities.

To share how you and/or your employees give back, contact Jenni Venema, ARA Foundation director of development, at 800-334-2177, ext. 236, or, by Sept. 18. Let her know what you have been doing, how you got involved and what it means to you to give back in this way.

“Remember, your generosity doesn’t have to be a huge affair,” Venema says. “It could be modest or small to you, but to the receiver it could have a tremendously big effect. We want to hear about what you and your employees are doing to benefit your community. Now is the time to share your stories because your gesture of giving could provide other rental operators with ideas about what they can do to help their communities.”