Known for their "generous and welcoming behavior," the Puyallup Tribe of Indians recently put their considerate character traits on display, donating $550,000 to the Seattle Seahawks' Spirit of 12 Partners.
The gift benefits eight local charities: Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Clubs of Washington State, Camp Fire of Snohomish County, Girl Scouts of Western Washington, Rainier Scholars, Special Olympics Washington, Treehouse, and YMCA of Greater Seattle, each of which have served or are currently serving as one of the team's Spirit of 12 Partners. The program, launched in 2004, supports nonprofits across the state that focus on the healthy development of youth through academics, athletics, and character development.
"The Puyallup Tribe of Indians are deeply invested into their community partnerships," said Puyallup Tribe Community Relations Manager Hollie Xitco. "The Tribe's view on relationship building is always within the scope of long-term; committed to seeing their money change the landscape through empowerment, positivity and support. The Spirit of 12 has an incredible outreach across our state with the ability to make a very large footprint in many communities. It is critical that we, as global citizens, do our part to take care of our neighbors. We believe that the Spirit of 12 would feel the same."
The offering to the Seahawks' Spirit of 12 Partners program is the latest in a list of unselfish assistance the Puyallup Tribe has delivered to local communities.
In 2008, the tribe provided Tacoma's Point Defiance Zoo with $685,000 to support the conservation and preservation of the zoo's red wolf exhibit. In 2011, the tribe gave $1 million to the Emergency Services Campaign benefiting MultiCare Health Systems at Tacoma General Hospital and Mary Bridge Children's Hospital. The $550,000 contribution to the Spirit of 12 Partners represents one of the largest donations in the program's history.
"It is truly humbling to know that there are so many people in need," said Puyallup Tribe Chairman Bill Sterud. "I feel immense joy in us having the ability to take care of those who need it most. We, as tribal members, know what it is like to grow up with nothing. It gives us all great joy to make someone's Christmas happier than it would have been otherwise."
Added Xitco: "Major gifts are a motivator for people. Whether it motivates someone to donate money, volunteer or become more informed, it touches lives. The Puyallup Tribe considers all people to be their friends regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, and the list goes on. The perspective is that we are all first human. We all have our ups and downs and we all have moments when we need help. The Puyallup Tribe of Indians would like to assist in making life a little easier for those who need it as we once did."
During every Seahawks gameday at Seattle's CenturyLink Field, volunteers representing one of the Spirit of 12 Partners help sell the team's gameday magazine, with 100 percent of the proceeds going back to the program and matched by The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. It's raised more than $3.5 million to date, including more than $527,000 last season.
"We are honored and humbled by the generosity of the Puyallup Tribe of Indians," said Seahawks Vice President of Community Outreach Mike Flood. "The Spirit of 12 Partners program is comprised of local charities who directly impact our youth on a day-to-day basis through a variety of diverse and inventive programs. These funds will help grow these programs, impact more youth and further support the valuable work they are doing in our community."
To learn more about the Seahawks' Spirit of 12 Partners program, click here.
For the Seahawks' penultimate home game of the regular season, 69,002 excited 12s kept the energy high and made things LOUDER as the Seahawks clinched a spot in the playoffs with their fifth straight win.