Our tradition of creating community impact started with Ben Bridge himself. Ben’s life was entirely wrapped up in the business. When he retired at a young age and turned the business over to his two sons, he did not even have his own checking account! Since so much of his life had been devoted to the business, his sons worried what he would do with his time. They need not have worried; Ben devoted the rest of his life to work in the community, setting the stage for how we would choose to operate our business for generations to come.
His dedicated service left an indelible mark on his two sons, Herb and Bob. Each one carrying the mantle of doing right for the greater community. Herb had a plaque on his desk that read ‘service is the rent we pay for the space we occupy on earth’. For him, it was central to how we should all live, contributing time, energy, and talents to create a better world. In Seattle, he was known as Mr. Downtown because he served as chair of almost every major civic organization in the city.
His brother Bob fought to create a safe and ethical jewelry industry. He petitioned for fair disclosure of gold in the 1970s and successfully established the Gold Labeling Act of 1976, ensuring that when someone bought a piece of 18kt gold, that it was truly 18kt. He also worked with the federal government to work across state borders to fight violent crime.
With these as examples for our associates, our store managers devote their time and energy to creating lasting community impact. Many of them are active Rotarians across the country. Our managers have led chapters, organized 5k runs, and assembled auctions.
In our office, we have weekly Giving Friday’s highlighting a different nonprofit every other week. By educating our team about these amazing organizations, we have extended awareness and raised funds. One of our favorite holiday traditions is our Forgotten Children’s Fund silent auction. Our main training room is filled with donated auction items to raise money to give kids a wonderful holiday season.
As a business, we contribute to hundreds of charities each year through donations, auctions and events. Our local teams choose the organizations and range from granting Make-A-Wish wishes, to creating welcome bags for low-income housing, to supporting local animal shelters. Our team is personally connected or involved in each and feel passionately about their mission.
For us, it is more than a seal we can place in our windows, more than a feel good story to tell; it is central to who we are. Our whole Ben Bridge family seeks to make our communities and the world a better place.