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ARA of Michigan’s Operation Snowball enhances ability to give back

by Connie Lannan

Operation snowball graphicSince 2014, the ARA of Michigan has been offering Operation Snowball, which provides a way for rental operators to give back even more generously to members of their community. This past year’s effort was another success.

“This program was started by Dave Gill, who was president of Rentals Unlimited, Traverse City, and an active member on the ARA of Michigan board. Since his passing, the ARA of Michigan has kept it going in his name. This year we even upped the number of eligible participants to 20,” says Sue Irwin, vice president, Delux Rental, Ypsilanti, Mich., and ARA of Michigan president.

“The way the program works is the rental operators fill out a form highlighting who they would like to assist. The rental operator donates $100 and the ARA of Michigan matches that donation for the first 20 rental operators who sign up to help someone in need,” Irwin says.

Suzique “Zique” Couture, president, T.C. Rentals, Traverse City, Mich., who serves on the ARA of Michigan board, is a big fan of the program and quickly signed up for one of the slots.

While Couture and her children usually assist an organization that helps foster children, “all those names were already spoken for, which is good. So this year, we took part in a ‘Tree of Needs’ at a local church. The church had a tree filled with paper ornaments. On each ornament there was a list of needs and wants of either a child or adult,” she says.

Couture says she and her family had fun selecting items for several individuals. “There was an 8-year-old boy who needed socks. Another boy wanted Pokémon cards and other items. A 6-year-old girl wanted some clothes and another little girl wanted craft items. We purchased all those items and more for these children and also adopted one of the parents, providing a gift card that could be used for gas or groceries,” she says.

Giving back is important, Couture says. “We always try to support local people who are in need. With the Operation Snowball donation match, it provides a great opportunity to be able to add some additional funds to the donation and allows everyone to give more than they could on their own.”

Couture is grateful that the ARA of Michigan has been offering this program for all these years. “It is such a nice thing that the ARA of Michigan offers this for their members. We like giving back to the community where our business is in,” she says, adding that she “would encourage other members to take advantage of this program. The form is short and simple to fill out, and this is just a fun thing to do this time of year.”