Actions Speak Louder

Our actions,
in our words.

Actions speak louder. These words ring at the very core of AutoTrader.com. Ours is a story about helping others and bringing about positive change in the communities where we live and work. It’s a story about real people making extraordinary things happen. These are our actions, in our own words.

A Message from Chip & Jim

Five years ago, Marie set out on a 60-mile journey for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, through which her calling became evident. Now, Marie doesn’t just participate in an event – she immerses herself in it – especially if it involves raising funds and awareness for breast cancer.

I like to feel that I’m doing something to make a difference,” says Marie, who has had several friends and a coworker affected by breast cancer, as well as her husband’s mother, who died at a young age. “I try to pick events that have the largest impact and help bring about change.”

“Marie inspires and challenges our team to get and stay involved in our community. She is our community champion!” - Tony Antoniades, Director, Product Management

Marie is, without a doubt, making a difference. Since 2008, she’s been an AutoTrader.com team captain for Race for the Cure, recruiting, coordinating and fundraising for the event. Marie also serves as a crewmember for the 3-Day, which involves transporting tents, equipment and luggage to each location for all the walkers. And, for the past two years, she’s participated in Tour de Pink, a bike ride that supports a younger generation of women with breast cancer.

And, while Marie has a contagious enthusiasm for events that raise awareness and funds for cancer, her involvement does not end there. She also participates in walks, runs and bike rides that support Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, MADD, the American Heart Association, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and many others.

I like a challenge, and I like to be active and moving,” says Marie. “I’ve learned that the smallest thing does make a big impact. You’re actually doing something big just by getting out there.”

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2 Kudos

  1. Congrats Marie! You make me want to channel my workouts toward a cause – thanks for the inspiration!!

    Kelly
  2. Well deserved! Congrats!
    Your commitment to the community is contagious and inspiring!

    Tony
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Marcus is known to thousands of kids as “Coach.” He has always loved sports and uses it as a means to build confidence and social skills among young children.

My faith has driven me in this direction,” says Marcus. “I’m a firm believer that helping kids will come back around in a positive way.”

Marcus is the commissioner of Fun Fair Positive Soccer, which provides a positive environment for youth soccer players, as well as a program for children with special needs. While Marcus has worked with thousands of kids over the years, he was moved by one child in particular who he mentored at the request of the boy’s mother.

“Marcus is highly involved in his community. From coaching little league sports teams to heading up missions at his church, he has a true passion for giving.” - Sandra Livingston, Advertising Consultant

I was a father figure to him and learned a lot about myself in the process,” says Marcus. “That experience made me start thinking more outside my own family and focus on the needs of others.”

Marcus stays involved in many community efforts. He’s active with his church and hospice, and he regularly brings his sports teams and coworkers to help with various community service activities, including the local food bank and Cyprus Cares, an organization that collects items and boxes care packages to military troops overseas. In fact, the organization sends more than 1,000 packages to troops each year.

Marcus also coordinates new sneaker collections, as well as the “Undie 500,” an event to provide new underwear for underprivileged children – items that are seldom donated.

Everything I do I get back tenfold,” says Marcus. “I’m growing with these kids every day.”

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Kelly says her community service has been a “great, humbling and eye-opening experience.” She herself is involved in many organizations and has become a go-to source for others to find opportunities to serve.

This past Christmas, Kelly participated with The Salvation Army Angel Tree program and was moved by some of the children’s requests for the most basic of necessities, including soap. “It was humbling,” she says. “There are so many people in need. We all should be helping each other.”

Kelly is actively involved with Forgotten Harvest, an organization that helps eliminate waste and feed the hungry in Detroit by collecting surplus, prepared and perishable food and donating it to emergency food providers. There, she helps sort food for families and has established a close relationship with its director.

She’s so happy and overjoyed to have people there helping,” says Kelly. “I look up to her and love being part of that effort. It’s a great feeling.”

In addition to her work with Habitat for Humanity, Gleaners Community Food Bank and The Salvation Army, Kelly also participates in the Make-A-Wish Foundation Walk and the Susan G. Komen 3-Day. She also sends out regular emails to her department, communicating different ways people can get involved.

When people see the need, they’re inspired to help,” says Kelly. “I’m honored and overwhelmed that AutoTrader.com as a company is so willing to lend a hand. I really enjoy being part of a team that encourages me to do this.”

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5 Kudos

  1. Great job Kelly!

    John Pas
  2. Great Job Kelly, we’re proud of you!

    Anonymous
  3. Great job Kelly! Thanks for organizing all of these efforts and rounding us up to participate!

    Frank J.
  4. You go girl! I love this about our company! It’s a true blessing to be able to give back and have a company that supports it!

    stephanie
  5. You go girl! I love this about our company! It’s a true blessing to be able to give back and have a company that supports it!

    stephanie mckennon
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Located at mile 11, the AutoTrader.com spirit station at the Los Angeles Marathon provides runners with snacks, water and encouragement during the race. Last year, the marathon was cold and rainy, and a man came upon the tent exhausted and disoriented. “He was in remission from cancer and running the marathon to show that life goes on,” says Valerie.

Valerie’s team gave him food, a dry shirt and warmed him in an AutoTrader.com car while they waited for medical assistance. Turns out the weary runner worked for a city councilman and was so touched by the team’s efforts that he recognized them all with a certificate of appreciation during an official city council presentation. “It moved him and it moved all of us,” says Valerie. “We didn’t expect to be thanked. I was just happy he finished the race.”

Valarie’s actions that day represent her true colors. She’s been involved in community service since junior high school and has deep affinity for helping others. “I believe good karma spreads, and that’s a standard I want to live by,” she says.

Indeed, that standard is evident in her many service activities, including chairing the craft booth at her daughters’ school fundraiser, working at the Orange County Food Bank, managing AutoTrader.com blood drives, and coordinating the company’s involvement in the Light the Night walk.

Valerie inspires her family, friends and coworkers to join in her efforts. Together, they have significantly expanded involvement at the annual Light the Night walk – bringing glow sticks, tattoos, gift bag, and massages to the AutoTrader.com tent.

Valerie is also passing along strong values to her two young daughters, which is already having an impact. Her 8-year-old daughter recently donated 10 inches of her hair to Locks of Love.

I hope my actions provide a little inspiration to others,” says Valerie. “I love getting my family and friends involved in my passion and hope that it sparks something inside of them.”

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  1. Congrats Valerie on being recognized as a Community Champion in the West. You are very deseving of these kudos!! You inspire me to PayitForward daily!!

    Congrats!

    Bama

    Brian McCall
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Meghan remembers plating food at the Nashville Rescue Mission and seeing people’s faces as they walked through the line. “I said to myself, next time I want to be up front helping and not in the back.”

For Meghan, community service is about that personal connection, which radiates in all her activities. For the past four years, Meghan and her family have driven around Nashville on Christmas Eve handing out hats, mittens, hand warmers and other necessities to the homeless. “We just walk up, say Merry Christmas and walk away,” she says. “I keep it short and sweet, but I love driving back past them and watching them open their bags.”

“Meghan lives by what she believes and puts action to her words.” John Grove, Advertising Consultant

Meghan and her family have also begun a Thanksgiving tradition where they prepare a huge dinner, fill containers with food and set out to deliver hot meals to Nashville’s homeless.

Letting them know someone is thinking of them during the holidays means everything to me,” says Meghan. “I want them to know that they are not alone – that people really do care.”

In addition to her own grassroots service efforts, Meghan also volunteers at The Salvation Army, Second Harvest, Ronald McDonald House and participates with the St. Jude event, Give thanks. Walk. This year, she also coordinated a team to help in the aftermath of the tornadoes in Alabama.

I like to give my time and of myself so I can experience that personal connection and see the benefit firsthand,” says Meghan.

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6 Kudos

  1. I’m always so proud of you and this recognition is wonderful.

    Mom
  2. Meghan this is wonderful! Congrats on your dedication to the community. It is people like you who make the world a better place. You are also setting a wonderful example for those around you!

    Leena
  3. I knew you were a good bird! Keep up the good work!

    Guy at CarSmart.net
  4. You are one amazing lady!!! I am proud to be your colleague and friend. You continue to inspire all those around you through your amazing works. Thank you for being a leader and an intregal part of our amazing company.

    Meredith
  5. You are one amazing lady!! I am proud to be your colleague and friend. Thank you for continuing to inspire us all with your actions and generous spirit.

    Meredith
  6. I am so proud of you support to others over the last few years. It makes me even prouder that most of it has been through your own initiative.

    Dad
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Like many who witnessed the destruction in the wake of the Joplin tornado, Kevin saw the incredible amount of need in its aftermath. It touched him at his core and stirred a passion inside.

I often say that I feel like a minnow in a sea of need,” says Kevin. “Visiting Joplin left me emotionally devastated and moved me to help.”

Kevin established a relationship with a local pastor whose church served as a drop-off point for donated items. Not only did Kevin deliver donations after the tornado, he has returned several times since to help with ongoing relief work.

“Kevin is a true inspiration and mentor to many people, both personally and professionally. He quietly and humbly leads by example and sets a standard of service that others are inspired to follow.” - Steven Brogan, Advertising Consultant

The pastor’s tireless efforts in the wake of the tornado inspired Kevin. “He always sounded so energetic on the phone, but after seeing him in person I could tell he was physically exhausted,” says Kevin. “It encouraged me to do more.”

Kevin and his AutoTrader.com coworkers organized a back-to-school campaign, donating 750 backpacks and gift cards to students. Most recently, he coordinated a full crew and secured donations to help make much-needed repairs to the church that gave so much to the people of Joplin.

I told them you haven’t seen the last of me,” says Kevin. “It’s in my heart. I’ll keep coming back until there’s another need to move on to.”

Humble in his service, yet ever conscious of those in need, Kevin also volunteers at the St. Louis Food Bank, participates in St. Jude walks and is active with his church, including its House of Manna food bank.

There are so many people in my life with big hearts who want to help others,” says Kevin. “We know we can’t do it alone, so we all support each other in our efforts.”

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  1. Way to go Kevin – you are an inspiration to all of us!

    Sheryl
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Stephanie is a whirlwind of service. She is energetic, compassionate and driven in her mission to serve.

Stephanie’s grandfather was the original founder of the Adams County Crime Stoppers in Pennsylvania. She’s worked alongside him since 1998 and has introduced new programs and initiatives to expand the organization’s ability to protect area citizens.

It’s important for me to continue my grandfather’s passion,” says Stephanie.

Stephanie also speaks regularly to students and townships about the many risks associated with underage drinking. She currently serves as a board member for the Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers.

Volunteering in this way is a natural extension of my family’s involvement,” says Stephanie. “It represents my own passion for helping young people.”

In addition to her involvement with Crime Stoppers, Stephanie volunteers with South Central Camp Cadet, which provides kids with a positive image of law enforcement. But, she says her true passion lies in her work with the Pennsylvania State Police and involvement with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

It touches my heart completely,” says Stephanie, who helps manage the annual golf fundraiser for the foundation. “It’s bittersweet to see these children who are sick waiting for their wish.”

Stephanie is also involved in other community service activities, including Habitat for Humanity, the Light the Night walk and area food banks. She says if everyone contributed just a little bit of their time, and found what they are most passionate about, the world would be a better place.

We all have something to offer, and there are so many organizations that need assistance,” says Stephanie. “If you find what drives you and contribute in your own way, it’ll make a difference.”

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While she doesn’t ride horses and is just now mustering the courage to let one eat a carrot out of her hand, Kristen is passionate about her work at Children’s TherAplay.

Located north of Indianapolis, the organization combines the movement of horses with traditional physical and occupational therapies for children with special needs, including those with Down syndrome, autism and cerebral palsy. Riding a horse builds torso muscles and is the closest way a child can feel how the hips and legs are supposed to move, which helps therapists treat a wide variety of diagnoses.

“Kristen is dedicated, passionate and committed. She makes a positive impact on our community and inspires our team to get involved. She is our very own Community Service Champion!” - Tina Zerbe, District Sales Manager

I wanted to work with kids with disabilities; that’s where my heart is,” says Kristen. “This organization touched every aspect that was important to me.”

Kristen started volunteering at Children’s TherAplay four years ago and says it’s become her third job after AutoTrader.com and raising her own children. She does everything from serving as the president of the board and scrubbing toilets to managing its major fundraising events.

I totally love it,” she says. “It’s so awesome to see how much this therapy helps these kids grow. It’s absolutely amazing what they accomplish.”

Children’s TherAplay uses retired horses that are donated for therapy and serves approximately 100 children per year. And, it’s just one of many organizations where Kristen volunteers her time. As the community service leader for her team, Kristen also organizes and participates in events each month, including The Salvation Army, Race for the Cure and Toys for Tots.

I would tell anyone to find your passion and put your heart into it,” says Kristen. “It’s a great personal feeling to help others.”

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For us, it’s not about
one-time outreach projects.

Instead, we believe in deep-rooted partnerships and wrapping up a day of hard work with a pat on the back and a “we’ll see you next time.” It’s our way of achieving meaningful ongoing impact.

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AutoTrader.com has been a true community partner with the American Red Cross since 2005 – helping to raise both money and awareness to continue the organization’s outreach efforts.

While we have many financial contributors, it’s rare that a corporation provides financial assistance, in-kind donations and volunteer time,” says Michael Brown, Development Officer for American Red Cross. “AutoTrader.com does it all.”

Through our various levels of support, including our charitable banner campaigns, matching gifts, and corporate contributions, our in-kind and monetary donations were valued over $1 million. This year in particular, AutoTrader.com volunteers mobilized to support disaster relief efforts in Joplin, Mo., and Tuscaloosa, Ala., cities devastated by tornadoes.

“They are philanthropic leaders and a true partner in every sense of the word.” - Michael Brown, Development Officer, American Red CrossEmployees expect us to take a leadership role in the community, especially during times of disaster,” says Michele Blondheim, Community Relations Director. “It’s a responsibility we’re proud to have.”

Another unique way we support the American Red Cross is through skills-based volunteerism. Amy Sisko, Digital Media Designer, volunteered her professional talents by developing a design tutorial on how to create marketing materials. This way, the organization can create its own banner ads, making it even easier to continue raising awareness.

The people at AutoTrader.com are generous, friendly and willing to help,” says Michael. “Without such partners, we couldn’t continue our mission at American Red Cross.”

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Emotions run high on the day a Habitat for Humanity homeowner receives the keys to their new home.

It’s a special moment to be a part of,” says Planning Analyst J.P Staples. “You can see pure joy and immediate pride in their faces.” J.P. volunteers annually on multiple Saturdays, and looks forward to using his construction skills to make a difference in someone’s life.

Those moments and others like them are the foundation of our continuing partnership with Habitat for Humanity. For the past seven years, volunteers like J.P. have helped build 15 homes in Atlanta and cities around the country.

“Community service is the primary reason I came to work for AutoTrader.com. There’s a culture of giving back, and I’m proud to be a part of that.” - J.P. Staples, Planning AnalystLisa Lentz, an Advertising Consultant, organized more than 20 volunteers from three Pennsylvania districts for a teambuilding activity. “It was important for us to have a lasting impact,” she says. “We liked that Habitat for Humanity is in our backyard and [we] appreciate [its] ideals.”

Lisa says the team painted three houses in one day and felt a great sense of camaraderie and fulfillment through helping others. “AutoTrader.com makes it easy to volunteer, and it’s supported at all levels,” she says. “Community involvement means more at AutoTrader.com. It’s part of your job description.”

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  1. Thanks so much for the energy, commitment to serving your community, and support for affordable homeownership opportunities in our community. We are so grateful for AutoTrader.com’s involvement!

    Marci - Atlanta Habitat for Humanity
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Thanksgiving Eve at Open Hand in Atlanta has become an annual tradition for many AutoTrader.com employees. Every year, a sea of volunteers wearing our signature green shirts takes over Open Hand. And, while we support the organization other times throughout the year, this is our day to shine.

During two three-hour shifts, some 60 AutoTrader.com team members slice, dice, scoop, peel and pack more than 5,500 meals – and we deliver more than 250 of them. More importantly, we show what a dedicated group of volunteers can really accomplish.

“The volunteers of AutoTrader.com have a wonderful spirit. You just want to bottle it up.” Rosalind Tucker, Director of Volunteer Services, Open HandWe have a slogan that when we see green shirts, we know it’s going to be a good day,” says Open Hand Director of Volunteer Services Rosalind Tucker. “They know their way around our kitchen and get straight to work.”

AutoTrader.com has been supporting Open Hand for seven years. On average, between 150-200 volunteers contribute 450 hours each year. And, for the past four years, we have been a Presenting Sponsor for Dining Out for Life, Open Hand’s largest fundraiser.

They have such a heart to serve,” says Rosalind. “They’re willing to do whatever it takes to assist our vision and help us reach our goals – it’s in their fiber.”

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  1. Your spirit is infectious — you guys actually make it fun to come to work! And you remind us every day that a community-based organization like ours can only fulfill our mission with the support, the energy and the passion of your volunteers. There simply aren’t enough kudos to express our appreciation for all you do! The Green Team rocks!

    John
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In 2008, Advertising Consultant Junee Warner received a challenge from her manager Rafael Garcia that put her physical endurance to the test.

The challenge was to organize a team to participate in Miami’s Nautica South Beach Triathlon to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. As an avid cyclist, Junee got to work – physically and organizationally – and rallied people to participate in what would be both her and many others’ first triathlon.

“Our involvement is beyond rewarding because we’re raising money for such a worthy cause. Everyone who participates wants to do it again.” Junee Warner, Advertising ConsultantIn three years, what started out as five teams has more than doubled to 12 teams and 10 individuals. This year, they raised $35,000 and were recognized as the top fundraising team.

Every year, our goal is to raise money and have fun,” says Junee. “So many people give and participate without hesitation – it inspires us to do more … and stay in shape!”

The triathlon is one of many AutoTrader.com outreach events that have benefitted St. Jude and its young patients over the last 12 years. Our commitment to St. Jude includes sponsorship of the various Give thanks. Walk. annual charity events – such as casino nights, wine auctions and golf tournaments – and leadership visits to the hospital.

Our ultimate goal is to have partners who operate on more than one cylinder, and AutoTrader.com serves as the perfect example,” says Franny Kavin, St. Jude Liaison, Development Systems Corporate Alliances. “They are living, breathing ambassadors for us.”

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Susan Skolnick, the Director of Development and Major Gifts at Special Olympics Georgia, says AutoTrader.com is not your typical corporate partner.

They are passionate, committed, and proactive and have helped us raise our levels of awareness and advocacy in the community,” says Susan. “Having a partner who wants to be that involved is priceless.”

A Statewide Partner at the Platinum Level, AutoTrader.com has been partnering with Special Olympics Georgia for seven years. Our volunteers manage Olympic Town, aquatics and bowling venues and are an integral part of their success – handling everything from escorting athletes to competitions, scorekeeping, presenting awards and medals, and, of course, cheering.

Dave Amundsen, Vice President, Finance, is a regular volunteer at both the summer and winter games and often brings his family. “They’re such fantastic kids with great personalities,” he says. “I have a niece with Down syndrome, so my experiences hit close to home. These kids stay with you.”

That willingness to create a personal connection with the athletes and their families sets AutoTrader.com volunteers apart from others and fosters an environment of support and camaraderie for everyone.

They really care about the athletes and make their experience the best it can possibly be,” says Susan. “And, AutoTrader.com comes back year after year, which has a huge impact on the athletes.”

And the feeling is mutual. Our volunteers have developed strong bonds with many of the athletes and look forward to reconnecting with them, their families, and the coaches each year.

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Nothing symbolizes AutoTrader.com’s commitment to community better than a faded green shirt.

Earned and respected, it’s a sign of teamwork, dedication and a level of involvement in our communities. With a smile on our face and sweat on our brow, those who wear it represent AutoTrader.com at its best.

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Advertising Consultant Meghan Chamberlain was on vacation when tornadoes raged through Alabama last spring. “As I began to see the devastation on the news, I knew I had to help,” she says.

She immediately contacted her group and within the hour, had a team of 10 ready to travel to the affected areas. Working with the Birmingham Baptist Association, the AutoTrader.com team helped prepare food; yet even at the end of a long shift, Meghan wanted to do more. “I felt disconnected and that I wasn’t able to help enough,” Meghan says. As she and colleague Randy Grove traveled home to Atlanta, they stopped at the Red Cross in Cullman, Ala. There, they were assigned to help a family clear limbs and debris from their yard. While the home was intact, destruction surrounded it on all sides. “There was a lot of sadness, but thankfulness at the same time,” Meghan recalls.

AutoTrader.com volunteers often are on the front lines when disasters occur – either through our own grassroots initiatives or by assisting organizations like the American Red Cross. And as a company, AutoTrader.com provides in-kind contributions and leverages its website through charitable banner campaigns to help raise money and awareness.

District Sales Manager Cindy Becker also felt compelled to help after tornadoes devastated Joplin, Mo. She too organized a team that traveled to the hardest hit areas. Before she left, Cindy remembers stopping by the local dollar store to buy necessities for those affected, when a woman in the checkout line offered $20 to help the cause. “She was a total stranger who overheard me telling the cashier what we were doing,” says Cindy. “I’ll never forget her. I gave her a huge hug and thanked her through my tears.”

There were, in fact, many tears for Cindy and her team as they helped recover items from four homes and distribute necessities to affected families during their time in Joplin. “We saw unimaginable and unspeakable devastation,” she describes. “But, seeing people from all over the country come together to help will always stick with me. Human kindness is real.”

Meghan and Cindy are both planning to return to the impacted communities in 2012 to be a part of the continuing efforts to rebuild homes and lives.

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AutoTrader.com volunteers aren’t afraid of a little hard work. In fact, if it involves sweat and some muscle power, many happily step forward and say, “Bring it on.”

Judy Bowers, Senior Manager, IT Communications & Training, is one of the many volunteers who helps maintain the Chattahoochee Nature Center property and prepare for special programs and events. They also tend to the Unity Garden, which grows produce for North Fulton Community Charities.

It’s fun to be outside creating, building, planting, driving a tractor, and seeing all that the nature center offers our community,” says Judy. “It’s an educational place that has the unique ability to offer experiential learning for outdoor activities.”

For IT Team Lead Alicia Mayo, volunteering with House Proud provides a break from the office and a chance to use her hands. It also provides low-income seniors with minor home repairs, such as painting, electrical, plumbing and light carpentry.

I remember one homeowner who wanted to thank everyone personally and had given each team member a hug – she even wanted to be in all the pictures,” says Alicia. “They’re just so grateful to have you there.”

In addition to painting and installing shelving, AutoTrader.com volunteers also put organizational skills to work at the Foster Care Support Foundation, where we help sort gently used toys, baby equipment, and clothing for foster families who need extra resources and support. And at MedShare, we categorize masses of medical supplies and equipment that provide essential treatment for underserved healthcare facilities in developing countries. “To think that we touched 2,700 people around the world with such a small sacrifice of time and effort was amazing,” says Human Resources Manager Miranda Troy, who volunteered at MedShare. “I don’t think I’ve ever walked away feeling so ‘complete’ after an event.’”

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AutoTrader.com volunteers help others in every way imaginable and our efforts often leave a lasting impression on organizations and those they assist.

Customer Operations Manager Stefania Mack coordinated her department’s yearlong campaign to help the Child Development Association, a lottery-funded school for underprivileged children. During that time, several groups from Customer Operations visited the school, organized activities for the children, and worked on various renovation projects, including planting a garden, creating a school library, restoring the playground, and landscaping.

We definitely left a little piece of us there,” says Stefania. “I felt like we were really doing something for the future of the children.”

“They truly understand the breadth of our mission and are receptive to our needs as an organization. They always show up with enthusiasm and stay late to make sure the job gets done.” Sarah Clem, Volunteer Coordinator for the Salvation ArmyStefania remembers one little girl who exclaimed, “Oh my God, it’s paradise,” as the team attached new fence covers depicting cartoon characters. “Our greatest reward was the children’s reactions,” says Stefania. “We gave them something magical.”

Organizations that serve children tug at the heart of many AutoTrader.com volunteers, including Vice President Operational Services Carlton Hamer, who volunteers with his team at the Ronald McDonald House. He recalls being sick as a child and traveling to another city to receive treatment. “My parents didn’t have access to a place like the Ronald McDonald House,” he says. “It’s hard to be away from home in that situation, so for me it’s a special place.”

Carlton and his team help plan, prepare and serve dinner to families whose children are receiving treatment at a nearby hospital. They are, in fact, one of several AutoTrader.com teams each month that volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House throughout the year. “They support the families, play with the children and provide a nice evening,” says Cari Olsen, House Manager. “You can’t put a price on that – it’s invaluable.”

AutoTrader.com volunteers also participate year round with countless other organizations, including Senior Connections, The Salvation Army and the Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB).

Janice Reece, ACFB Marketing and Projects Director, says her organization’s partnership with AutoTrader.com is seamless and collaborative. AutoTrader.com volunteers began working at the Product Rescue Center eight years ago, where today we still help sort the approximately 3 million pounds of donated food each year. Since then, our partnership has grown to include Community Gardens, Kids In Need, the Hunger Walk/Run and the Drive Away Hunger campaign.

The employees at AutoTrader.com are creative, authentic and caring on all levels,” she says, “We have complementary values, which makes our partnership that much more collaborative.”

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Inventory Tech Support Specialist Shawn Neuman is the perfect example of how one employee’s passion can turn into a company-supported event.

I approached Community Relations with a cause that’s close to me and their response was, ‘Show us what you can do – we’ll put as much into it as you,’” he says.

For the past six years, Shawn has been captain of AutoTrader.com’s AIDS Walk team. This year, the team not only raised $14,000 for various HIV/AIDS charities, it also hosted its first spirit station led by Learning Manager and co-captain Chad Prosser.

Chad’s partner Allen, who was active in HIV awareness efforts, passed away in 2009, so for Chad, AIDS Walk is deeply personal. He and Shawn led a team that helped recruit more than 75 employees, friends and family to cheer on runners and walkers and distribute water. Chad also arranged for the spirit station to be located at the site of a tree that had been planted in Allen’s honor.

It was so joyful and exciting to be out there making a difference and seeing the diversity of people supporting us,” says Chad. “The community only helps as the community provides.”

Through sponsorships and matching gifts, AutoTrader.com supports many walks and runs around the country, fundraising for nonprofits close to employees’ hearts, including various Susan G. Komen events, American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night, and March of Dimes’ March for Babies.

Consumer Services Support Supervisor Barbara Provenzano remembers participating in the March of Dimes walk as a child, yet she never imagined she’d be on the receiving end of the organization. That was, until 12 years ago when her second child, Lucky, was born premature.

I began to really understand what March of Dimes is all about and have become increasingly involved,” says Barbara, who coordinates AutoTrader.com’s involvement in the March for Babies, which includes a spirit station, sign-in tent and walking teams. “I’m so thankful to the organization and to AutoTrader.com for its support.”

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2 Kudos

  1. Thanks for letting your passion and personal stories inspire us to take action!

    Erin
  2. AID Atlanta couldn’t be more grateful for our partnership with ATC. You are great people doing great things for our community. Your many contributions are a blessing for those in need.

    Kristen Petillo
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At AutoTrader.com, community service
is personal.

It helps define our culture and is a core company value. We constantly look for opportunities where our team and our resources can have the greatest effect. And, while our dollars make a significant impact, we know that being involved is what makes a difference.

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To know AutoTrader.com is to know our excitement and passion for service. It’s contagious, inspiring others to join our effort and further extending our reach.

Having family and friends involved in community service fosters the community as a whole,” says Jeff Catron, Director of Data Management. “It allows the company to have a much larger impact and fuels a wonderful spirit of giving.”

For the past three years, Jeff and his family have been participating in the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program. “It’s become a holiday tradition,” he says. “We want our kids to understand how fortunate they are and that they have a responsibility to help others.” That message has had an impact on his young children, motivating them to buy extra angel surprises with their allowances.

“I like volunteering for the Special Olympics because I get to cheer and help the athletes.” Lindsey Ross, 8-year-old daughter of Jeffrey Ross, Learning ManagerJennifer Dang, a Data Warehouse Engineer, motivated her friends to help cheer on the athletes at the Special Olympics several years ago, and they’ve been joining her ever since. “It’s fun and meaningful for us to give back to the community together,” she says. “My friends don’t have an organized outlet to volunteer, but AutoTrader.com makes it so easy.”

Having that organized outlet helps Learning Manager Jeff Ross reinforce important life lessons for his daughter Lindsey. They volunteer regularly with Special Olympics and have developed a special bond with one particular athlete over the years.

The experience has taught Lindsey to see that we live in a diverse society and that everyone has value,” says Jeff.

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Nothing brings a team together better than a good cause. That’s why AutoTrader.com incorporates community service activities into our internship and leadership programs to emphasize its importance to the company’s culture and overall business goals.

Community service builds cohesive teams,” says Senior Recruiter Bridges Holmes. “When you take away titles and formalities and work together as friends and partners, you learn a lot about people as people.”

Bridges manages the Internship Program and says incorporating a community service event rounds out the interns’ overall business exposure. “We want them to have the same experiences as our full-time employees, which includes working with our partners, our suppliers and the organizations we support in our community,” says Bridges.

“Community service is not forced or contrived at AutoTrader.com. Our employees participate willingly, and it’s a testament to the quality people we attract.” Matt McKenna, Senior Vice President, National AccountsThat commitment to service extends to AutoTrader.com’s leadership level. Darby Graham, Senior Manager, Program Management Office, helped coordinate the annual community service event for the Leadership Program at The Boys & Girls Club of Brookhaven. The project involved a field day full of kickball, volleyball, sack races and inflatable jumpies. “It was exciting to work with such a worthwhile organization that provides a safe, positive, and engaging environment,” she says. “Their programs prepare and inspire underprivileged youth to become leaders themselves.”

The highlight of Darby’s Leadership Program experience was the team’s annual visit to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis where mentors and mentees spent time touring the facility and visiting with patients. That trip, in fact, has been a cornerstone of the Leadership Program since 2006.

It was a tremendous experience and helped put things in perspective,” says Darby. “Work-life balance can be a struggle at times, and this visit further emphasized the importance of family.”

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Reaching 16 million unique visitors each month, the AutoTrader.com website has proven to be a powerful tool to garner awareness and support for various charitable events, as well as disaster relief efforts.

Through our charitable banner campaigns, AutoTrader.com provides customers, dealers and employees with opportunities to give and show their support. Banners are designed to reach targeted audiences relevant to local events occurring in specific locations, as well as national audiences for events like Susan G. Komen for the Cure, MADD, and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

In 2011, 22 community relations campaigns, flighting more than 80,420,900 banner impressions appeared on AutoTrader.com, providing an in-kind value of $1,216,314 to our partner organizations across the country.

It’s a unique and effective way we can provide in-kind support and raise additional awareness for our partners,” says Michele Blondheim, Community Relations Director. “AutoTrader.com’s audience has proven to be very responsive to the needs of their communities.”

Matt Gunn, Web Production Representative, Customer Operations, often raises his hand to share his talents by creating banner ads. He says it’s another way he can give back, in addition to his volunteerism with various local organizations. In fact, Matt created banners for Susan G. Komen for the Cure that were so well received, the organization chose to feature them on its own site.

The ads are relatively simple to create, yet provide organizations with so much exposure,” says Matt. “I enjoy doing it, and just a few hours of my time can translate into thousands of hits and donations.”

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One in six Americans do not have access to enough food, and more than 17 million children live in food insecure households. AutoTrader.com and Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB) created the Drive Away Hunger campaign to address this crisis in 2010. This year, efforts paid off in the form of 170,000 meals.

There’s a lot of pressure on folks financially to feed their families, and we saw an opportunity to step up and help in a way that involves the whole community,” says Matt McKenna, Senior Vice President, National Accounts.

Only in its second year, Drive Away Hunger raises money and collects food for ACFB, Greater Chicago Food Depository and other food banks around the country. And, with the help of the Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs, Chevrolet dealerships, and AutoTrader.com and Cox employees, it happens in spectacular fashion.

When John Smoltz of the Atlanta Braves and Kerry Wood of the Chicago Cubs challenged fans to bring 10 cans to participating Chevrolet dealers to receive a free ticket to a Braves or Cubs game, they responded in droves. In fact, 92 Chevrolet dealerships in Georgia and the greater Chicago area collected 25,000 pounds in food, and AutoTrader.com donated $85,000.

AutoTrader.com employees nationwide, in collaboration with business units Kelley Blue Book, vAuto, HomeNet, VinSolutions and CDMdata, joined in as well, collecting more than 15,000 pounds of food. Not surprisingly, there was 100 percent participation.

We literally knocked it out of the park,” says Micki Velmer, Consumer Marketing Associate Manager. “Our team partners, dealers, employees and the community responded with such great enthusiasm for such a good cause.”

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  1. Thank you Autotrader!!! Your support helps us reach more and more people in need in our community each year.

    Barbara Overton, Atlanta Community Food Bank
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Throughout the year and on dedicated occasions, AutoTrader.com volunteers step forward without pause
or hesitation.

It speaks to our culture of giving, as well as to the impact our collective efforts have on the communities where we live and work.

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Carlos DeBrito, of Major Accounts, has participated in the New Jersey St. Jude Give thanks. Walk. for two years – and was recognized both years as a top fundraiser. “I really appreciate what St. Jude is all about,” says Carlos, who “walked” his first event in a wheelchair after tearing his Achilles tendon just two days before. This year, Carlos worked on the event committee and was moved by the energy generated from a 10-year-old cancer survivor who spoke before the walk. “It was amazing,” says Carlos. “He inspired everyone there because he’s living proof that it’s a cause that’s actually working.”

On November 19, more than 45 AutoTrader.com teams nationwide participated in the St. Jude Give thanks. Walk. 2011 marked the second year that AutoTrader.com was a National Platinum Partner of the event, donating more than $87,000 in corporate contributions and employee donations – all in a single day.

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For the past three years, the IT Department has hosted a whirlwind week of service known as IT CR Blitz Week.

The IT CR Blitz, in fact, might be an understatement considering that during a six-day period last year, 288 volunteers assisted 12 organizations, with 17 projects, totaling 864 volunteer hours.

According to Judy Bowers, Senior Manager, IT Communications & Training, the week allows IT employees to choose from a range of volunteer activities and involve their family, friends and business partners. “Our goal is to create a sea of green on the IT floors during that week and in our communities,” she says.

From Monday to Saturday, the department remains in high gear, completing projects as diverse in scope as the agencies it serves – from assisting children, seniors and animals to sorting donated clothing, landscaping, and walking for a cause.

I keep wondering when we’ll reach the threshold of what we can accomplish, and it hasn’t happened yet,” says Technical Architect Lee Blackburn. “Our teams are so energetic and committed that it makes a week of hard work very fulfilling and a lot of fun.”

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Come March at AutoTrader.com, there are no excuses. Literally. Every day throughout the month, AutoTrader.com employees, friends and family are encouraged to volunteer in any number of organizations and projects.

And, in true form, AutoTrader.com employees respond. In 2011, 879 volunteers contributed 3,850 hours to their communities nationwide during the month of March. Companywide, 85 teams coordinated teambuilding and Community Relations projects, and our family and friends joined our efforts, volunteering 590 hours.

AutoTrader.com introduces us to the possibilities, and employees can then translate that into our own personal priorities,” says Miranda Troy, Human Resources Manager. “We can all think of excuses why we can’t volunteer, but the Community Relations Team does a great job of getting in front of that saying, ‘Nope, can’t use that one.’”

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Virtually every day of the year, AutoTrader.com volunteers serve the communities where we live and work in some way, shape or form. And, at the end of the year, we’re proud of our efforts, our commitment and the results we achieve. It speaks to the power of teamwork and participation, as well as the talents each one of us has to contribute.

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