AAA makes big announcement at grand opening of new Bellevue location

AAA has collected more than one million items for local charities.

After concluding its 10 annual AAA Soap for Hope toiletry donation drive, AAA announced at the grand opening of its new Bellevue location that it has collected more than one million items and donated them to local charities.

President and CEO Kirk Nelson and Vice President of member services John Milbrath made the announcement on Jan. 11, and were joined by Bellevue city dignitaries for the ribbon cutting.

AAA Soap for Hope was created out of a desire to not waste, or throw away, the small soaps, shampoos, conditioners and lotions that our travel clients get from hotels or cruise lines, and get them into the hands of people who use them. Many people have these small toiletries left over after trips and they get put into a drawer and forgotten.

AAA holds a drive every fall asking members, the public and partner business to donate toiletry items of all sizes. Each AAA store chooses a charity in their local community to donate the items. The items stay in the community in which they were donated.

“With the donations that we receive from AAA’s Soap for Hope, we are able to give hygiene items to students and families in need,” said Tami Collins, McKinney-Vento coordinator for the Tumwater School District. “It’s not something that most people think they can get help with at school, so when we can give them a whole bag full of AAA Soap for Hope donations, we get very emotional responses, so it’s very touching, and it feels great to get to help people. The donations that we received from AAA’s Soap for Hope helped one of our high school students who wanted to go to a dance. She received hygiene products and makeup, and so she got to go with all of her friends and be just like everybody else. When we shared with her mom, her mom kind of broke down in the office and cried, and it was great to see the impact that the donations had on her and her family.”

AAA’s new Bellevue AAA Cruise & Travel store is located at 1100 Bellevue Way NE, #7, Bellevue.