Tulalip Tribal officials welcomed a variety of nonprofit organizations to their 11th annual Raising Hands ceremony to celebrate them and highlight the work they do.
The event is held by Tulalip Cares, the Tribes' major charitable organization that supports a number of charities throughout the Puget Sound. This year's Raising Hands celebration was held on Oct. 27.
Since 1992 they have given $92.1 million to various organizations and last year they gave $7.9 million.
"Tulalip Tribes started out with three employees many years ago and today we have 3,838 employees," said Tulalip Tribal Chairwoman Marie Zackuse.
"We have not forgotten what it is like to go without, and as we succeed we have the responsibility to give back," she said.
Zackuse said that helping those in need is part of Tulalip's history.
"In times of need our families helped each other out, just like all the organizations that are here today do," she said.
"Everyone deserves the opportunity to have a great quality of life," she said.
The ceremony highlighted some of the nonprofit organizations that do work in the region and have been supported by Tulalip Cares funds.
Those organizations include groups like the local Leah's Dream Foundation, which operates in Marysville and Tulalip and provides events and support for children with autism.
Founder Deanna Sheldon is a local whose daughter was diagnosed with autism right before her second birthday.
"Before Leah's Dream Foundation there were no events that were intended for children with special needs in our community. Our first event we had parents just overjoyed," she said.
Local parent and board member Amy Sheldon said there was a need for groups like Leah's Dream Foundation to help in the area.
"There's not a lot of services in our county. A lot of people have to drive over an hour in traffic to therapy appointments, or even just to find services to help their kids," she said.
Habitat for Humanity of Snohomish County is another local organization that was highlighted.
"Providing the family with a home is a huge step toward stabilization for the whole family. This gives them a sense of community and roots where they can build family pride," said Zackuse.
Roger Johnson, executive director of the organization, said that Habitat for Humanity helps build community.
"We hear from kids who grew up in habitat homes and studies have shown again and again that grades improve and well-being improves," he said.
The Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) was recognized for their work rehabilitating injured wildlife and sheltering cats and dogs since 1967.
"We care for 8,700 animals a year. Our goals is to provide whatever they need to eventually be turned back into the wild," said Annette Laico, CEO of the organization.
Another Puget Sound group, Long Live the Kings, was honored for their work restoring Chinook habitat (the Chinook salmon is sometimes known as the king salmon).
"Their pioneering work focused on refining and rearing techniques that mimicked nature and bolstered depressed wild Chinook," said Mel Sheldon Jr., a Tulalip Tribal board member.
"We're working on how we can provide more fish for fisherman and Orca whales, and do that in a sustainable way and as natural as possible," said Jacques White, executive director of the organization.
Tulalip Cares also gives to organizations all across the state as well, including Bellingham's Northwest Therapeutic Riding Center and the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra, which were recognized at Raising Hands as well.
The riding center helps a wide range of abilities through horse-focused therapy.
"What we do is giving people a leg up in life, developing skills and confidence and self-awareness," said Julia Bozzo, founder and director of the center.
The orchestra helps schools continue to provide music education.
"The goal is to support music in communities where there has historically been very little access, mainly because of economic barriers," said executive director of the organization Kathleen Allen.
More information about Tulalip Cares is at their website at tulalipcares.org.