Highlighting Philanthropy: Arlie Smith

By Mark Orcutt, Communications and Outreach Manager
(Pictured: Arlie Smith)

Arlie Smith inspired the Philanthropy Awards selection committee to create a new category - Most Inspirational Philanthropist.

For a committee that reads through dozens and dozens of inspiring nominations each year, that action speaks to the profound difference that Arlie has made to the East Bay community.

To start, Bay Area Costco warehouses set a new record with their 2015 Children’s Miracle Network Hospital (CMNH) campaign, raising over $1.5 million in 30 days – much of this year’s success is thanks to Arlie, a Danville Costco associate living with multiple sclerosis and bone cancer.

If you shop at the Danville Costco, you know Arlie. He can be described as a humble and selfless individual, who always has a smile on his face. He is not one who enjoys being in the public spotlight, but if it means spending hours on his feet to raise money for the kids at the hospital – he is all in. After learning about his cancer diagnosis, a group of warehouse members affectionately referred to as “Arlie’s Angels” gathered money to support Arlie’s family and surprised him at work. Arlie was asked by a local news station how the community could help him - his response: “make a donation to Children’s Hospital.” Arlie’s dedication to helping kids at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland garnered national media attention, including People magazine and the Huffington Post, while groups like one at San Ramon’s California High School held fundraising events in his honor.

Thanks to the Danville community and the support of Costco Wholesale, Arlie personally raised over $116,000 for UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, ranking him the highest fundraising associate in the country. He was recently awarded the President’s Award from Costco Wholesale for his commitment to CMNH and UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital. The Danville Warehouse raised more than $150,000 for the CMNH campaign, ranking them the third-highest fundraising warehouse in the country. News stations on the East Coast picked up his story and hospitals nationally were thankful for the message Arlie shared – to help sick kids get better.

Arlie is an inspiration to us all!

There is still time to register for Awards and help us honor Arlie.

Registration closes on Friday, November 6 at 5PM: http://bit.ly/1GnSRlt

Photo Credit: Amy Sullivan