Amazon picks Everett non-profit for new 'Local Love' program

A victim advocacy center in Everett became the first recipient.of Amazon's "Local Love" program.

EVERETT, Wash. -- Amazon launched a new program this week, designed to encourage communities to give to worthy non-profits.

The online retail giant calls the program "Amazon Local Love," and the company picked a victim advocacy center in Everett as its first recipient.

The people who walk through the front door of Dawson Place have endured the unimaginable.

"When my dad started touching me, sexual abuse started say about the sixth grade," said Ivy Jacobsen.

On Tuesday, Jacobsen sat in the very exam room at Dawson Place where she found the help she needed five years ago.
She remembers looking to the ceiling and learning she wasn't alone. Multi-colored "Sticky Hand" toys covered the ceiling.

"All the hands in the room represent every child that's been in here. You throw up a hand," said Jacobsen. "When you throw one up, it's a reminder that you're not the only person in this room, that has been in this room, that has talked to a nurse that has been examined."

Jacobsen is a testament to the child advocacy work the staff does here. The non-profit brings multiple agencies together under one roof to help victims of sexual assault and physical abuse.

Last summer, Director of Development Matt McLaughlin remembers getting a call.

"Amazon called us and said we want you to be the first 'Local Love' project," he said.

Over the summer, Amazon quietly tapped local vendors and contractors from their Amazon Home Services program to help renovate the building. In three weekends, more than 100 volunteers donated thousands of hours of service.

"We did the painting all the way down the hallway, all the doors," said Crystal Almgren, owner of Almgren Construction.

She says Amazon gave them a way to give to a good cause.

"It is a good opportunity for someone to know how to get in touch and how to participate in these types of programs," Almgren said.

And this week, Amazon launched its "Local Love" website, showing its customers and the community why Dawson Place is so deserving.

"The benefit we're going to get for the amount of exposure we're getting, there is no dollar amount for that but it's huge," said McLaughlin.

Jacobsen believes Amazon could not have found a worthier cause.

"There is a lot of love here," she said. "When I come here, I feel like they're wrapping a big hug around me always. I call Dawson Place my family."

Amazon has already announced the recipient of its "Local Love" program: The Ohana Animal Rescue in Tempe, Arizona.


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