Robert Bassam and Easterns Automotive: Supporting the Scouts
Robert Bassam is the Founder and CEO of Easterns Automotive Group, a car dealership chain with locations across the D.C. metropolitan area. Robert Bassam is an advocate of philanthropy and corporate responsibility, and has donated to charities and other nonprofits out of his pocket and through the Easterns Group. He believes that giving back to one’s community is both the moral thing to do and a sound business practice; he points to some of the largest companies in the world as evidence that giving and revenue do go hand-in-hand.
While many of today’s youth is obsessed with social media and other online phenomena, there are certain groups that help keep the country’s outdoor traditions going. One of them, the Boy Scouts, has been around for more than 100 years and has a total membership of close to 3.5 million, including youth and adults, in more than 103 thousand units across the United States. The Boy Scout Movement aims to train the youth in responsible citizenship and self-reliance through outdoor activities and educational programs, such as camping, hiking, aquatics, and career training.
Many companies share the values of the Scouting movement, believing that investing in the youth will help mold them into the leaders of the future. As such, many Fortune 500 companies donate either to the national council or a local council which shares their advocacies of equal opportunity for all. In fact, one in seven Fortune 500 companies made donations totaling $5.3 million in a recent year.
One donor, Best Buy, a large retailer, donated about $10,000 to the Northern Star Council in St. Paul, Minnesota, which expressed support for efforts to improve diversity in the organization’s membership. The same council also received a donation from Xcel Energy in 2011 – a gift worth $35,000. The group Scouts for Equality, which represents a sector in Scouting that wants to open the movement to members of all orientations, praised the companies that gave to local councils that are
In the same manner, Robert Bassam and the Easterns Automotive Group are helping Boy Scout groups in the D.C. area. A Boy Scout troop in Manassas, Virginia was almost forced to cancel an overnight camping trip when their trailer full of camping gear suddenly vanished in May. The trailer contained over $10,000 worth of camping gear and was parked in the Grace Church lot. Thus, while Troop #43 leader Roger Henderson was distraught at what happened, he took it as a learning opportunity for his boys. “It’s a matter of what we do now with that [theft] that defines our character,” he told the scouts.
Fortunately, Fox5 DC did a story on the theft, and Robert Bassam caught wind of the story. Through the Easterns Group, Bassam donated a brand-new trailer and $2500 in gift cards to be used for new camping gear.
”When we saw your story, we knew we had to get involved,” Bassam told Henderson and his troop. He also offered to make an additional donation if the troop needed anything else.
As members of groups like the Boy Scouts seek to improve themselves through outdoor activities and career education, Robert Bassam and the Easterns Automotive Group are more than willing to help them achieve their goals through timely gifts.