"It seems to us, that along with that good fortune, comes the inherent responsibility to share it with others.”
– Dusty Hoyt, Hastings President
Hastings appreciates the importance, and the privilege, of giving back to the communities where we live and work. In fact, if you ask a Hastings employee what they like most about the company, chances are they’ll mention our commitment to giving. We look for ways to make a positive impact at the corporate level, through our employee-driven organization (T.E.A.M.), and through individual employee efforts.
At the corporate level, charitable giving is truly ingrained in our organization’s culture. One example: We served as a whole house sponsor for a Habitat for Humanity project in Springfield, MA, with the goal that each employee would touch the project in some way. Employees could help by volunteering at the job site (with a $100 company ownership donation going back to the project for every day volunteered), or by participating in a host of fundraising activities including a highly successful golf tournament, bag lunches, raffles and more.
Following the construction of our Habitat for Humanity home, A.W. Hastings was honored to receive the President’s Circle Award from the Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity organization. The President’s Circle Award is given to a long-standing community partner whose ongoing support continues to help the Habitat organization meet its mission – to eradicate poverty housing in Greater Springfield by providing homeownership opportunities to local families in need.
In reflecting about our experience with Habitat, President Dusty Hoyt noted that Hastings, founded in 1846, is a business which has experienced the ups and downs of commerce over the years. He said that these experiences have made us realized how fortunate we are as a company to have survived and thrived for so long.
"Raising the funds and building the home on Carew Street was a wonderful, yet grueling experience that served to bring us all closer as a company. Many of our people stepped up in their spare time, and with mounting business obligations, to volunteer their talents to the project,” Dusty said. "We certainly got more out of it than we gave. There's no gift any greater than making a significant difference in someone's life."
Our commitment to Habitat for Humanity continues today. For example, in 2012, one year after a tornado ripped through Massachusetts, Hastings participated in Habitat for Humanity's Build Blitz in Springfield, MA, by donating the windows and installation for a newly built home.
Another example of Hastings’ charitable work in the community is our involvement in Project Homefront. For the past six years, Hastings has partnered with the Project Homefront program, founded by AmeriCares to help people in need in Connecticut rehabilitate their homes to make them safe and livable. In May 2012, we volunteered for two “Hastings only” projects. At these homes, we replaced windows and storm doors, rebuilt a small 6 x 6 deck, painted interior walls and ceilings, completed some minor repairs in the kitchen and basement, and built a wheelchair ramp.
We also get involved with our local schools, forging close ties with Enfield High School and Fermi High School in Enfield, CT. Each year, we invite students from the schools’ Architectural Drafting program to take a “field trip” to Hastings to learn about our industry. Highlights of the visit include a presentation and tutorial on design software, a look at different window technologies including a discussion about fiberglass and sustainability, a demonstration of products, and an overview of career opportunities in the industry. Here is a video capturing the students’ time with us in May 2012.
In addition, we have collaborated with the Business Program at Bay Path College in Longmeadow, MA to help students gain real-world business knowledge as well as providing an “inside look” at our company. The students had the opportunity to partner with Hastings for a marketing research project, with company personnel attending their final presentations. An article in the Hartford Business journal shares more about the students’ experience with Hastings.
In recent years, Hastings has also supported the Asnuntuck Community College Murder Mystery Dinner, Boy Scouts of America 100th Anniversary, Johnson Memorial Hospital 100th Anniversary, Enfield Police Union, CT Police Chiefs Union, The Massachusetts Soldiers Legacy Fund, Peace Package Drive for Our Troops, and more.
T.E.A.M. (Together Everyone Achieves More) is Hastings’ Employee Organization, which is funded by employee payroll deductions which are matched by Hastings.
Through the support of T.E.A.M., Hastings has participated in three major fundraising efforts in recent years. We call them “The Big 3” - Bike and Hike the Berkshires, to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Walk to End Alzheimer's, to benefit the Alzheimer's Association, and Rays of Hope: A Walk Toward the Cure for Breast Cancer. Each year, our employees take part in many programs designed to raise money for “The Big 3” – including raffles, lunches, tag sales, car washes and more.
For the past several holiday seasons, T.E.A.M. has led an Adopt-a-Family holiday gift drive - adopting a family or two from the Town of Enfield, and seeing to it that the children have gifts for the holidays. We obtain “wish lists” and individual employees are able to purchase exactly what the children want. We deliver the gifts, wrapped and ready to go, to each family shortly before the holidays.
For the past three years, Hastings employees have had the chance to make a difference in the lives of children in need – through our PJ Drive to benefit the Pajama Program. Employees are invited to bring in new pajamas, new children's books, or cash donations to benefit local children in need – many of whom are waiting and hoping to be adopted. In 2012, A.W. Hastings collected $200 worth in books and 90 pairs of pajamas.
Hastings’ individual employees have a very generous spirit - participating in charitable events for their favorite causes by giving of their own time and money. T.E.A.M supports these efforts as well, matching employee-raised donations (up to $75) for all kinds of causes and events.
Charities supported over the past several years include:
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
- American Red Cross
- ARC of Enfield
- Autism Speaks
- Chartier Education Fund
- Community Christian School
- Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
- Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society
- Enfield Food Shelf
- Enfield High School Safe Grad Program
- Enfield Loaves & Fishes
- Eric Thepsiri Fund
- Fermi Boy’s Soccer Booster Club
- Home & Community Health Services Hospice
- Jimmy Fund
- Jonathan P. Gove Memorial Scholarship Fund
- Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
- Komen Connecticut
- Link to Libraries
- March of Dimes
- Nicholas Ritchie Fund
- Norman Family Fund
- Norris Cotton Cancer Center
- Pajama Program
- Ralph Clark Fund
- Regional Food Bank of NE NY
- VT Special Olympics
- Literacy Volunteers of Northern Connecticut - 6th Annual Scrabble Challenge for Literacy
- Haiti Relief and Development
- Western MA Tornado Relief Fund
- And more
Hastings’ many charitable initiatives offer ample opportunity for our employees to make a difference! Since its inception in 2001, T.E.A.M. has contributed over $125,000 to the charities we support. We plan to continue our commitment to giving back to the communities where we live and work – it’s a Hastings tradition!
Here is a special video capturing some of our charitable activities and the people who make it possible.