For those at HFA, it’s a powerful phrase. Within the past year, HFA began an initiative within the company called HFA Community Awareness. But the roots of that initiative go back much further.
What is HFA Community Awareness? It represents our promise to contribute to the community that has supported us from the start. HFA is involved in nonprofit work and fundraising and often sponsors employees in nonprofit work. Staff members are encouraged to do nonprofit work, and they are supported not only by HFA as a whole but also by their fellow employees.
Recently, HFA employees have helped feed law enforcement officers in Bentonville, have participated in a bowling tournament to raise money for scholarships in Rogers and have helped to hand out thousands of backpacks to schoolchildren in Springdale. One employee even agreed to jump out of an airplane to help a children’s advocacy center.
HFA also attended the recent groundbreaking of a local nonprofit’s expansion for which the company is providing the design and engineering. HFA also completed a month-long food drive to benefit the local food bank and turned over 258 pounds of food. All of this has taken place within a few weeks.
Why is HFA’s Community Awareness initiative so important?
“There are so many great organizations with a focus on enriching the lives within our communities who are in need of assistance,” said Larry Lott, President and COO of HFA. “We take this to heart, which is an essential part of HFA’s culture.”
Some of the most recent events from the Bentonville, Ark., office include:
- HFA representatives attended the Aug. 1 groundbreaking of The Pack Shack’s new facility, which will include about 7,000 square feet of warehouse and “party” space. The Pack Shack, a nonprofit that provides prepared meals for the food insecure, has “Feed the Funnel” parties at which the meals are put together. HFA is providing the design and engineering for the project.
- HFA recently sponsored two teams for the annual NWA AIA Bowling Tournament in Rogers. The tournament raises money for scholarships for the E. Fay Jones School of Architecture students at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. Not only did the HFA teams raise money for the scholarships, they won the tournament.
- HFA held a food drive throughout July to gather food for the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank at a time when food donations aren’t as plentiful as during the end-of-year holidays. Employees donated 258 pounds of food to the food bank.
- On Aug. 6, several staff members took part in the Backpacks for Kids Day held by local nonprofit Samaritan Community Center. The project involved handing out backpacks stuffed with school supplies to more than 5,000 area children in three locations. HFA volunteers took part in handing out hundreds of the backpacks in the Springdale location.
- Three HFA volunteers took part in the Blue Line Challenge meal in Bentonville, started by a local resident and put together by several organizations and volunteers. The event honored local firefighters, first responders and law enforcement officers with a steak meal. The volunteers helped serve the meal.
- An HFA employee signed up in July for the Skydive for Kids event to benefit the Children’s Advocacy Center of Benton County. She pledged to raise $1,000 for the event, and asked her HFA colleagues to help. We responded with a “Jeans Day” in which those who paid at least a $1 donation got to go casual on a Thursday. There was also a jar to fill and a page where donations could be made. By the end of the day, she had not only reached her goal, she had surpassed it by more than $600. As promised, she later performed a tandem jump from an airplane – and parachuted to the ground safely.
Community Awareness is not limited to the Bentonville office. HFA’s office in Franklin, Mass., sponsored a fundraising event Aug. 13 that focused on raising money and awareness to keep music programs in schools. The office staff also held a food drive throughout July in conjunction with the Bentonville office’s food drive, with proceeds going to the Franklin Food Bank. The office donated 84 pounds of food, including food for pets, as well as cut a $250 check.
“We take for granted that people within our community eat three meals a day,” said Associate Principal Lou Allevato in the Franklin office. “In our town, it’s not about having too little; it’s about caring enough to make a difference in someone’s life.”
This is a sampling of the many events sponsored or participated in by HFA and its employees
“We are very proud of our staff’s passion, generosity and willingness to participate to having a positive impact for our communities,” Lott said.
HFA is still growing. We recently opened an office in Fort Worth, and a Mexico City office will be open soon. But no matter the size of the company, the offices of HFA will continue to work with and in their communities.