Paule Pachter Solarcommunity-700x357
Paule Pachter, CEO of Long Island Cares, on the roof of their facility in the Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge. (Photo courtesy of The Times of Smithtown.)

Business organizations like HIA-LI largely focus on competitiveness, and promoting the growth of member firms.

That’s why it’s good to remind ourselves how much energy we also devote to community-minded goals and causes.

One example is our relationship with Long Island Cares and its Harry Chapin Regional Food Bank. Since 1980, this organization — situated in the Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge (LI-IPH) — has been assembling resources to benefit our area’s hungry by providing emergency food, outreach support, and programs promoting self-sufficiency.

Here are two ways HIA-LI joins forces with Long Island Cares:

First, every summer for the past several years, HIA-LI and Long Island Cares have united to conduct the largest small business food drive on Long Island. The organization  has sensitized us to the fact that — amazingly — some 89,000 local children face food insecurity on a daily or weekly basis.

In addition to bringing food to drop-off sites, HIA-LI members can also buy food online for direct delivery to the food bank warehouse.

Second, guided by the HIA-LI Solar Task Force, solar panels are now being installed on the 35,000 square-foot roof of Long Island Cares’ headquarters.

Moreover, all of the renewable energy that roof generates will be sent offsite to provide electricity to approximately 50 households experiencing hardship and food insecurity.

“By taking the entire energy output of this installation and sending it offsite to provide discounted power to homes occupied by our lower-income neighbors,” Paule Pachter, CEO of Long Island Cares, tells us, “these households will have new-found income to address some of their immediate needs.”

The HIA-LI Solar Task Force deserves our thanks for initiating all this. Led by co-chairs Scott Maskin, CEO of SUNation Solar Systems, and Jack Kulka, President of Kulka, LLC, they’re aiming to help LI-IPH achieve 100-percent-reliance on renewable energy by 2040.

Task force participants also include Edgewise Energy, Entersolar, Harvest Power, Empower Solar, Top Cat Consulting, H2M Engineering, and Greenstreet Power Partners.

Congratulations to everyone involved in this visionary project!

We Believe in the Spirit of Giving

Pictured: HIA-LI staff volunteering at Long Island Cares, 2016.

The holiday season is the time of year when we turn attention to helping others – and to the spirit of giving.

Since our founding 40 years ago, HIA-LI has consistently recognized the value of community service and volunteering. We like to extend a helping hand, because our fellow Long Islanders benefit from our actions. And it’s through these actions that we help to build a stronger community.

Yet at the same time, we ourselves get a feeling of satisfaction through giving. HIA-LI is proud, for example, to sponsor The HIA-LI Scholarship Fund, which provides more than $12,000 annually to college-bound children of our members.

In addition, HIA-LI is one of the biggest business supporters of Long Island Cares’ summer food drive.

It may be hard to believe, but right here on Long Island, some 117,000 vulnerable children face heightened levels of food insecurity every summer. That’s because they’re not receiving free school breakfasts and lunches during July and August.

In response, HIA-LI supports vibrant food drives every summer, thus helping our community’s young people meet their basic nutritional needs.

From a different perspective, HIA-LI itself is sustained year-round by the generous, helping spirit of hundreds of our own volunteers.

We truly love how our HIA-LI boosters step-up to volunteer in numerous ways. Some are  soliciting raffle prizes, or offering to help staff a registration desk, or volunteering by meeting, greeting and helping to shepherd guests around our events, some of which are large-scale affairs.

You may not realize just how many of our team members are volunteers taking their own  personal time to lend support. And they benefit too, by enriching their own relationships and  business connections.

Long Island is a true community because we care about each other. We are eager to help one  another. So let’s all recommit ourselves to the spirit of giving this holiday season.