Many mission statements of companies claim that part of their corporate responsibility is to support the communities where their employees work and live. Often, this means making a donation to a worthy cause.
But at the Haartz Corporation, a world leader in convertible toppings and interior surface materials based in Acton, Mass., the worthy causes they support are many—and the company’s support goes far beyond writing checks.
“We strive to positively impact our communities,” says Eric Haartz, CEO. “We support worthy causes not only financially, but with the resources and know-how of the company and its employees. Quite simply, we look for ways to be ‘neighborly’ and help people in our community as much as we can.”
According to Haartz, the company’s commitment to the area reflects its long history in Acton, located about 25 miles northwest of Boston, Mass. Haartz Corp. has been in business in North America since 1922, and has been located in Acton for nearly 55 years. “Our support dates back decades, and we see it continuing for as long as we’re part of the community,” he says.
Haartz Corp.’s community involvement is both diverse and wide. The company hosts an on-site blood drive for patients of Massachusetts General Hospital and provides materials and staff time to build Teddy bears for pediatric patients at Emersion Hospital. Employees participate in the American Cancer Society’s annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk-a-thon and the Pan-Mass Challenge, a bike-a-thon that raises money for cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. In addition, Haartz Corp. has a company-wide drive to collect toys for underprivileged children through Toys for Tots.
Haartz Corp. has gotten creative by combining employee outings with efforts to raise funds for good causes. The company has hosted both a golf outing and a bowling tournament for employees and their families, with a portion of the proceeds from each event going to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Haartz says the company also finds ways to share its expertise. Students from Acton-Boxborough Regional High School are mentored by staff members who work in the student’s intended area of study, and Haartz Corp. brings on numerous college interns during the summer months.
“This gives the employee the ability to share their work/life experience with the student and learn about how Haartz is a part of the community,” Haartz says. “In specific cases, the experience has led to the student joining Haartz as an employee after graduation.”
The company’s efforts also go beyond its immediate community. Last year, Haartz Corp. collected supplies to send to Puerto Rico following the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria. Baby food, canned food and diapers were shipped and then distributed by the Foundation for Puerto Rico.
Haartz is clear that the goal of all these corporate efforts is to benefit the community. But, he says, it’s good for the company and its 500+ employees as well.
“We absolutely think community work enhances employee morale,” he explains. “The efforts give employees the opportunity to either answer to a higher (charitable) calling or share their work experience and know-how with others in the community. Group events also give employees the chance to interact with their co-workers outside of the office, and have a greater appreciation for each other’s lifestyles.”
Jeff Moravec is a freelance writer from Minneapolis, Minn.