A few weeks ago, we put out a call to all of the businesses that read Building Indiana and asked them: What are some of the unique ways that your company gives back to your community?
Whether it was the actions of individual employees or full company-wide efforts, the responses we received did not disappoint. Indiana companies are truly passionate about the local causes they support. We’ve compiled their responses for you to check out and enjoy, and we’re so proud to share details about these outstanding activities.
Advanced Engineering Services (AES)
“Our team members regularly volunteer at the NWI Habitat for Humanities, Food Bank, Meals on Wheels, and other local organizations. AES partnered with Purdue Northwest and sponsored the Soil and Materials Testing Laboratory, so the students have better opportunities to experience state of the art technology to foster their learning.”
“American Structurepoint excels at hands-on community service activities. In Indiana, the firm has provided hundreds of volunteers for five panel builds, framing homes for Habitat for Humanity, and hosted semi-annual career mentoring programs for DREAM Alive. Other activities include mentoring at-risk youths; food, clothing, and supply drives for homeless shelters, food banks, senior citizens, and elementary school children; delivering meals to Meals on Wheels clients; and annual holiday gift donations to children’s hospitals, senior citizens’ facilities, elementary schools, and women’s and family shelters.”
Reaching Out and Contributing
“This past year, Cargill Hammond donated over $65,000 to local organizations. We concentrate our efforts on education, environmental stewardship, nutrition, and health. Cargill Hammond is proud to sponsor community events and organizations, such as City of Hammond’s annual “Festival of the Lakes,” Pierogi Fest, Toys for Tots (nearly 2,500 children have received toys since 2015), Haven House, Leon's Heroes, Meals on Wheels, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater NWI, Shirley Heinze Land Trust, Friends of Indiana Dunes, and Hammond Police School Programs. Additionally, we help our community by volunteering for events such as Habitat for Humanity and Junior Achievement.”
Servant Heart Culture
“Centier Bank is devoted to living out our “Servant Heart Culture.” Centier Gives is our community relations division, serving as a conduit for identifying and addressing specific needs in our service areas. We're also able to receive submissions for sponsorship requests, coordinate volunteer opportunities, and foster a sense of collective responsibility. We also host a comprehensive range of financial literacy workshops and seminars free to the public as well as online. Our dedicated associates, community ambassadors, and community relations department volunteer their time to impart vital knowledge on budgeting, saving, and responsible credit card usage, among other topics.”
Food on the Table
“Franciscan Health employees throughout NWI volunteer their time to help ensure those battling food insecurity have food on the table. The Franciscan Health Foundation partnered with the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana to create a multi-faceted program to help address food insecurity in the region. According to the Food Bank, nearly 100,000 Northwest Indiana residents are food insecure, roughly one in six. Phase I of the project was the Mobile Markets, which provide food – including meat and fresh produce – to those in need. Since late 2021, the program has provided meals for 13,468 individuals and 4,065 households.”
“In an effort to get more involved with financial literacy and educating the region’s youth about banking, we operate two Horizon branches inside of LaPorte and Michigan City high schools. These branches are student operated, and allow students to make deposits, open accounts, and more. We also serve our communities by volunteering, offering financial education, awarding community loans, scholarships, and charitable grants. In 2022, Horizon awarded over $950,000 in grants and donations, focusing on education, arts, housing, economic development, and more. Over the last five years more than $4 million was donated to nonprofit organizations.
Health, Beyond Medical
“The Community Impact Investment Fund is one important way Indiana University Health gives back to the communities it serves. The fund awards grants to community partners to target non-medical factors that can negatively impact health, such as poverty, hunger, housing, education, and racial discrimination. Since 2019, IU Health has awarded more than $20 million to dozens of Indiana community organizations. This year’s awards address a range of needs across the state, supporting programs of established organizations such as Gleaner’s Food Bank, Boy’s and Girl’s Clubs of Ft. Wayne, Ivy Tech Bloomington, Peace Justice Center, and the Aspire Higher Foundation.”
“A group of employees from NIPSCO volunteered their time to build three 8-foot by 8-foot stands and canvases for the Lubeznik Arts Festival hosted by the Lubeznik Center for the Arts last year, and they are going to do the same again this year for our mural invitational. The winning artist last year was FLEX, and his mural “Son Cycle” won the vote as the audience’s favorite.”
Diaper Drives for Babies
Moake Park Group
“For the last three years, we have been hosting a diaper drive to support Healthier Moms and Babies’ mission of offering diapers to those in need. We ask our staff to donate diapers of all sizes and baby wipes. Many don't realize that one in three U.S. Families experience diaper needs. Diapers are an essential, basic need, yet many families can't afford them. Healthier Moms and Babies is dedicated to delivering bold compassion and ensuring local families have access to the diapers they need. We believe in their mission.”
Feeding the Hungry
Munster Steel Co., Inc.
“Since the pandemic, Munster Steel's office staff has been volunteering to feed the hungry. In a country full of plenty, why are there lines for food? We have donated to nursing homes, hospital staff, first responders, and our most recent volunteer work at the Northwest Indiana Food Bank. We also support rescue shelters and Humane efforts to feed hungry animals, as well. Our mission statement is to provide a sound and environmentally friendly community to our employees and constituents. We feel proud of our accomplishments!”
Care and Consideration
The officers of The Pangere Corporation are extremely proud of their employees because of the care and consideration they’ve shown for their communities. Many of our company’s activities have been team efforts, and includes actions like coaching local youth sports, volunteering with First American Red Cross of Northwest Indiana, supporting numerous charity walks, collecting food for food pantries, and much more. We’re also proud to support various charitable organizations in honor of the Pangere Family, including The Seeing Eye, Pangere Center for Inherited Retinal Diseases, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Powers & Sons Construction
“Powers & Sons Construction has made it a priority to support Indiana communities by sponsoring youth sports teams, endowing college scholarships, donating staff time, and providing financial support to numerous local organizations. The company endowed an aviation scholarship at Indiana State University in honor of Tuskegee Airman and ISU alumnus Quentin P. Smith, and a scholarship for Black students studying civil engineering at Purdue University. In addition, the firm funded a RISE (Research, International, Service Learning, and Experiential Learning) scholarship through the Kelley School of Business at IUPUI and two scholarships through the Gary Education & Leadership Alliance.”
“Schmidt Associates employees are encouraged to volunteer with different nonprofits in many unique ways. For example, CEO and Principal Sarah Hempstead serves with numerous organizations like Visit Indy, Junior Achievement, and many others. Marketing Manager Julie Kost recently chaired the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s “Take Steps” walk. Principal and Project Manager Lisa Gomperts has been recognized for outstanding service to children through her work with the Firefly Children & Family Alliance. Marketing Communications Strategist Beth Headrick volunteers with Indiana Canine Assistant Network. Also, Talent Acquisition and Development Manager Parveen Tai mentors through the Metropolitan School District of Washington Township.”
Sentry Roofing, Inc.
“Sentry Roofing, Inc. supports our local police department’s fundraising efforts for Toys for Tots, drug awareness, and other programs during the year. We also are major donors to the Women's Care Center, who provides pregnancy testing and support for mothers during pregnancy and after with cribs, car seats, diapers, and other supplies. They offer family support with programs for fathers and classes to assist in child rearing and development. We also support numerous children's programs including summer softball, baseball, soccer, and swim teams, and various athletic programs for local high and elementary schools.”
“Superior Construction employees from NWI volunteer their time with Living with Hope, an organization that provides resources and training people with disabilities in Africa. Our teams recently helped unload 270 wheelchairs for refurbishment here in Indiana before they are shipped to Kenya, Africa. Once the wheelchairs arrive overseas, the team in Africa will distribute them after customizing the chair for the recipient’s specific needs.”
Tech Credit Union
“Tech Credit Union (TCU) raised over $9,000 for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life Lake County. The team had set a goal to raise $7,500 by the time of the relay, but with the help of employees and generous members, the team exceeded its goal weeks in advance. The team was formed as a way to support those who have battled or are battling cancer in the community. This year's Relay for Life was a smashing success for the TCU team, and plans are already in motion for the team's next fundraising event – a luminary walk this fall.”
Tonn and Blank
Excelling in construction is what we do, but our purpose is driven by community connection. We care about supporting the communities we work in, so our time, resources, and profits are donated without hesitation. We care about the challenge our industry faces with skilled labor shortages, so we spearheaded professional development initiatives through apprenticeship programs. Turning an active project site into a classroom is one of our favorite things to do for students. It allows them to ask questions and see the different career paths available in the construction industry.
All of this philanthropic, volunteer, and community-focused activity paints a picture of the widespread impact Hoosier companies make beyond the business world. In addition to all of the other great work they do every day, Indiana businesses are making a real difference for people both locally and internationally. A lot of lives are touched by this generosity, and bright futures are created. We commend each one of these firms, and the many others out there like them, for all of the great things they’ve been doing.