In The News

Berkshire Bank & Habitat have Teamed Up!
Hockey 4 Housing

Berkshire Bank, America’s Most Exciting Bank®, has teamed up with  NESN, New England’s most watched sports network and is donating $200 for each successful Boston Bruins penalty kill during NESN televised games. In addition to the financial support, Berkshire Bank employees will help with Habitat for Humanity home builds in communities across New England where Berkshire Bank has a presence through the company’s nationally renowned Employee Volunteer Program. At the conclusion of the season, the total funds collected through Hockey 4 Housing will be distributed evenly among the eleven participating New England Habitat for Humanity chapters.

Berkshire Bank Foundation and NESN have set a goal of raising $50,000 for the season. We are excited  to share  that to date $40,000 has been raised!



Going Green with PTC Needham and Habitat for Humanity

In December of 2012, PTC Needham underwent extensive renovations during its “Refresh” project. The end result? A beautiful looking office, but a surplus of old tables, chairs, carpet, and refrigerators – all of it still usable, but destined to end up in a landfill. However, with the initiative of one employee, PTC Needham was not only able to find a new home for the furniture, but help build one too.

Sparking a Connection
Over the last year, PTC Needham has undergone a “Refresh” project, renovating the Needham office with much needed furniture, appliances, and more. Upon seeing a surplus of old furniture and appliances, Andy Barlow, VP of Partner Advantage, became curious as to what would be done with the leftover items. Andy got in touch with Glenn Morris, Needham’s facility manager.
After learning that the furniture removed from the offices would end up in a landfill or be used as scrap metal, Andy took one small step in making a big difference. He put Glenn in contact with the manager of Habitat ReStore, a nonprofit donation center and home improvement store. Habitat ReStore sells a variety of home improvement items to the public at a fraction of the retail price – the proceeds of which go towards building and renovating existing homes for families in substandard housing.
As a result, Glen was able to see to it that at least three truckloads of furniture were donated to Habitat ReStore. That’s right, three truckloads! All it took was a single employee to spark a connection. PTC Needham’s contribution is sure to go a long way in helping others build and renovate homes.

Habitat for Humanity
Besides being Vice President of Partner Advantage at PTC, Andy sits on the Board of Directors for the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell. Habitat for Humanity builds energy efficient homes with the mission of providing families with decent, affordable homeownership. Thus far, the Greater Lowell affiliate has built 34 homes in Lowell, MA, and the surrounding communities. Through tithing, an additional 49 homes have been built in countries such as Nepal and South Africa.

To help fund these projects, the affiliate runs a Habitat ReStore, which sells new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials, and appliances. As Andy described it, this habitat model “is a hand up and not a hand out.” He noted that each family “must donate between 250 and 500 sweat-equity hours before they can assume a zero-interest mortgage. The mortgages help fund operations to ensure more people have decent affordable housing, and that means the money raised can go directly to materials for future homes.”

A Sustainable Future
As PTC’s Refresh project progresses, there may be more supplies that can be reused or donated for the benefit of others. When asked what Needham could do to become more sustainable in the future, Andy advised that “PTC should continue to encourage and look for ways to recycle material.” He also encourages PTC employees to look for ways to get involved in their surrounding communities. Habit for Humanity is a good place to start, because you can “swing a hammer, fundraising, or work in a ReStore.”
It’s a simple call to action, what are you waiting for? Click here to find your Local Habitat for Humanity.