At TerraSmart, giving back to our community, our industry and lending a hand to those in need through company-wide charitable initiatives is a strongly held value. Not only do we get the joy of helping others, we are inspired by the way staff members share their knowledge, donate their time and bring new ways we can make a difference to the table. Breathing action into these values matters and this holiday season we are grateful for the chance to share a few of the recent opportunities we’ve been given to make a real impact.
Solar Careers for Veterans
On January 26, 2017, TerraSmart will be at Elgin Air Force Base with The Solar Foundation and the Department of Energy for the Solar Ready Vets Interview Day event. TerraSmart staff will be on-hand to talk with servicemen and women who are recent graduates of the Solar Ready Vets program to discuss the wide array of career paths available in the solar industry and to help recruit these highly-skilled veterans into our thriving industry. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is supporting this program with the goal of recruiting 50,000 military veterans by 2020, and we are glad to get to play a small part in that.
Holiday Cheer for Kids in Need
During the month of December 2016, TerraSmart’s annual Marine Toys For Tots drive was in full swing to support the U.S. Marines initiative to help less fortunate children across the nation have a happy Christmas. Organized locally by TerraSmart Human Resources Associate, Andrea Russell, this years staff donations came in from TerraSmart employees across the nation who mailed gifts to our Florida headquarters for the annual toy drive to provide for children in the Fort Myers, Florida area. The success of the national program is immense. Last year, Marine Toys For Tots distributed 18 million toys in 782 communities across the U.S. When you think of each toy equaling a smiling child, it’s easy to see why we look forward to participating again next year. See photos of our toy drive >>
Stocking the Pantry for the Emergency Food Program
Also in December, TerraSmart staff was busy raiding their pantries and grocery store shelves to aid the Bonita Springs Emergency Food Program. This local charity provides food supplies to households during crisis situations, giving food and basic supplies where otherwise there would be none. Serving the Bonita Springs community for over 30 years, TerraSmart was glad to provide nourishment where it is so vitally needed this winter.
Putting Our Field Skills to Work for a Local Family
In November 2016, TerraSmart staffers and their family members got busy working on a Habitat for Humanity build to shelter a local Lee County family. With the mission of bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope, TerraSmart was able to put many of the skills we use in the field into action to create a safe harbor in the fight against homelessness. In Lee County, 34,290 children are living in poverty right now. Through the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity, families are given an opportunity for a better future through stability in their living environment, a sense of dignity and improved physical health and safety. Several TerraSmart staffers working outside the state of Florida were so inspired by the Lee County build, that many have now explored volunteering with Habitat for Humanity in their local areas. See photos of the build >>
Mentoring the Next Generation of Solar Professionals
Also in November 2016, mentorship took center stage at Florida Gulf Coast University’s (FGCU) Career and Internship Expo. Affiliated with the U.A. Whitaker College of Engineering, our team members helped guide future graduates toward a career in the utility-scale sector of the renewable energy market. With industry-leading experience under their belt, TerraSmart staffers held in-depth discussions with engineering students, explaining the many unique opportunities within utility-scale solar and the best ways to kickstart a successful career within the renewable industry.
As we move forward into 2017 and beyond, TerraSmart will continue to give back to our community, our industry and to those in need, with the aim of furthering a better world and a better company.