The Harris Fund
“No one ever asks that a family member suddenly passes away. No one ever looks forward to the day a loved one becomes extremely ill and the medical bills deplete any savings and max out the credit cards. No one can ever plan for the unexpected fire, accident, super storm or loss of a significant other’s income. Let me tell you about No One. No One delivers our materials to the jobsite. No One processes our sales orders and cuts our rebar. No One helps collect our money, order our goods and answers our phones. No One works in every department of A.H. Harris. What No One needs is Someone Else. At A.H. Harris, The Harris Fund is that Someone Else.”
The Harris Fund is an employee assistance program funded solely by contributions. It was created in 2008 as a support vehicle for Harris associates who find themselves in the midst of financial hardship. The fund is a fully licensed non-profit that is subject to state and federal law. The Fund is an entity completely separated from A.H. Harris & Sons, Inc. and governed by a volunteer board of directors. An increasing number of employees contribute to the Harris Fund through regular, automatic payroll deductions.
In a world where it is common to hear the phrase “let someone else do it”, we step up to be that Someone Else. Our gift of financial assistance provides help to our fellow associates while preserving their dignity.
No One asks to be in need. No One is proud to ask for help. No One needs Someone Else. At A.H. Harris, The Harris Fund is that Someone Else! Ask how you can get involved by emailing HarrisFund[at]ahharris.com or if you consider donating to our registered 501(c)3 charity. Much of our funding comes from vendor partner contributions, auctions and gifts and every little is highly appreciated. This past year we have given out 12 grants, totaling a payout of $28,848. Out of currently 483 Harris employees, 129 (or 27%) have opted for contribution through payroll deductions, a number that has been rising for the past few years.
Social responsibility is close to our hearts. Our associates care about various causes and we care about our associates. We strongly believe in supporting our communities. When they succeed, we succeed. We reach out to all associates to learn more about charities, non-profits and movements they are passionate about or involved with. An internal company-wide portal form has been added to pass along the information needed to get support funded, including involvement in the cause and if there is a specific message that has been approved for distribution by the organization.
A.H. Harris also designs, prints and distributes hard hat stickers specific to new charities/causes, typically each quarter. This program has been so popular we have been designing hard hat stickers for dozens of causes to date. Those stickers have been sent to our locations, many associates put them on hats, desks, cars etc. to help raise awareness for the causes. Small gestures like these are part of our continuous commitment to contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of our workforce and their families as well as of the community and society at large.
ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. ALS usually strikes people between the ages of 40 and 70, and approximately 20,000 Americans have the disease at any given time. Although there is not yet a cure or treatment that that halts or reverses ALS, scientists have made significant progress in learning more about this disease.
I personally know many families and friends affected by ALS. Chris G. – Ardsley, New York
Autism Speaks is an autism advocacy organization in the United States that sponsors autism research and conducts awareness and outreach activities aimed at families, governments, and the public.
My daughter had been diagnosed at 3 with Autism. She got early intervention and today she will be a senior in high school and has been declassified and a success story.
Dee R., Parlin, NJ
Friends in Empty Spaces
Friends in Empty Spaces is a non-profit organization committed to helping adolescents and young adults experiencing mental health and substance abuse challenges receive support. Its mission is to raise drug and alcohol awareness in the public, provide resources to empower our youth to get the help they need, and eliminate the stigma attached to addiction and mental illness.
My niece was a drug addict at the age of 17 and lived on the streets for nearly three years. She was able to find the help she needed to stay off drugs and has been drug free for three years. Unfortunately, in the past 3 and a half years 53 other teens in the Town of Wallingford have lost their lives without the help they needed. My niece Edlyz recognized the need and founded Friends in Empty Spaces. The organization was created to raise awareness and provide support to teens and young adults who struggle with drug addiction and mental illness and are unable to get the help they need to find the proper rehabilitation program and stay off the streets. I am currently helping this organization as the treasurer.
Erika N. – West Hartford, Connecticut
The Jimmy Fund
The Jimmy Fund solely supports Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, raising funds for adult and pediatric cancer care and research to improve the chances of survival for cancer patients around the world. Since its founding in 1948, the Jimmy Fund has raised millions of dollars through thousands of community fundraising events.
My Mother had surgery for Lung Cancer recently and my Sister-In-Law does the PMC Challenge every year for our family members who survived Cancer.
Ryan B. – Boston, Massachusetts
Ronald McDonald House
Ronald McDonald House Charities is an independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to create, find, and support programs that directly improve the health and well being of children.
Our son, Sean, was born 10 weeks early and spent the first month of his life at Maine Medical Center in the NICU and CCN facilities instead of at home with us. The Ronald McDonald House in Portland provided a place for my husband and I to stay close enough to the hospital that we could spend every moment possible with our son while he grew and gained the basic functions he needed to come home. Their kindness and support will forever be in our hearts.
Julie D. – Fryeburg, Maine
Harris Cares 2016 “4-4-FOR” Initiative for employees
Introducing the 4 – 4 – FOR Initiative: 4 hours of PTO | $400 Match | For … a Charity of your Choice
In our 2016 budgeting process, each Harris/HarMac Branch will be asked to select a charity that means something to their associates. In 2016, each Associate will be given up to 4 hours of PTO to donate time to these charities. The time can be used for fundraising, running a race, volunteering time etc. In addition, A.H. Harris will match up to $400 of what each Branch raises for that charity. This is the Harris way of celebrating our own good fortune, success and a Centennial of Service – by giving back to the communities that have supported us for 100 years! Not only will this initiative help numerous charities but it will also be a great team building event for all team members. More details will become available soon, stay tuned on Harris’ social media channels.