On Thursday, March 23, six of our Hallam-ICS crew slept out for Spectrum Youth and Family Services. Donna Aiken, Annette Delphia, Dylan Kerkes, Keith Flaherty, Dan Maxwell and myself “braved the elements” for this great cause. Wednesday night got down to about 5 degrees (F); so the heat wave of 25 degrees on Thursday night was a blessing indeed.Spectrum is a local charity focused on homeless teens and young adults. From a safe place to sleep, to counseling, to basic medical care; this fantastic group is dedicated to turning troubled lives around and getting these kids to turn into healthy, independent adults.
It is sobering to consider that in a small place like Vermont, this group serves over 2000 young adults a year in the Burlington area. That’s 2000 kids in really bad situations that Spectrum helps, plus the kids that they just can’t due to resource limitations.
This was year six for their sleep-out which is one of their major fund-raisers. The event raised over $330,000. Our team members were able to raise just over $7,000, which Hallam-ICS matched. That made our contribution over $14,000.
So how does this sleep-out thing work?
We arrived at the rally point around 9PM. Pizza, soda, and coffee were served by local businesses (Coffee, are you kidding me? I don’t want to have to get out of my sleeping bag until morning.). Mark (the director of Spectrum) gave a great pep talk. Everybody introduced themselves and their group affiliation. Then one of the young ladies that has recently stepped into good, full-time, work - after a rough patch – gave her personal story of Spectrum. Really reminded everybody why they were there. Then off to the outdoors. We had a couple of feet of snow recently; so our sleeping area was nice and crunchy. Vermont Tent set up two big canopies (tents with no sides) and laid tarps on the ground. Everyone spread out to stake their spot. Cardboard as a ground mat, just like the homeless, provided insulation from the ice beneath the big tarps.
How did you sleep? Funny you should ask.
I run pretty warm; so I did not suffer from the cold – that was until I rolled off of my matt and started melting ice. But, between the symphony of snoring, the crunching of ice underfoot (every time someone had to use the facilities) and the hourly ringing of the church bells, sleep was scarce. However cheer was in great abundance.
Thanks to the team, the Employee-Owners of Hallam-ICS & our sponsors for helping to make this event so successful.
Maybe you would like to join us next year. Let us know. We’d love to add you to our team.
About the author
Ray is a Senior Controls Engineer. He has been with Hallam-ICS over 20 years. Ray is very active in the social mission of the company as he appreciates the opportunity to express and apply his values in his work place. He has organized our first and second Service days; and has set up our teams for meal preparation at shelter programs; painting in child service charities; yard work & house cleaning for transitional housing and building furniture for a shelters.
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Hallam-ICS is an engineering and automation company that designs MEP systems for facilities and plants, engineers control and automation solutions, and ensures safety and regulatory compliance through arc flash studies, commissioning, and validation. Our offices are located in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Vermont and North Carolina and our projects take us world-wide.