United Way of Larimer County (UWLC) is thrilled to celebrate 2022 Cornerstone Partner, Hach, as part of a year-long series highlighting companies giving back in our community. Our Cornerstone Partners invest directly in our internal operating and fundraising capacity so that your donations can have the greatest impact on our local nonprofit programs. Hach is a Longs Peak Cornerstone Partner dedicated to supporting UWLC and the Larimer County community. Learn more about our Cornerstone Partner program here.

Every year, United Way of Larimer County mobilizes community members and corporate partners to give back during Days of Service. National Volunteer Month (April) and Make a Difference Day (October) help build capacity at local nonprofits, strengthen community ties, and support Corporate Social Responsibility efforts. UWLC staff connected with Hach to learn more about their corporate volunteerism commitment and share their strategies with like-minded companies seeking to give back.

How does Hach further its mission through corporate volunteerism and giving in Larimer County?

Hach: Ensuring water quality for people around the world is what drives us each day at Hach. We are passionate about solving complex problems for our customers, and that passion naturally extends into our communities where we operate. Water is a basic need of every living thing on Earth, and it is critical that we care for our water, our environment, and those who depend on clean water to survive. For Hach, finding ways to actively live our mission in the local community is important – whether it is educating students about water, protecting water sources, strengthening our local community, or supporting those who respond to disaster events – this is our home. And we live in this space together.

Hach celebrated several employees during National Volunteer Month this year. How does Hach encourage employees to volunteer in the community both during and outside of work?

Hach: We have three programs that encourage employees to take action with outreach and philanthropy: individual volunteerism, Dollars For Doers, and team-based volunteer events. Within the year, we will be launching a Volunteer Time Off policy that provides paid time off for volunteering.

In addition to these programs, Hach runs two annual fundraising campaigns. The first is with United Way. Over the last year, we have partnered with United Way to identify individual and team-based volunteer opportunities for Hach associates to contribute to outside of work. Our second annual fundraiser is our annual Hach Walk for Water, which we run with our non-profit engineering partner, Water Mission. Water scarcity is a global crisis. Each year we bring awareness to this crisis through this 3-mile walk that allows us to stand in solidarity with the millions of people – primarily women and children – who must walk daily to collect water. Funds raised through this walk benefit clean water projects in the developing world.

How do wildfire restoration and disaster response volunteer projects connect to Hach’s mission?

Hach: Flooding, wildfires, and other human-made or weather events can greatly impact our local watershed, impacting drinking water and wastewater operations, even years after the initial event. In 2020, the Cameron Peak and East Troublesome fires were the largest wildfires in Colorado history. This was literally in our backyards. In the wake of the fires, much of the underbrush and plants that usually prevent erosion and sediment from washing into creeks and rivers was destroyed. In September and October 2021, Hach associates and United Way got together to help restore the Big Thompson Watershed (in the canyon and Buckhorn areas). They rolled up their sleeves and helped with post-fire erosion control to reduce sediment, ash, and debris from coming off hillslopes that can impact downstream water quality, clog culverts, and lead to road washouts. This work helps the community and helps our associates feel a personal connection to our mission to ensure water quality for people around the world.

How do Hach employees benefit from participating in clean water and disaster response volunteer projects, such as your past work with Big Thompson Watershed Coalition?

Hach: Our associates work for Hach and Danaher in part because they are passionate about water and are proud of the positive impact we have on water systems all around the world. So, when we get a chance to support clean water in our community, many of our associates jumped at the chance to help.

“Giving our team the opportunity to contribute to watershed protection in such a hands-on way was incredibly powerful,” said Cara Baldwin, Hach’s Director of Internal Communications, Community Outreach and Diversity + Inclusion. “Not only was the work fun, it gave us a chance to get to know each other and learn more about the watershed as we worked side-by-side with members of the community who also care about clean water. It just feels good to spend time doing good.”

Is there anything else you’d like to share about Hach’s commitment to the community and safe water?

Hach: For us, it always comes back to water. A quote from one of our beloved founders, Kitty Hach-Darrow comes to mind, “The water on this planet is all that we have. It needs to be cared for.” Our mission to ensure water quality for people around the world and in our local community inspires us to build solutions to provide clean, safe water for those who need it. We believe everyone deserves clean water, and we’re making waves to make it happen.

When asked about his work with Hach, UWLC Leadership Giving Director, Doug Hay, said, “Since its inception, Hach’s leadership has focused on being a positive influence within the communities in which their employees reside.  Giving back is deeply embedded in Hach’s corporate culture. Larimer County has reaped the benefits of Hach’s generosity. Each year Hach is one of the leaders in employee contributions through workplace giving campaigns. More importantly, the time Hach Employees invest through volunteerism enables and lifts all community members.  Whether volunteering in Thompson and Poudre School Districts to help engage students in STEM projects or raising awareness of the worldwide water issues through the annual Hach Walk for Water, these employees truly make a difference each day.”

United Way of Larimer County is grateful for Hach’s commitment to volunteerism, giving back to our community, and helping us live Larimer United. We look forward to many more years of partnership to ensure that gifts of time, talent, and treasure meet today’s greatest needs – and tomorrow’s. Thank you, Hach!

United Way of Larimer County’s Cornerstone Program underwrites our management and general costs so that your dollars can have the most impact in our community. Learn more about our Cornerstone Partner program here.

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