The lights shine bright at Hope Partnership for Education, a middle school and adult education center in North Philadelphia, thanks to two Philadelphia area companies – Colonial Electric Supply and Carr and Duff, Inc. The companies partnered together to provide outside lighting for the center and its surrounding community as part of the first phase of a neighborhood revitalization project.
Colonial ElectricSupply, an electrical supplier, provided the light fixtures while Carr and Duff, Inc., an electrical construction company, installed them. Both companies donated their time and resources to the project, which began in August of 2014 and wrapped up on December 21, 2014. “They all went above and beyond what we expected,” said Sister Rose Martin, Hope Partnership for Education’s Executive Director. “Everyone who worked on this project was extraordinary! They were exceptionally pleasant, hard-working and skillful,” she added.
In June of 2014, Hope Partnership drew interest in the project after they published an article on their website about their revitalization work with Philadelphia’s Community Design Collaborative called “Gardens of Illumination.” The Collaborative provides pro bono preliminary design services to nonprofit organizations in the greater Philadelphia region.
The “Gardens of Illumination” is a multi-year project designed to beautify the area around Hope Partnership, especially the vacant lot owned by Hope which is diagonally across from the center’s front door at 11th and Huntingdon St. The first phrase of this project is to install outdoor lighting for Hope Partnership’s facility in order to provide safety for its students, staff, and neighborhood.
During the early stages of the “Gardens of Illumination” project, Peter Bellwoar, Executive Vice President of Sales at Colonial Electric Supply, had the opportunity to visit Martin at the center and discuss safety concerns due to the lack of outdoor lighting.
After visiting the facility, Colonial ElectricSupply offered to supply the center with the light fixtures for free. The company has been a supporter of Hope for many years and has a long history of aiding Philadelphia organizations. “What a great opportunity this was for Colonial Electric to give back to our community. Our lighting vendors Hubbell Ligh¬ting and Juno Lighting really stepped up and worked closely with us on this project,” said Bellwoar. “Sister Rose is a fantastic woman who gives her heart and soul to the kids. Everyone at Colonial Electric was excited about helping Sister Rose, the students, and the local families,” he added.
After jumping onboard, Bellwoar then reached out to colleague Bob Duff, President of Carr and Duff, Inc., for help installing the lights. “I’ve known Bob Duff a long time and am familiar with his commitment to support the community,” said Bellwoar. Duff immediately agreed to donate his time and crew; he sent his son Shawn to complete the project. Like Colonial Electric Supply, Carr and Duff, Inc. also have an extensive history of community involvement. “Bob is a very generous person and strongly believes in the type of work that Sister Rose and Hope Partnership do,” added Bellwoar.
The lights are now up and running, and Martin, the staff, and the center’s students can’t thank Colonial Electric Supply and Carr and Duff, Inc. enough for the early Christmas present. “The project was an amazing gift that we definitely could not afford, and our relationships with these two companies are priceless,” said Martin.
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