Security Gives Back in 2018

Dec. 13, 2018
How more than 80 security integration firms volunteered and donated to help those in need this year

This year, we received more than 70 submissions which amounted to thousands of dollars in donations, thousands of volunteer hours and an incredible amount of good deeds and work in the communities you serve.

Many people have thanked me for doing this article every year...but the thanks should really be coming from all of us – thank you for having positive impact on the neighborhoods and communities that you serve! Thanks for caring, and thanks for making a difference!

Here’s a look at just some of the great things our industry did in 2018:

Security Integrators Give Back

A3 Communications, Norcross, Ga., President and CEO Brian Thomas and VP of Sales Hunter Thornton volunteered at the Meal By Grace Warehouse in Cumming, Ga. Following an impassioned speech about the non-profit organization’s needs from Director Suellen Daniels, Thomas donated $3,800.00 to repair a critical refrigerated food delivery vehicle.

Acadiana Security Plus, Broussard, La., donated $30,000 worth of equipment and free monitoring for life to the Randon’s Place at the Healing House, a non-profit organization that helps grieving children.

ADS Security employees volunteered in the American Red Cross of Nashville’s Sound the Alarm campaign, which aims at ending home fire deaths by installing free smoke detectors in at-risk homes and communities.   

ADT partnered with the NBC affiliate in West Palm Beach to collect non-perishable items to give to those in need. When the event wrapped at 6:30 p.m., the company had helped with donations of more than 13,000 pounds of food. Several hundred pounds came from ADT employees who participated in a unique giveaway to raffle off excess, company-owned artwork. Additionally, inspired by employee Lora Thompson’s continuing battle with breast cancer, the company joined several other organizations to raise more than $1 million to provide mammograms in the community and for ongoing cancer research.

Advanced Cabling Systems, North Little Rock, Ark., has committed to donating $10k to Arkansas Children’s Hospital every year for the next three years. This year, employees took part in several events to benefit the facility: They provided breakfast for nurses and other hospital staff during its scrub sale event; distributed goodie bags to nurses during Nurse Appreciation Week; and volunteered to help with a hospital bingo event for kids and their families. The company also sponsored a hole at a golf tournament to benefit the Little Rock Boys and Girls Club.

Advantech was proud to play a huge role in the Delaware Food Bank’s Backpack Program. Its 52 employees donated and stuff more than 4,000 backpacks, which were distributed throughout Delaware to children in need for weekends and holidays when school is not in session and federal school meal programs are not available.

Alert 360, Tulsa, Okla., once again proudly participated in “Stuff the Bus” – an annual Tulsa public school supplies collection drive sponsored by Reasor’s Foods. Now known as “Supplies for Schools,” this school supply drive helped students prepare for the 2018-2019 school year, with donations of school supplies for students in need. Donations by Alert 360 provided enough school supplies for more than 100 local students.  

Allied Alarm Services, Falconer, N.Y., will host the 2018 Marine Toys for Tots Christmas toy giveaway for children in Chautauqua County, N.Y. This is the 4th year Allied Alarm Services and its staff have offered space to hold all the toys that are gathered.

Amherst Alarm CEO Tim Creenan has committed a financial pledge to the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC) in support of its legal efforts to battle ordinances that threaten non-response and other factors, such as those adopted recently in Sandy Springs, Ga. Creenan pledged to donate 10 cents for each Amherst Alarm customer to SIAC.

In addition to being sponsors of Delaware-area Ronald McDonald Houses, this year B Safe Security, Mantua, N.J., created the B Safe B Generous Holiday Drive, which supports Cradles to Crayons and Toys for Tots – donating everyday essentials like clothing, as well as toys, to families and children in need during the holiday season.

Bates Security, Sonitrol of Lexington (Ky.) and Sonitrol corporate partnered with 3xLogic to complete a video surveillance and audio detection security upgrade project for the Center for Women, Children, and Families, which provides needy families with free essential items, offers counseling for domestic violence issues and has daycare services onsite.

When an EF2 tornado touched down less than five miles from its headquarters, Brady Integrated Security, Greensboro, N.C., sprang into action, donating money, food and supplies, as well as volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and other organizations to help repair, rebuild and clean up after the destruction. Employee volunteers also participated in four Habitat for Humanity house builds in 2018. Additionally, employees volunteered with Junior Achievement for an event to promote financial literacy, economic development, work readiness and entrepreneurship among middle schoolers; the company sponsored the Guilford Heart and Stroke Walk to benefit the American Heart Association; and sponsored the “Adopt-A-Stream” program in Greensboro.

For the past 17 years, on the first Friday in June, Convergint has shut down operations for a full (and paid) work day in order to allow colleagues to go into their communities and contribute to those in need. This year, Convergint launched its STEP Up (Secure, Train, Educate and Protect) initiative as part of Social Responsibility Day, and volunteer teams in Chicago, San Antonio, Austin, Cincinnati and Atlanta provided and installed updated security, fire and surveillance systems. In all 2,474 Convergint employees (including family members and employees from partner organizations) volunteered at food banks, homeless shelters, children’s camps, Habitat for Humanity, hospitals, senior centers, wildlife refuges, animal shelters, foster care facilities, veteran’s homes, cemeteries and other community organizations. Additionally, Convergint donated more than $4,000 of gift cards and supplies, as well as donating one full day of payroll equaling $870,000.

Custom Alarm, Rochester, Minn., celebrated its 50th anniversary by continuing its long tradition of volunteering and charitable giving. The company of 60 employees donated more than 900 volunteer hours to 28 different organizations. They included: More than 100 holiday gifts donated, wrapped and delivered to the local “Brighter Tomorrows” organization for families dealing with childhood cancer; donation of money and volunteer time towards promoting police-community partnerships and bringing neighbors together as part of National Night Out; the United Way annual campaign fundraiser and school supply drive; the Salvation Army Bell Ringing; and events to benefit the Minnesota Children’s Museum of Rochester and Litter Bit Better.

Houston-based Dowley Security Systems sponsored the Cy-Fair Independent School District “Back the Blue” Police Department/Security Department Appreciation Luncheon. Along with donations and giveaways from local businesses, the luncheon provided an opportunity to build a stronger bond and relationship with the community.

DynaFire, Casselberry, Fla., used its “DynaFire Family Day” to raise awareness and funds to support the Florida Homeless Coalition. The company also supported multiple events for Allie’s Hope, Children’s Burn Camps, the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program and the Christian Sharing Center.

Electric Guard Dog, Columbia, S.C., employees donated nearly $5,000 to the South Carolina Make-A-Wish Trailblaze Challenge. The company also donated nearly $3,000 to American Red Cross to help those affected by Hurricane Florence; and it will host a food drive and sponsor families during the holiday season.

Every year since 1999, employees of Electronix Systems, Huntington Station, N.Y., have participated in toy drives. Since 2012, the company has partnered with the New York Fire Alarm Association to provide toys to the pediatric floors of four local hospitals.

Firstline Security Integration of Anaheim, Calif., sponsored the Crime Stoppers golf classic. All contributions helped support the organization’s Students Speaking Out program, which has helped solve hundreds crimes on local school campuses and led to the safe removal of 12 guns from middle and high schools.

First Response, Beaverton, Ore., held volunteer events totaling 51 volunteer hours in 2018, breaking its previous record of 44 hours. Here are a few of their activities: Employees spent time keeping score and cheering on players at the Special Olympics of Oregon’s Winter Regionals event; employees helped sort, pack and organize donation items for Sunshine Pantry, a non-profit providing food, clothing and other amenities to families in need; and employees helped pack more than 9,000 lbs. of frozen corn at the Oregon Food Bank. First Response also supported the following organizations with financial donations in 2018: Safe Families for Children PDX, West Hills Christian School, Mission 500, Compassion International, Embrace Oregon, Northwest Children’s Outreach, and Daily Hope. The company also donated systems for survivors of domestic violence through a partnership with the Domestic Violence Resource Center.

As a partner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Guardian Protection Services, Warrendale, Pa., created free custom photo/fingerprint ID badges for more than 250 children at the Pittsburgh Steelers Family Fest. Kids and their parents lined up for three hours to take advantage of the GuardianKids ID program, which provides reliable documentation for parents in the event of a child being lost or kidnapped.

Holmes Security Systems, Fayetteville, N.C., partnered with The Rick Herrema Foundation, which was named for a U.S. Army Special Forces soldier who was killed in Iraq. The company replaced a dated security system in the Foundation’s Welcome Center with a Honeywell security systems and Hikvision surveillance equipment. Employees also participated in a Family Fun Day, where Holmes employees were paired with military families. “Our employees have come away with a new appreciation for these families and the sacrifices they make to keep our homes and nation free,” said company President Stephen Wheeler.

For the past several years, Integrated Protection Services (IPS) of Cincinnati has taken care of a large toy and clothing list each Christmas for a local charity. The company also partnered with a customer’s Angel Tree program.

This year, with the support of Johnson Controls, which includes the Johnson Controls Foundation, 5,200 Lumkani fire detectors have been installed in Imizamo Yetho, an informal settlement in Cape Town, South Africa. The devices cover 95 percent of the homes in the area, providing safety for 14,000 residents and the broader community for years to come.

As part of its corporate wellness program, Kastle Systems hosted two blood drives this year. Employees gave a total of 55 units, which translates into 165 lives that could potentially be saved.

Kimberlite Sonitrol’s annual backpack drive with Clovis Union School District and Clovis Police Department saw employees give away 2,000 backpacks filled with school supplies. The company also held two toy drives and sponsored a third grade class at Sanger Unified. Company President Joey Rao-Russell matched the donation of 50 gifts donated by her staff for a total of 100 toys for under privileged children.

KMT Systems partnered with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and spent time with the kids for fun activities at the Scottish Rite campus in Atlanta. Employees dressed up as different characters and had a costume party with the kids and hosted stations including bag coloring, pumpkin painting and the hit of the day, slime making.

Late last year, Atlanta-based LOUD Security owner John Loud, along with Mark Matthews and their teams, joined forces with The Henssler Group and Cobb Commissioner Bob Weatherford to spend a day frying and smoking dozens of turkeys to give to first responders.

LVC Companies, Minneapolis, chartered a community involvement committee in 2018 to identify new causes and track and report on its corporate impact. The group led some great giving back activities this year, including preparing and serving meals at Ronald McDonald homes in Minneapolis and Phoenix, along with the Salvation Army in Hibbing. Additionally, the company is participating in coat drives in our colder communities in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and is continuing its Holiday Gift Drive to benefit families being served in the Ronald McDonald Homes in its communities. LVC was also a Toys for Tots drop off location in Hibbing, Minneapolis and Phoenix. Finally, its Eau Claire employees upgraded the structured cable and security systems in the community’s free medical clinic.

NextGen Security, Exton, Pa., focuses every year on areas of need and philanthropic organizations that have meaning to its employees. The company’s Houston office, in partnership with the Houston Chapter of ASIS Intl., hosted “Teddy Bears for Tots,” a breakfast and toy giveaway event held at C.E. Odom Pediatric and Adolescent Health Center. The company also sponsored Steve Greis (VP, Southwest Division) in his mission trip to Honduras. In its Exton office, NextGen continued its partnership with the PA BLOCS foundation, which provides higher education scholarships to children in need from Chester-area charter schools. Other activities included: The Salvation Army Angel Tree Program; and a company-wide “Day of Service” to assist local food banks with preparing for the holidays.

Northland Controls, Milpitas, Calif., continued its relationship with GRID Alternatives, and employees have helped to provided solar power to homes in low-income neighborhoods in the Bay Area, a ranger station in Tanzania, and a school in Nepal. This year’s contribution included more than $100,000 in cash and in-kind contributions. Twenty people flew to Nepal and embraced the 10-day challenge of installing solar panels on a remote school, and earlier in the year, eight technicians flew to Tanzania to install solar panels on a ranger station inside a national reserve. Northland covers the expenses of all employees, plus their time, and the solar panels and installation.

NorthStar Home, Orem, Utah, has a mission to provide “Less Worry, More Life” to all we come in contact with. In 2018, the company sent a team of about 20 employees to Cusco, Peru, where they worked at an elementary school and built a greenhouse to help people grow food. They also helped build seating for its soccer field. Later in 2018, the company sent a team on a service trip to Guatemala.

OpenEyes Technology, Baton Rouge, La., donated and installed a BluePoint Alert emergency communications system at McKinley High School.

For National Fire Prevention Month, Per Mar Security Services, Davenport, Iowa, donated $5,000 to fire safety and prevention programs in its communities. The donation was a dollar-for-dollar match of employee contributions to its Charity Fund. Since 1980, Per Mar’s Charity Fund donations total $1.3 million. Per Mar also sponsored a Wisconsin radio station’s “Paws for the Cause” event to raise money for the local Humane Associations and Police Departments K-9 units. Per Mar worked with our customer, Milwaukee Burger Company, to set up security cameras, so the DJ – who stayed in a dog cage – was monitored round the clock, and a team member from Per Mar kept him company each night. More than seven animals were adopted and $22,000 was raised for local humane associations and police K-9 programs.

Prime Communications Inc., Elkhorn, Neb., chose to support a local charity, Heroes into Homes – a 501C3 veteran assistance organization whose mission is to place homeless veterans into permanent housing. Prime employees donated a total of 1,200 items from the Heroes into Homes wish list over the course of a month and also raised $1400 for the organization’s Turkeys to Troops initiative, providing Thanksgiving meals for Heroes into Homes families. To learn more about the Heroes into Homes, please visit:

The Protection Bureau, Exton, Pa., was active in philanthropy in 2018. Activities included: a year-long food and clothing drive for local food banks and donations of children’s books to the Laundromat Library League. Other organizations the benefitted from volunteer work and donations include: New Eyes for the Needy; Domestic Violence Center; a variety of organizations dedicated to helping those with Alzheimers, cancer and other issues; Presbyterian Children’s Village; American Legion; local public libraries; school fundraising; Handi-Crafters; and Mosaic South Africa. For the last 14 years, the company has also awarded scholarships to 6-8 children of current employees to help with tuition and/or books.

The Red Hawk Fire & Security team in Los Angeles joined thousands to raise money for the Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firemen’s Fund, the official charity of the Los Angeles Firemen’s Relief Association. The Hope for Firefighters event in downtown L.A., is an annual festival featuring live music, food prepared by fire station “chefs” and “Muster Games” where corporate sponsored teams vie for prizes in fire-related competitions. “This is a fun event with a serious purpose,” said Red Hawk’s LA Operations Manager Henry Palos. “It is really an honor to help (firefighters) in this way, to say thank you and to support them should they ever need help.”

Every year, Securadyne Systems closes all locations so employees can choose 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations within their communities to perform volunteer services. On Oct. 19, all 18 Securadyne offices in 11 states closed for the day to help and supporting others in need. Organizations that benefitted included: the Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence (Atlanta); Central Texas Food Bank (Austin); Angell Animal Medical Center (Boston); Stark Parks (Canton, Ohio); Habitat for Humanity (Cincinnati); North Texas Food Bank; Outreach at Calvary Chapel (Ft. Lauderdale); Project C.U.R.E. (Houston); Recovered Treasures thrift store (Jacksonville); Moore Food & Resource Center (Oklahoma City), Pensacola Area Housing Commission; Pittsburgh Park Conservancy, Maine Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; Food Bank of Central and Eastern N.C,; Project Homes (Richmond, Va.); and Children’s Home Network (Tampa, Fla).

Securitas Electronic Security Inc. (SES) supported Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) during the 2018 GSX show (formerly ASIS) in Las Vegas by raising funds and building public awareness for the organization. Stand Up To Cancer ( is a charitable organization that supports the race to fund groundbreaking, life-saving cancer research. SES was proud to contribute $2 to the organization for every unique visitor scan at the SES GSX booth and offer the opportunity for booth visitors to take a photo to support the cause.

Each year, the Security-Net group of integrators chooses an organization to support at the ASIS/GSX show. In 2018, it partnered with the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Las Vegas.

Silent Guard, Somerset, Ky. – In the words of President and CEO Dwight Sears: “This year, our staff decided to invest even more back into our schools – more than just dropping off school supplies, we wanted to help bridge the gap to some of the difficulties students and faculty are faced with daily. We visited 21 different elementary classrooms in a week, and each classroom received a large plastic tub full of school supplies that could be shared throughout the entire school and a full box of large chocolate Hershey bars. We wanted to create a lot of excitement as an example of what it’s like to do something for someone else…we also spent a lot of quality time talking about bullying – about how it is OK to be different. The dialog was interesting, and from the feedback we received and continue to receive from the schools, very effective. We challenged every student and every classroom to be a #DifferenceMaker and more importantly #StandForKindness every day.” 

Skynet Security of Chicago was again a silver sponsor of the Patrick J. Ryan Main Event in support of the LOSS Program for children and youth (survivors of suicide). The company has facilitated a link between its hotel clients (The Drake and Palmer House Chicago) and Mary’s Closet, where lost and left-behind clothing is donated. Additionally, the company has sponsored golf events for HEAT and Catholic Charities; has donated to food drives and charitable raffles; and is a silver sponsor of the Spirit of Saint Nicholas Ball in Chicago to benefit children’s programs.

Smith Thompson Security partnered with the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks organization, to donate security systems to 15 local Dallas citizens. Local police officers nominated the families. Mavericks forward Harrison Barnes helped with the installations.

Sonitrol of Evansville collected and donated food for the Evansville Food Bank. The company also hosted an annual luncheon for first responders; donated to the EPDF 2018 Policeman’s Ball; volunteered and participated in Race for the Cure; sponsored the EPD SWAT Challenge and 2018 Southwestern Indiana Hadi Highland Games; and sponsored a Cops Connecting with Kids Disney Adventure.

The Sonitrol Security of Louisville “Gives Back” Program is a way for the company to recognize and support local schools. This year, the company donated $5000 to the Robotics Team at East Washington Middle School and the S.T.E.M. program at East Washington Elementary.

Sonitrol New England invited neighboring towns’ police and fire departments for in house networking luncheons. The company also donated toys for the holidays.

In the wake of Hurricane Florence, the Strategic Security Solutions team collected items including water, gasoline, tarps, etc., to be delivered to rural North Carolina communities in need. Employees also assisted with tasks such as tree removal (from roofs), cleaning and carpet removal from the local church, and installing tarps in the homes of elderly residents.

Surveillance Systems Inc. (SSI), Rocklin, Calif., is committed to supporting veterans. Company President Todd Flowers is a founding member of Allegiant Giving Corp., a nonprofit that has partnered with ActionTrak, a manufacturer of tank-style wheelchairs, for donation to veterans. Allegiant has also partnered RUFF, which provides companion dogs to at-risk veterans.

Universal Atlantic Systems (UAS), Paoli, Pa., employees participated in many charitable events over the past year, including: volunteer work for Meals on Wheels; backpack and school supply donations; employees make a weekly donation to sponsor a room at the Ronald McDonald House, which is then matched by the company; volunteer breakfast at Ronald McDonald House; Angel Tree; and a 50/50 Super Bowl raffle, where half of the proceeds were donated to a local hospital.

During Vector Security’s 2018 President’s Inner Circle trip to Barbados, the company partnered with Make a Difference Foundation to provide school, music and sports supplies to kids. Other activities included: Wilkes-Barre, Pa., employees participated in the 2018 Walk to End Alzheimer’s Disease at PNC Field; the company donated to American Legion Riders Post 712 to help veterans; the Canfield, Ohio, branch participated in the 2018 Panerathon, a 10k run/walk benefiting the Joanie Abdu Comprehensive Breast Care Center as well as Walk MS Canfield; and Richmond branch employees volunteered at the FeedMore Food Bank.

Vision Technologies Inc., Glen Burnie, Md., supported programs including the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors for those grieving the death of a loved one who served in America’s armed forces; Adopt a Soldier, with care packages sent overseas; United Way’s Harvest of Plenty program; Patriot House (food donations and services), Red Cross (blood drive); and a Title 1 school (school supplies donated). Throughout the year, Vision hosts annual events on behalf of organizations such as Wounded Warrior, New Fellowship Christian Community Church and TAPS including our charity golf tournament, 50/50 raffles, chili cook-offs, silent auctions, Paint Night, Thanksgiving Trek on the Appalachian Trail, and its First Annual Bull and Oyster Roast.

Vivint Smart Home teamed with the NBA’s Utah Jazz to build a sensory room at the Vivint Smart Home Arena, home of the Jazz, for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other intellectual and developmental disabilities. The room provides a safe haven for children with conditions related to neurodiversity during NBA games and other arena events.

Paul Rothman is Editor-in-Chief of Security Dealer & Integrator (SD&I) magazine. Access the current issue, full archives and apply for a free subscription at