Remembering the Past, Enjoying the Present and Looking Forward to the Future
It’s the time of year when we sense there is something special swirling around us. A collective feeling of joy. Although we live in a very diverse community and observe this time of year differently, there is one thing we all have in common. This is the season of giving of hearts and cause for celebration.
When I was younger, my parents instilled in me that I should always give to others if I have enough to give. Not only monetarily, but by dedicating my time to good causes and random acts of kindness all year long.
I remember my mother volunteering as an ESL (English as a second language) teacher. She met so many wonderful friends through the program, many of whom are still in contact. She made a difference in their lives by going above and beyond what was expected and taking a genuine interest in their lives. She took the time to ensure they felt comfortable in our society and with our confusing English language. Seriously, are you familiar with homonyms? Those are uniquely American.
She also volunteered at a homeless shelter called Zoe Christian Center. I remember having a hard time grasping the idea that there was homelessness. My mother did her best to explain how people ended up in that situation, most by no fault of their own. This, she explained was why it was so important for people who had the means and the time to help in any way they could. I have tried to carry these words with me through my personal and professional life.
When I began working at Reiner Group, I realized that this was not just a family owned and operated heating and air conditioning company. Everyone who works here is family. As a family, we are not always perfect. We may disagree, but the love is always there. We find ways to celebrate every day whether it’s bagels in the morning, a cake on someone’s birthday or a homemade card to show support for someone having a not-so-great day. These small acts already speak volumes about the kind of company we are.
Reiner Group has always been philanthropic. This started with our patriarch, Bernie Tolsma Sr. when he purchased the company in 1969. Since then Reiner has dedicated time and labor to, not only non-profit organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, but other organizations such as Bergen Public housing and New Hope Ministries. Yet, we wanted to do more.
As you may know, this is the first year we participated in Lennox’s Feel the Love program. On October 5, 2019 our employees volunteered their time to install a new heating and air conditioning system for Lisa Ercolano of Emerson, NJ. Financially Lisa didn’t have the funds to update her HVAC system that was over 60 years old. She had been widowed at a young age with two small children and is a breast cancer survivor. She made it through with the love of family and a positive attitude, but she needed help and we her happy to be there for her. Reiner was overwhelmed, not only by the happiness we brought to Lisa, but also by the kindness and dedication of our employees.
Only a few weeks later we were made aware of another family in need. Mario Urriola, a Residential Installation Mechanic, reached out to Reiner Vice President Tony Gasparovich. Mario’s friend, Army veteran Alex Yepes, needed help getting his boiler up and running before Winter arrived. Upon inspection, we found the boiler was beyond repair and needed to be replaced.
This was not good news for Alex who had just lost his wife of 20 years to cancer. Due to her medical bills and raising their three children on his own, he was not in the financial position to purchase a boiler. Tony and the board of directors approved the replacement and installation of a new boiler. Again, our employees stepped up and volunteered their time to help. Within a week Alex was up and running. He was beyond thankful the gift Reiner had provided him and his family.
Most people don’t realize what an important role both heating and air conditioning play in our lives. It’s about more than just staying warm or cool. It helps with our overall health and well-being. We are more than aware that there are people in our community who are unable to provide for themselves or their families with a well-functioning system. Therefore, we created “Reiner Gives Back”.
In addition to our yearly involvement with Lennox’s Feel the Love program, we are encouraging our employees to come to us if they feel there is someone in their life or community who needs assistance with their heating and air conditioning systems. Whether it needs to be serviced or replaced, we hope we can help in some way if someone is truly in need.
We continue to give back in other ways throughout the year. Our board has been supportive of employees or family members of employees who suffer with serious health issues. Employees have stepped up as well to support their co-workers financially and emotionally. We recently collected food for New Hope Ministries Food Pantry in Prospect Park and have donated over $150,000 to local charities. We are proud to be a part of this community and are lucky to be in the position to support others as well as each other.
As we head into 2020, we will continue to expand our charitable roots. We will also continue to maintain a level of service that exceeds expectations. We have newer and better ways of communicating with our customers which includes receiving and responding to customer feedback across many platforms. We also recently implemented flat rate pricing which is beneficial to our customers. You will now know the exact cost of the repair before proceeding with the work and the cost will never change regardless of how long the job takes to complete. We hope to continue to find new ways to make sure our customers are always happy, healthy and comfortable.
Thank you for your patronage and loyalty. Without you, we would not be able to continue to provide you and new customers with exceptional heating, air conditioning service and installation. More importantly, we would not be able to give back to our community and truly make a difference.
Have a wonderful holiday season and a very happy new year!