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Bend solar company gives back to hospice house

By Joe Burns
Published On: Nov 27 2012 09:13:45 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 27 2012 09:43:36 PM CST

We have a day for giving thanks, two days for bargain shopping and now organizers of a nationwide campaign set up a day for Americans to give back. And one Bend company took part today, see what it gave to a hospice.

BEND, Ore. -

It's called Giving Tuesday, and businesses large and small nationwide jumped on board.

E2 Solar in Bend is one of those companies that wanted to give back.

The firm donated and installed a new $1,300 solar power system to the Partners in Care Hospice house in northeast Bend, to cut the facility's electricity bills.  

The company's president she says her team is happy to give back.

November 27th was declared Giving Tuesday, created by a New York non-profit called 92nd Y to get people excited to give back to groups that give on a daily basis. It's reached across the country.

"Giving Tuesday is a great day of the year to focus on giving which is done all year round by people who give not only their money but also their time," said Marlene Carlson, senior development officer for Partners in Care.  

More than 2,000 organizations are taking part.

Partners in Care provides hospice care to 275 patients in Central Oregon.  

"Giving Tuesday is important to us, because all of the gifts given to Partners in Care will have a direct impact in the care that we are able to give patients," said Carlson.

Their service was personally important for Kelli Hewitt, president of E2 Solar, a solar design and installation company in Bend.

"It was something that meant a great deal for Mike and I. In 2009 my great aunt of 103 passed away," Hewitt said. "And I was fortunate to have the hospice house to help me through that ordeal."

Kelli and her husband Mike heard about Giving Tuesday and decided to give back to the hospice with a solar panel system. It's a gift worth almost $13,000.

"For a small company of less than a dozen people, this was a big gift for us," Hewitt said. "And we are really fortunate that we can do it and really proud of the organization to give to."

The system will continue to give back to the hospice, too, saving the organization almost $500 a year.

"It will directly feed into our utility box and defray the costs of our utilities for both hospice and our administration offices," Carlson said.

"This was a wonderful gift," said Partners in Care CEO Eric Alexander. "It couldn't come at a better time, in the giving season."

Hospice officials even presented the couple with a gift of their own: a keepsake ornament custom designed with Kelli's great aunt's name.

While it's called  Giving Tuesday, non-profits say you can give all year round to many local organizations, including the United Way, a 21 Cares for Kids partner.

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