Hefren-Tillotson Step Challenge Takeover!

By:  Hefren-Tillotson Team

Hefren-Tillotson is taking over! We’re back to defend our title as top Medium Size Company for the SparkPittsburgh 2nd Annual Company Step Challenge. Last challenge, participating employees took 16,058,430 (almost 7,603.5 miles)!

Our company values play a large part in our culture.  We believe in respect for the individual, integrity in thought and action, teamwork supported by a family oriented culture, and a relentless commitment to excellence.  We strive to provide our employees the same level of care and concern we give to our clients.  The health and wellbeing of our employees is a top priority, without them our firm would not be the same.

Since 1948, our family-owned firm focuses on providing clients with unbiased advice relating to all aspects of their financial situations.  Founder Willard J. “Bill” Tillotson had the foresight to recognize that in order for clients to achieve their long-term financial goals, they’d need a step-by-step, detailed plan.  And as such, the MASTERPLAN® approach was born!

Hefren-Tillotson is one of the oldest and largest full-service wealth management firms headquartered in Western Pennsylvania.  We were recently named among the “Best Places to Work in Pennsylvania” by the Pittsburgh Business Times in 2011, 2015 and 2017.

We are proud supporters of numerous charitable, arts, and cultural institutions throughout the Pittsburgh region, spawning our dedicated community outreach program HT Cares.  Our employees serve and work together to make lasting contributions to the lives of others in our community through volunteering and community service.

One way we seek to achieve this is by offering a wellness program with events and challenges that address specific concerns and interests of our employees.  Some of our wellness opportunities include health fairs, flu shots, biometric testing, lunch and learn presentations on various topics, and physical fitness challenges.  In each of our branches we have wellness captains who help promote the wellness program, answer questions, and encourage employee participation.

We are fortunate to have a workforce of active and health conscious individuals, so the SparkPittsburgh challenge was of great interest to us.  The activity allowed our firm to work together, encourage each other to get in daily steps, and also have a fun and friendly competition.  Understanding the health benefits of physical activity encouraged employees to participate in the step challenge.  We saw groups going out on walks together during lunch time, heard conversations comparing steps achieved, received inspiring emails to keep stepping, and watched the total steps continue to climb for our group.

Our employees are excited to participate in the SparkPittsburgh challenge again this year and ready defend our title for the medium company category.  We are confident our employees will “step” up to the contest and hope to beat our total steps from last year.  We would like to wish the best of luck to all the participating companies.

Happy stepping!

National Give Something Away Day

Tomorrow, July 15, we will be celebrating a wonderful, unsung holiday, National Give Something Away Day.  It’s a day that reminds us to give back to our communities and those in need.

There are many ways in which you can give back.  Whether you decide to pay it forward and pay for someone else’s meal or groceries, donate unused items you no longer use, donate blood, or just buy someone some flowers.  This is a great day that reminds us that we don’t necessarily need to spend money, or exorbitant amounts of money, to be able to give back.  Take the time to clean out the rooms in your homes, garages, storage lockers, etc. and see what items you have that would benefit someone else more.

Once you decide what you want to donate, where should you go?  The following list are just a few places where you can donate all of your unused goods.

Goodwill Industries of Pittsburgh

There are Goodwill stores all over Pittsburgh and the surrounding area.  Donating your stuff is as easy as taking it to a drop-off center.  Not only do they accept clothing and home goods, but they will also accept books, computers, all types of automobiles, motorcycles, boats, etc.  All you have to do is ask if they will accept the item.

Vietnam Veterans of America

This organization makes the donation process extraordinarily easy.  They have trucks that will come and pick up your household items.  They will not pick up large furniture, however, smaller items like clothing, small appliances and furniture, etc., they will pick up.  All of your items go towards helping veterans of the Vietnam War.  Call to schedule a pick up and make sure your items are easily accessible.  You don’t even have to be home in order for them to pick up your goods.

Washington City Mission

Washington City Mission is passionate about providing clothing, shelter, and food to the homeless and those in need.  Located in Washington County, this mission is always happy to accept clothing, smaller home goods, furniture, and even automobiles.  The most in demand items however, are children’s clothing and winter coats.  There are several drop off locations to donate your stuff or you can call them to set up a home pick-up.

Free Ride!

Free Ride is committed to teaching people about bicycle repair and maintenance, and promoting bicycle use.  Located in the Point Breeze neighborhood of Pittsburgh, they accept all types of bikes, parts, and accessories.  By recycling your bikes, old parts, and accessories, you are helping to keep them from sitting in landfills.  You can donate in two ways.  When the shop is open, Free Ride accepts all donations.  However, when the shop is closed, Construction Junction (see below) will accept all donations on their behalf.

 Dress For Success

Dress For Success’ focus is to empower women to achieve success and independence by providing support networks, professional clothing, and developmental lessons.  Their vision is to create a world “where women do not live in poverty; are treated with dignity and respect; and are strengthening their families and shaping their communities.”  How can you get involved?  First, you can donate your gently- used clothing which helps boost women’s confidence and get them set up to achieve success at interviews and future jobs.  Second, you can donate your money, which is used to finance great developmental programs for women who are striving to become financially independence.  Third, volunteer your time working with these women, planning events, teaching, inventory, picking up donations, etc.

Hopeline Cell Phone Donation

Hopeline collects old cell phones, accessories, chargers, and batteries in all conditions and from any service providers.  These phones are for survivors of domestic violence.  Many survivors are unable to use their old phones and so your unused phone will go towards helping these survivors get back on their feet.  There are a few ways to help.  You can donate your own unused, old phones at any Verizon Wireless retail store.  Or, you could host a phone drive, collecting phones from everyone in your office, at your gym, from friends and friends, etc.

Construction Junction

Did you just clean out your garage or shed and find a bunch of unused building materials that are wasting away?  Well, now there is a place to take those unused items.  Also located in Point Breeze, (point of fact:  Free Ride is located within Construction Junction) Construction Junction is a retail store that is committed to providing affordable building materials for low-income families and help protect the environment.  If you have large materials, they also have a free pick up service, all you have to do is call and set up a time to have your items picked up.

Light of Life

Located right down the street from Allegheny General Hospital in the North Side, Light of Life is dedicated to providing a place for the hungry and homeless to be taken care of and learning how to turn their lives around.  They provide programs that are designed to equip those in need with the education, resources, and stability needed to gain employment and housing.  Light of Life provides a safe space for women and children escaping abuse and helps them get the counseling they need, and provides education and shelter.  They are also committed to helping people who are homeless because of mental illness.  They are always accepting clothing, food, and volunteers.

All of these organizations are committed to not only helping people in their times of greatest need, but also protecting the environment and education.  Don’t forget to celebrate National Give Something Away Day tomorrow, July 15!

Source:  https://www.tripsavvy.com/places-to-donate-items-in-pittsburgh-2707877

Day of Clean Up 2017

This morning, our employees were fortunate enough to be able to help our friends at Allegheny West clean up our neighborhood again.  About 20 employees took time out of their busy day to help pull weeds, dig up plants, and plant new flowers in the garden at the corner of Western and Brighton Roads.  For three hours we worked tirelessly to create a welcoming and beautiful garden area.

Babb Gives Back is a community outreach program that allows our employees to get involved with our local community.  The Day of Clean Up with Allegheny West began three years ago and has continued to be successful.  Giving back to our community and local non-profits is important to us.  The positive impact this program has on the lives of others and our employees is something we feel passionate about and will continue to keep giving back.

Lend a helping hand

Last week, we highlighted some of the wonderful organizations our employees donate their time and money to, on our social media pages. Volunteering is a great way to help the people in your community do the work that needs to be done.

Below we wanted to feature a few more non-profits that are always looking for donations and volunteers to further their efforts in the Pittsburgh community.

Animal Friends

Animal Friends is a compassionate advocate for disenfranchised animals.  Their mission is to try to end over population, abuse, and to stop the unneeded overuse of euthanasia to lower populations.  They provide for the well-being of animals in their care and create resources for pet owners in need.  Animal Friends is committed to outreach, education, and community programming.  They are the champions for the thousands of voiceless animals who are abandoned and unwanted, providing them a home, care, food, training, and most importantly, love.  They are dedicated to finding the best homes for each animal that ends up in their care, but for those that are either unadoptable or don’t get adopted, they are devoted to providing a compassionate and humane lifelong home for them.  To help you can volunteer your time by fostering an animal, helping with special events, becoming a dog walker, or donating money and/or items the shelters need.

Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank

As a proud member of Feeding America, the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank is passionate about feeding people in need and helping to eliminate hunger.  Their vision “is a hunger-free southwestern Pennsylvania”.  This food bank is always looking for people to donate, volunteer, become advocates, and organize a food drive.  Currently, they are asking people who are already running the Pittsburgh Marathon to join their team to raise money for those in need within our Pittsburgh community.

The Pittsburgh Glass Center

The Pittsburgh Glass Center is one of the top glass art centers in the world, providing education resources, and glass production.  They are dedicated to helping Pittsburgh connect to its history as a major glass producer and has created an atmosphere of creativity for students of all levels of artistic abilities.  Devoted to continuous education in glass blowing and its history for everyone from advanced glass blowers to “newbies” wanting to create a glass pumpkin.  Pittsburgh Glass is a hands-on, interactive museum that combines science and art that is fun and affordable for everyone.  If you would like to get involved, you can take a class or make a donation that directly helps make classes affordable for all students.

The Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh

The Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh is a proud leader integrated health care, education, and social services for children with special health care needs.  The goal is to help improve the quality of life for children to reach their potential.  Not only do they help children, but they provide resources and education for parents and families as well.  They provide medical therapy services, instructional education to improve children’s skills, and creates a loving atmosphere for children and their families.


As the nation’s first community-supported television station, WQED has be providing educational public broadcasting since April 1, 1954.  Partnering with local communities, they work tirelessly to bring quality programming in education, the arts and culture, health, economics, history, and so much more.



It’s National Volunteer Week, a week where we get to celebrate and promote volunteerism. This week is dedicated to bringing awareness to local, national, and global volunteer efforts.  Many communities host events emphasizing the important non-profit work being done locally, and to encourage people to find something they are passionate about and volunteer.

We will be highlighting the volunteer work our employees participate all week long.  At Babb, we are dedicated to giving back to our community.  Our Babb Gives Back program allows us to have a positive impact on others throughout the year.

In a previous post, we spoke about a few volunteer opportunities in the Greater Pittsburgh area.  This week we would like to promote a few more organizations that are always looking for new volunteers.

North Hills Community Outreach

In 1986, a flood devastated the North Hills area.  Local religious and community leaders came together to assist those impacted.  Through this, they all realized that their community was in great need of an organization that would be able to assist those in need in their community.  There are so many ways to help within this organization, whether you are interested in helping develop and work on children’s programs, you are concerned about making sure the senior community is taken care of, or you want to help grow a food pantry to feed the hungry, North Hills Community Outreach has opportunities for you.

Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy

The Parks Conservancy works closely with the City of Pittsburgh to restore and maintain the four main Pittsburgh parks: Frick, Highland, Riverview, and Schenley.  Their mission is to restore the parks with ”respect for the environment, historic design, and the needs of our diverse regions.”  There are so many ways to volunteer with the parks.  Businesses, schools, and communities are invited to participate in days of cleanup, gardening, planting trees, etc.  Some other opportunities include: becoming a docent for the Frick Environmental Center, maintaining park gardens, and joining the EcoStewards who spend the year cleaning up the park from invasive species, cleaning up trash, and creating and environment that is inviting to the community.

Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh

The Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh has been providing shelter, support, and most importantly, safety, to victims of domestic abuse for over 40 years.  Statistics show that 1 in 3 women face domestic abuse in their lives.  This organization is dedicated to helping creating resources for women escaping abusive relationship and helping them rebuild their lives.  They are dedicated to empowering women and helping them find their sense of self again.  As advocates for the rights of women, children, and all victims of domestic abuse, they offer free legal services to victims and medical aid.  They are dedicated to educating the community on effects abuse has on victims, how they can help those affected, and provide hope.  They offer sanctuary for women and children escaping domestic abuse, where they can help them start to rebuild their lives in safety.

United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania

The United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania is an organization that focuses on building educational opportunities for children, providing resources and tools for families, ensuring that people with disabilities have all of the same opportunities that everyone else does, and that seniors are able to remain independent.   They have volunteer opportunities that span so many different groups of people and areas of Pittsburgh.  The United Way also offers unique and engaging leadership opportunities.  These events and volunteer opportunities allow you to create change in your community while connecting with other likeminded professionals.

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

Our local libraries provide an immense amount resources to our local communities.  They not only offer us all the ability to borrow books, but they provide students with tutoring help, teach computer skills, host book discussions, help people with their writing and resume skills, offer classes to learn new languages, and mentor teens and children about art, books, and technology, just to name a few of the programs the Carnegie Library System offers.  The easiest way to volunteer with them is by becoming a Reading Buddy.  A Reading Buddy  is a mentor to children who reads with them, helps with their homework, teaches them about new technology, plays games, and provides a support system for them.

Breast Cancer Awareness

As we all know, October is breast cancer awareness month, but how much do you actually know about the disease that is the second leading cause of death among women?  Most people know or have known someone that has been impacted by breast cancer.  Statistics show that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed in their lifetime.

Every year, over 200,000 women and, about 2,000 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer.  Of those numbers, 40,000 women and just under 500 men will lose their battles.

Most people who are diagnosed with breast cancer have a family history of the disease or are carriers of a mutated BRCA gene, a gene that increases that likelihood of developing breast cancer.  Those with the BRCA1 mutation have a 55-65% increased chance of developing breast cancer before 70.  That is an alarming statistic.  However, with early detection, many cases can be treated successfully.

Does this information cause you to want to get involved?  Well you are in luck because there are many ways you can donate your time and money to this deserving cause.

With Breast Cancer Action, there are many ways for you to take action, donate, and lend your support by attending events.  The following are just a few examples of how you can take part in raising awareness and money for breast cancer research.

  • Take action by joining one of Breast Cancer Action’s many campaigns.
    • Fighting back against major companies using toxic chemicals in their products, chemicals that are known to exacerbate risk factors that lead to breast cancer.
    • Demanding that cancer patients who need vital supplies to heal are covered by insurance and Medicare providers.
    • Take on “pinkwashers”, organizations who claim to be concerned and care about women with breast cancer, but peddle products that have been linked to breast cancer.
    • You can start your very own “Don’t Pink for Me” page that brings attention to organizations and companies that actually profit from their fundraising efforts for breast cancer.
  • Attend Events that are hosted all over the country. You can also plan your own fundraising events with the help of Breast Cancer Action staff.
  • There are many ways to give besides just going online and donating on their website.
    • You can help fundraise by signing up for a “Don’t Pink for Me” page where friends and family can make donations to Breast Cancer Action in your honor.
    • You can set up a monthly gift to be donated out of your bank account each month if you would like to continuously give.
    • On Amazon, you can sign up for Amazon Smile, which allows you to pick a charity that will receive .5% of each of your purchases you make.
    • Support the Susan Claymon Advocacy Fund which helps support the many advocates of Breast Cancer Action represent women all over, at conferences, in our capitol, or just to be there for women who need help.
    • For more ways to give, check out their “Ways to Give” page

Every dollar, every action you take to fight for a cure, and every bit of research counts.  Do whatever you can to help the millions of men and women who are fighting for their lives, because, believe me, they deserve it.

For more information about breast cancer, risk factors, survivors, and ways to volunteer, donate, and participate, check out the links provided below.


“You don’t need a title to be a leader”

Earlier this week we brought to you five traits that many believe to be the most important for any leader.  For some, those traits are elusive and they need situations where they are able to grow and develop.

In the Greater Pittsburgh Area, there are a plethora of opportunities for children and adults to explore and expand their leadership skills and abilities. Below are 6 different leadership opportunities that children and adults can both utilize to improve their leadership capabilities.

United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania

The United Way is dedicated to helping change the lives of people with critical needs.  More specifically, their new Next Gen program is geared towards helping children in middle and high schools by pairing them with a mentor.  The middle school mentor program aims to help students improve their attendance rates and grades, get them interested in school, and most importantly, give them a person they can talk to and have fun with.  The ultimate goal is to show them that college, or any kind of secondary education, is a possibility with hard work and determination.

While this might not seem like a leadership specific program, any time you are able to help children, you are learning and imparting valuable leadership skills for yourself and for your mentee. 

If you’d like to check out United Way’s programs you can visit their website here to learn more

YMCA of Pittsburgh

The Y has made it its mission to strengthen the communities they are a part of through their youth development programs.  These programs cover areas from national youth government programs that teach teens about democracy and government to programs that help young African American teens set personal higher educational and career goals for themselves.  The skills that these programs teach are vital to improving our children’s futures and developing our future leaders.

For more information on these youth leadership programs, check out their website here.

Pittsburgh Cares

Pittsburgh Cares’ Youth Engaged in Service (YES) program is a great opportunity for children from the ages of 5-21 to learn positive leadership development skills.  They partner with schools, community organizations, youth groups, and all types of educators and provides them with the resources to inspire young people to get involved and learn about social issues and how to respond to and become a positive part of a solution. 

If you are interested, for yourself, or a young person you know is interested, more information about their youth programs can be found on their website.

Leadership Development Initiative

Leadership Development Initiative is a program that helps rising Pittsburgh leaders actively engage with their community and neighborhoods.  It builds leadership skills, is a great networking tool, and helps leaders and businesses to retain talent.  LDI is a 9 month commitment for high-potential young professionals.  Through this program, young professionals are able to grow and develop their leadership skills while establishing and nurturing relationship with other professionals that will benefit them throughout the career.

If you are a young professional interested in learning how to become a better leader for your business or in your community and want to make lasting connections with other leaders, visit LDI’s page here to learn about how you can get involved.

CORO Pittsburgh:  Women in Leadership

It is very important that there are leadership programs to inspire women, and young girls, to fulfill their potential to become amazing and successful leaders in their communities and businesses.  CORO Pittsburgh has a wonderful program called “Women in Leadership” that is devoted specifically to career women “from different sectors who are interested in civic engagement and motivated to strive toward the full inclusion of women in business, politics, government, arts, education, philanthropy and community organizing”.  Within this organization they learn how to better express their values, lead with authenticity, and learn how to integrate the work, home, and community lives.  The best part is that they are part of a larger support network of women that are committed to positively creating and changing opportunities for women in our region. 

You will gain incalculable knowledge and experience about gender and race equality in the work force, leadership qualities, how to collaborate successfully, and engage with your community.  To find out more and get involved, you can visit their website here.

L3 Leadership

Here at Babb, Inc. we are proud to be a sponsor of L3 Leadership, a community based group that helps to develop all levels of leaders grow to their maximum potential.  We host monthly “Learning to Lead” breakfasts where leaders from the Pittsburgh area come and speak about leadership and how to effectively grow as a leader in your community.  They also have small “mastermind” groups that meet throughout the month to study new and effective leadership ideas, inspire each other, and help each other stick to their goals.  They also promote and provide service opportunities and other leaderships events that all members are encouraged and invited to join.

We have previously interviewed L3 Leadership’s founder, Doug Smith about the importance of being and having a mentor.  If you are interested in learning more, you can do so here, or you can sign up for any of the upcoming breakfasts that we will be hosting here at Babb, Inc.

Regardless of whether or not you are a natural leader or someone that needs some extra encouraging, participating in leadership programs can help one sharpen their skill set, network with other professionals, and give back to the community.