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HTG Peer Groups members are accustomed to sharing their business, life and legacy plans with each other, and helping each other out in times of need. But now HTG Peer Groups have actually formalized the process with Hands That Give, called the IT industry’s first member-led emergency response system modeled after the American Red Cross.

Announced at the HTG Peer Groups quarterly meeting by CEO Arlin Sorensen together with XiloCore CEO Lester Keizer and Business Continuity Services Vice President Mike Semel, Hands That Give offers immediate support services to HTG members following a life-threatening personal injury, prolonged illness or natural disaster. 

The service consists of HTG member volunteers who can provide various kinds of support to another member in need. A fund has also been set up to pay for the expenses of the member providing the services, such as lodging, during the service period.  HTG Peer Groups is asking for a minimum $250 contribution from each member.

Sorensen told Channel Insider that Hands That Give has been on the roadmap for the HTG Peer Groups for the last two years. During that time the organization has been putting the pieces into place to support it. For instance, because members share their business, life and legacy plans, if they are called on to respond they already have that information about each other.

“We have a good feel for what those individuals are working towards,” Sorensen said. “We put the ConnectWise (PSA) platform in as our common platform which lets us provide services to each other and take advantage of our nationwide footprint. We’ve been trying hard to make our companies more profitable because we realized that you can’t give what you don’t have.”

When members sign up for the program they are asked to list their specializations or areas where they would like to be called on to assist such as technical, sales or executive support.

HTG is bringing out the program now because all the pieces are in place, Sorensen said, but also because there are a couple HTG Peer Group members already who have suffered illness or injury that took them away from their businesses for an extended period.  And it’s hard for people to ask for help, or even to accept it when it is offered.

“Members will say ‘I don’t want you to spend your own money to come help me with my problem.’ What we are trying to get to is it’s not the member spending their money to help. We are providing funding for travel and lodging and other expenses. We are hoping people will feel less concerned about that,” Sorensen said.

In just a few hours after the program was announced a few dozen members had signed up already, said Sorensen. HTG Peer Groups currently have about 250 members and a waiting list to join.

“We don’t want any member to be left alone. We want them to know there is a community that is committed to them that will come to their assistance. We don’t want people to feel like they have to tackle these disruptions on their own,” Sorensen said. 

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