Tim Bucher, founder of the hometown IT firm BucherTech, has always stated that his primary goal is to empower organizations across Northwest Indiana by helping them safely and securely transition into the digital era.
One way of doing that is through partnerships with businesses, where BucherTech provides secure, cost effective networking, and IT solutions. The other is through regular community contributions like their annual sponsorship of the Valparaiso Kiwanis Club’s Pancake Day, which raised nearly $25,000 last year for local charities, or by offering discounts to nonprofit organizations around the Region. This year, Bucher decided to tie the two strategies together.
“We’ve always tried to help nonprofits, but I thought instead of offering discounts, why not put our money where our mouth is and put together a big grant,” he said. “So starting this year, what we’re doing is giving our IT services and products to whichever organization wins our $2,500 grant.”
Hilltop Neighborhood House is the first recipient of the year. The nonprofit offers childcare, early education, and a food pantry with a strong focus on helping low-income families.
“We’ve worked with Hilltop for a long time,” Bucher said. “We’ve always known that they’ve done great work, but have great needs because of how many people they’re helping. We saw those needs and thought, why not start with them?”
While Hilltop stocked their classrooms with some computers, their IT infrastructure was out-of-date since they prioritized their kids’ more immediate needs. BucherTech is giving them a complete IT overhaul.
“We’re installing a new wireless system, a server rack with switches, and giving them a more sophisticated firewall,” Bucher said. “A firewall is really important with kids taking classes there. You need to protect them and your network from what they might stumble across out there on the internet.”
Spotty Wi-Fi access often frustrated Hilltop’s staff and volunteer educators. BucherTech installed five different wireless access points, finally providing a stable network.
“The biggest problem was that they didn’t have good wireless access in their classrooms,” Bucher said. “They were so pleased when we reached out about this grant because they’ll finally have that.”
Once they finish modernizing Hilltop Neighborhood House, BucherTech is going to open grant applications for other nonprofits around the Region.
“We’ve been blessed to get where we are, and we want to give some of that back,” Bucher said. “We’re just excited to find a new way to give back to the community.”
To learn more about BucherTech, visit buchertech.com or call 219-465-4500.