Sam Murzea was just twenty-one years old when he took over the family HVAC business. His father had gotten sick unexpectedly so Sam stepped in to keep everything running. “Now we just work our butts off to take care of our parents and give them the retirement they deserve,” Sam explained. “It’s good motivation for us.”
His father founded MP Heating and Air Conditioning in 2005 in Happy Valley, Oregon, a small city nestled in the greater metropolitan area south of Portland. The business serves the entire 30 to 40-mile area.
Educate and mentor future trade professionals
Over the past 14 years, the business has continued to grow. “Little by little, you treat people fairly, you do a good job and the word spreads. And today we’re at the point where we can help others and give back.”
Sam and his company sponsor a toy drive each winter. They also donate units and installs to a nonprofit that helps sex trafficking victims. But their volunteer efforts are not a marketing tactic. “It’s just one of the things that we do just because we want to. We know what it’s like to struggle, so we like to help when we can.”
One of the biggest ways they give back to the community is helping a local high school build a house.
Bowmen House Program
Every year, the advanced shop class at Sherwood High School works on building an actual house. They take it from a construction site to a sellable property. “The students are very involved, doing as much of the construction that they’re allowed to do within the scope of their knowledge and capabilities,” Sam explained.
Local trade specialists, such as electricians, plumbers, volunteer their time and labor to help complete the house. MP Heating and Air Conditioning completed all of the HVAC work for the latest project, and Sam estimates they’ve donated over $10,000 worth of parts and labor to the project
Once the house is complete, a local real estate company puts the house for sale (also volunteering their time) and the money the house brings goes back to the school and the program. According to Sam, the latest project, Bowmen House #4, received two offers the day it was listed.
“It was really nice to see it go from a construction site to a home that someone can live in,” Sam said
Volunteer Suggestion: There are many organizations that offer transitional housing for the homeless or victims of domestic abuse. They’re always in need of specialists to help maintain these homes. Look for an organization in your area.
Invest time speaking to trade students
Sam has also guest lectured in the classroom to introduce students to his trade.
Between the Bowmen House project and specialists visiting the advanced shop class, the high school does a good job of showing students there’s a possible future for them in specialty trades. “You don’t have to put yourself into a bunch of student loans and then hope and pray for a job afterward. They don’t need to be afraid of getting their hands dirty to make a good living.” He knows at least one of the students is going to school for a degree in construction management.
Volunteer Suggestion: Research high schools and vocational schools near you to see if they’d be interested in a guest lecture. Pass on your passion for your trade.
Pay it forward locally
Sam recommends finding a charity you feel an emotional connection to. He also recommends supporting local charities. “That way you can actually see the impact that you’re making and work with the people that are helping you build your own business.”
Even though Sam believes in volunteering simply because it’s the right thing to do, he does believe that what he gives does return to him somehow. “It pays itself forward tenfold,” he explained. “That’s just how karma works out and the universe unfolds.”
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