Boston CPA firm goes hands-on to make a difference in the community

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For the ninth consecutive year, employees at Boston-based accounting and consulting firm, Feeley & Driscoll, P.C., had a choice. Instead of going to work, they could help their community, and many picked up hammers and nails and worked on houses for Habitat for Humanity.

Over the years, on many days and evenings, in addition to the annual community service day, the staff has volunteered for Habitat of Greater Lawrence. They have formed ties with other volunteers and the families who will live in the finished homes, even being invited to open houses when the homes are completed.

As Feeley & Driscoll's Human Resources Director Deborah Mitchell said, "They use their hands."

Anywhere from 40 to 50 employees will use their hands on three to four homes being built simultaneously. The Market Street fire destroyed many homes in Lawrence, and Habitat has been busy rebuilding. Like many employees, Mitchell enjoys helping with the effort.

"Yes, I have done it, everything from demolition of homes to framing and landscaping," she said. "I personally put on closet doors one year in three homes. I put in a tile floor, then I did it at my own house. You definitely learn some skills."

Working with Habitat originated with Feeley & Driscoll Managing Partner Thomas M. Feeley's involvement with the organization. The company's Web site features a section on outreach and lists numerous organizations that have benefited from the firm's generosity. From clothing, cell phone, and toy drives to a holiday party for a homeless shelter and participation in the Pan Mass Challenge bike event for the Dana Farber Institute, the giving tone of the firm is set from the top down.

"As partners and staff, we feel strongly about giving back to the community in which we live. Community involvement allows our staff to express their individual interests and passions through service," Feeley said.

In a sports town like Boston, it's not surprising that many of the charities highlighted have ties to professional teams, like the Red Sox Rally Against Cancer for the Jimmy Fund. Mitchell said the involvement grows every year.

"It's definitely been increasing and I can only see it increasing more, lot of new hires are interested and have great ideas," she said.

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