"Helping the community starts off small," said Harry Burlakoff of Minuteman Press, located on 427B Howe Avenue Shelton, Connecticut. Harry Burlakoff has always seen the importance of being involved within the community. Helping non-profit organzations and those in need is something him and his business Minuteman Press take great pride in. Harry acknowledges that it is important to help others in need because it leads to positive growth within
the community, " I can never turn away from those in need. I try to help as much as I can in both big ways and littles ways, for example if Spooner House, Valley United Way, or the Boys and Girls club needs a plaque or flyers for an event within the organization. I help create those plaques or flyers for them free of charge. But it reaches beyond just the organizations I am involved with. If the Salvation Army comes into Minuteman press asking for flyers to be printed, I will help them free of charge also, because things like flyers go a long way in helping others within the community " said Harry.
Harry has been working for the off-set printing industry for more than 20 years, and it is his hardworking journey throughout life that has made him realize the importance of helping those within the Shelton community, " I remember growing up as a small boy with a single mother, because my father was never around. She worked hard everyday. She taught me to have the same work ethic, but my mother also taught me that their were many families who live in the same situation as me and struggled to find support, that is why I am involved with organizations such as TEAM, and participate in their events, like Saturdays Men Who Cook, which I am excited about, " said Harry.
Harry has been working for the off-set printing industry for more than 20 years, and it is his hardworking journey in his life that has made him realize the importance of helping those within the his surrounding community, " I remember growing up as a small boy with a single mother, because my father was never around, and realizing how hard it can be without help. She worked hard everyday. She taught me to have the same work ethic, but my mother also taught me that their were many families who live in the same situation as me and struggled to find support, that is why I am involved with organizations such as Team, and participate in their events, like Saturdays Men Who Cook, which I am excited about, " said Harry. Harry is also involved with organizations such as, The Exchange Club of Shelton, "I am proud of being a part of this organization that helps children who have been through abuse and trauma, and lends a hand in helping their situation," said Harry.
Harry believes that it is the small things in helping others that make the biggest impact in life. One of his most memorable memories was helping create flyers for a fundraiser for a little girl named Namoi Tyrell who passed away at 9 years old of a rare disease called Type C Niemann-Pick disease. Harry recalls his time with her as something that changed his outlook on life, "I remember her coming into Minuteman Press all the time, she was around 9 years old, almost the same age as my daughter at the time, and I knew that I had to help her and her family the best way that I could. So, I made Namoi flyers for her fundraiser and got to spend time with her here at Minuteman press. When she passed away it was hard, but I knew that the gesture of making something small like flyers helped her and her family in many ways," said Harry.
Harry Burlakoff involvement within the community has not gone unnoticed by the state of Connecticut. Harry was award General Assembly Citation for his work in the community on April 23, 2015, "It was a nice surprise, I was not expecting an award. But it was a wondeful ceremony, Bill Purcell from the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce gave a great speech, and it was a great honor to receive this award because it something I love doing, community service," said Harry. Harry encourages other non-profit organizations to be involved with the community because it encourages growth,learning, and a new perspective on ones surrounding environment, " Its helps you connect with people and see people in a different light, I wouldn't be were I am if it wasn't for others who have helped me, that is why I find it is important for other non-profits to give back and be involved with the community," said Harry. Harry Burlakoff is man with memorable integrity and compassion that reflects a positive influence in the community. So, lets learn from Harry and become involved within our own communities, as well as remember that even the smallest gestures of help leave the biggest impact.
- Intern Stephanie Chang
Greater Valley Chamber Staff, Interns & Members