Matthews company gives back

Home Technology Solutions donates free equipment for Mint Hill teen with special needs

by Alan Hodge

Random acts of kindness can come when you least expect them. And thanks to a Matthews-based company with a history of giving back to the community, that’s just what happened recently to Jim Southerland and his Mint Hill family.

The story began when Southerland, his wife, Nancy, daughter, Elizabeth and 17-year-old son Ben, moved into a new home. Ben has cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair. The house was set up for handicapped access, but Ben’s medical condition still posed some logistical and communication challenges.

“He is non-verbal and has other health concerns. The fact that his room is on the other end of the house meant we needed an intercom system to monitor him, especially at night,” Jim Southerland said.

Another concern was communicating with the caregiver that comes on a daily basis to help Ben.

“If the caregiver needed help getting him out of the tub we might not know it,” Southerland said.

Then there was the situation of a front door without windows or a peephole preventing the family from knowing who might be knocking.

“We decided to get an estimate for an intercom system and a camera that would let us see who was at the door,” Southerland said.

The family contacted Home Technology Solutions, 2925 Senna Drive,
suite 101, in Matthews.

The firm is owned by brothers Rene and David Robaina and has been in business providing intercoms and other home safety devices since 2001.

After visiting the Southerland home and seeing their situation, the duo decided to continue their tradition of helping others.

“We have installed intercoms and cameras for five or six nonprofits and families,” Rene Robaina said. “We do the installations for free and work with distributors and manufacturers to get the equipment free or at a reduced price. We had been looking for our next family to help and decided it would be the Southerlands.”

The equipment Home Technology Solutions put in the Southerland home gratis included state-of-the art Russound Compoint intercom with stations in each bedroom, the kitchen and the bathroom. A video camera also will be placed at the front door with a monitor near the kitchen.

“It will provide two-way listening to Ben’s room all night,” Rene Robaina said.

According to Southerland, the company’s kindness was a complete surprise.

“We were floored,” he said. “We are still blown away. We have been blessed in so many ways by their generosity. To be able to monitor Ben makes a big difference.”

The company plans to keep their family tradition of giving back to folks in need in Matthews and Mint Hill, Rene Robaina said.

“We hope to have some fundraisers,” he said. “We are always interested in helping the community.”

Want to know more?
For more information about Home Technology Solutions, call 704-708-5126 or visit

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