The PPAI H. Ted Olson Humanitarian Award, named after the late H. Ted Olson, MAS, PPAI president emeritus, represents what Olson stood for—volunteerism inside and outside of the promotional products industry. Peter Hirsch, MAS, president of supplier Hirsch Gift in Houston, Texas, has been selected as the 2022 PPAI H. Ted Olson Humanitarian Award recipient.

The Humanitarian Award is presented to PPAI members who have shown longstanding empathy, devotion and commitment to improving quality of life and facilitating change for the betterment of a community. This tireless volunteer has exhibited exemplary devotion and volunteerism to nonprofit, civic, charitable and/or educational organizations committed to the needs of the communities they serve. Hirsch exemplifies those traits, having repeatedly stepped up for his community and region in response to natural disasters. Following Hurricanes Katrina and Harvey, and most recently Ida, Hirsch initiated the call to action and coordinated the formation of a group of promotional professionals and employees to collect and donate products to those in need, donating hundreds of pallets of product to community centers, schools and churches for hurricane relief efforts.

Hirsch is also a co-founder of Patriot Coolers, which has a giveback program that supports Homes For Our Troops. Hirsch Gift donates 20 percent of net proceeds from the sale of its Patriot product line of beverageware, coolers, reusable straws and lunchboxes to the nonprofit, which is dedicated to building and donating custom-designed homes for severely injured post-9/11 veterans. Hirsch Gift also started a pay-it-forward campaign for its Patriot Tumblers products. It encourages its customers to offer their clients a tumbler with “Thank You For Your Service” engraved on it to give to first responders, who, Hirsch says, “could be anybody [end users] come in contact with, from the pizza delivery person, UPS driver to health-care workers, who are all helping to flatten the curve.”

Alongside his service to his community, Hirsch is an active industry volunteer, having served on numerous PPAI committees and work groups, on the board of the Houston Promotional Products Association (HPPA) and as a participant at PPAI’s Legislative Education and Action Day in Washington, D.C. He was named a PPAI Fellow in 2016 and inducted into the HPPA Hall of Fame in 2020.