Marketwired’s Finance Team Dons Hard Hats for Habitat for Humanity
When Marketwired’s Finance Team decided to participate in a Community Builder’s event, Brenda-Ann Funston, Credit and Collections Clerk, came up with an excellent idea. She’d heard great things about Habitat for Humanity Toronto (HFHT) and wanted to get involved. She suggested the idea to her team, and after a short discussion, so did they. She learned that the organization offers an Adopt-A-Day program, so she signed up her team for October 27. No one had construction experience but they were willing students nevertheless.
Arriving bright and early at an HFHT townhouse development in Scarborough, a suburb of Toronto, the group didn’t quite know what to expect. They quickly learned, however, as the first item on the agenda was to gear up in hard hats and boots on orders of the construction supervisor. He then split the team into three groups. One was put to work installing drywall – but not before a short how-to course. Another group focused on painting, and the third was asked to clean up construction debris to prepare for installation of new floors and kitchen cabinets. The townhouse development, which is being built on a former field, consists of several construction phases. Phase 1 is complete and occupied. The Finance team worked on three units in Phase 2 – a cluster of about 15 townhomes – that are in varying stages of development.
This is just one of many HFHT developments Volunteer and financial support from groups like Marketwired’s finance team makes a tremendous difference. An impact study conducted on Habitat Toronto Partner Families in 2012 revealed how affordable homeownership strengthens communities and opens doors for low-income youth:
76% of homeowners report an improvement in children’s school grades
81% report an improvement in children’s social lives
92% of respondents say they will remain in their HFHT home for a very long time or can’t imagine ever moving
Brenda said that despite the team’s inexperience, the contractors were all understanding and willing to show the group the ropes of each assigned trade. In addition to learning some new construction skills, she found out more about what a “partner family” needs to do to qualify for occupancy. The applying family not only must meet the qualifications for need and ability to repay the loan through an affordable payment plan, but must also spend 500 hours either participating in home building or volunteering at a Habitat for Humanity store.
At 4 pm the tired but fulfilled group shed their hard hats and work boots and called it a day. According to Brenda, “it was a great experience to be part of Habitat’s vision: ‘A world where everyone has a decent place to live’. The vision came to life when residents happily waved at us as they drove their children to school.”