Building a Better Life for Canadian Families

Sep 29 2017

Twenty-two Graham employees from our Edmonton and Winnipeg branches donated their time and construction expertise to Habitat for Humanity’s Carter Work Project this past July.

Former US President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter have traveled across the world for the past 30 years with Habitat for Humanity, donating their time to build homes for deserving families. In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, the duo brought the Carter Work Project to Canada to help Habitat reach their goal of building 150 homes across the country in 2017 – the organization’s biggest undertaking yet!

It was the experience of life-time for many of our employees.

"There were many memorable moments throughout my day-long Habitat experience," says Travis Gilson, Senior Project Manager. "It started with my arrival at the tent where volunteers are fed, prepped for the day’s activities and gather to end the day. It was here where I began to understand the magnitude of the Carter Work Project."

"I had always wanted to volunteer for Habitant for Humanity, but never really knew how to," says Jeff Bucci, General Superintendent, Edmonton, who volunteered as a crew leader for the week. "I wasn’t sure what to expect – should I bring tools? Would there be enough people to complete whatever task we were doing? I never even thought about the culture! Of our group, everyone was there with their heart – giving their time to help a family they didn’t even know. Jimmy Carter said it best, ‘you get more out of it then you put in!’"

In total, there were 75 homes in Edmonton and 25 homes in Winnipeg that needed to be built. Thirteen Graham employees in Edmonton and nine employees in Winnipeg helped make this happen! Together, they focused on construction tasks such as drywalling, baseboard installation, door installation, siding installation, painting, floor installation and much more. In addition to donating time and expertise, Graham also contributed with a CDN$50,000 sponsorship.

"For me, the most memorable thing was actually meeting the homeowners and seeing how truly grateful they were," says Melissa Gogal, Clerk. "What we built will benefit the owners for a long, long time. It’s a great reminder that if we all work together, the future will be better for everyone.

At Graham, we’re always looking for opportunities to make positive contributions to the areas in which we live and work. Habitat for Humanity aims to provide underprivileged Canadians with a safe, affordable and decent place to live. With Graham’s expertise in the construction, it seemed like a natural fit.

"One of the biggest successes I had was to be able to share my building knowledge with many of the volunteers so that I could contribute more than just the limited time I was there," shares Trevor Harrington, Senior Project Manager. "There were very few people with exterior siding experience however I was able to teach many volunteers the basics so that they could continue installation going forward."

"It means a great deal to me working with a company that gives back to the community," says Dillon Gretchen, QC Coordinator from our Winnipeg branch. "It’s a distinct and definitive way to show we care not only for the employees we have on all our job sites, but everyone within the community as a whole. Giving back to the community has been instilled in me from my first days at Graham and is a value that keeps growing stronger and stronger within the organization."