On June 27th, the sun may not have been shining but we knew Genworth Canada employees were going to bring the heat! On this day, over 70 Genworth employees gathered in their parking lot to help build, design and create seven playhouses. This was the first playhouse challenge with Genworth and their creativity and teamwork was truly outstanding. Genworth has been a longstanding partner with us at Habitat Halton Mississauga and one we cherish as we both strive to work towards maintaining the dream of homeownership.
What makes this Playhouse Challenge special is Genworth decided to donate the playhouses they build to local charities around our community. So far, four of them will be donated to The Kerr Street Mission in Oakville, Halton Women’s Place in Milton, The Rock – Reach out Centre for Kids in Burlington and The Halton Children’s Aid Society in Burlington. Three of the playhouses are being decided where they will be donated to. We cannot thank Genworth enough for their continued support of Habitat and our mission to build safe, decent, and affordable homes for families in need in our community. Donating these playhouses to local charities takes our mission above and beyond and adds inspiration to the young minds who play in them for years to come.
About the Playhouse Build
Playhouse Build Challenges are unique and remarkable as they not only offer teams an opportunity to fully build a structure, but the challenge provides a sense of accomplishment as they build from start to finish. Genworth teams put an exceptional amount of passion, fun and creativity into the design of the playhouse.
Our first team of 35 volunteers arrived in the morning to build the structure. We made sure to get all of our volunteers geared up with their PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and ready for a safety orientation. After the volunteers were geared up, the teams had all hands on deck before the horn was blown!
The first set of teams, which consisted of seven groups of five, built from 9:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.and then the second set of teams painted from 1:00 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. Each team was given a theme: Boys will be Boys, Little Diva, The All Canadian Home, The Habitat for Humanity Home, The Genworth Home and Wild Card. The pre-planning that takes place prior to the playhouse build is incredible. Some teams had already drawn the playhouse, picked out their colours and already chosen their design!
The Genworth volunteers had support from Habitat throughout the day with either a staff or volunteer crew leader to assist them with the building of the playhouse. Our Habitat carpenters loved the challenge as they were working alongside their team creating surf boards, pineapples and other items made out of scrap pieces of wood.
The volunteers also had the Genworth Social Committee working alongside their colleagues all day. What made this Playhouse Build special from a Genworth perspective is that their internal social committee had all hands on deck, supporting their colleagues in every way possible. It was wonderful to have a combination of Habitat and Genworth both working together for a great cause.
After the horn blew at 3:30 p.m. to stop the teams from finalizing their playhouses and last minute touches, they tidied up and got their playhouses ready for judging! The judges of these playhouses consisted of our Habitat CEO, construction staff and Genworth employees. After anxiously waiting, the excitement on the volunteers faces could be spotted from a mile away; they could no longer wait to find out who won.
Our first place winner was The All Canadian Home, equipped with a custom made hockey stick table, beaver and Canadian flag affixed to the home. Mixed with bright red and white paint, this playhouse was shining with creativity, Canadian pride and lots of teamwork.
The second place winner was The Habitat for Humanity home, which had family written on both sides of the house in multiple different languages. This playhouse stood proud in blue and green Habitat colours with tools as door knobs and window openers. With our logo spread large across the roof, we definitely felt the Habitat love from this playhouse.
The judging was based on the build and construction of the playhouse, the first impression it gives, the creativity used when building and the team’s ability to connect it to the theme they were given.
Following the judging, we had a small awards ceremony with Genworth and Habitat. We were glad to have Stuart Levings, President and CEO of Genworth Canada in attendance. He happily gave us an overview of our partnership with Habitat across Canada and locally with Habitat Halton Mississauga from their home sponsorship to the Playhouse Build Challenge.
We also had Habitat Halton Mississauga CEO John Gerrard with us to provide his remarks on about partnership. Thanks to Genworth’s donation of $20,000 we will be able to help more families with decent, affordable and safe homeownership. CEO John Gerrard concluded the awards ceremony by driving home the message that these children’s playhouses will offer enjoyment and inspire imagination to the little minds that play in them for years to come.
If you would like to see more of our playhouses that were made, check out our Facebook page, or stop in to one of our ReStores to see what we have available.
Why Team Building Experiences are Important
Team building is a way for you and your colleagues to get out of the office and put your hands to work! Our Playhouse Build Challenges are unique and provide a way to put your creative skills to work.
We also offer an onsite construction experience on one of our Habitat build sites, where you can be part of creating a safe, decent and affordable place for a local family to call home. Our build day experience is where you can actually spend your day on one of our construction sites with our skilled carpenters to learn how to use tools and learn carpentry tricks. You can also spend a half or full day in our ReVive Centre upcycling items to be sold in our ReStores, or work in the ReStore itself spending time organizing and merchandising a variety of items.
If you’re interested in volunteering and donating your time, Habitat is definitely the place to help you and your colleagues with team building experiences. Check out our team building website for more information or information on how to book your Playhouse Build-A-Thon Challenge.