How Many People Does It Take to Revitalize a Neighbourhood? 95 Panasonic Canada Volunteers

On September 26th, 2019, 3 buses dropped off 95 Panasonic Canada employees at Ahneen Co-operative Housing in Mississauga. The Panasonic teams used over 100 paint brushes, 50 cans of paint, 80 hammers, and a lot of teamwork to help revitalize the 60 townhomes comprising the community. This was no small feat and it was all achieved with huge smiles on their faces (along with some pretty cool dance moves).

What a difference a day can make when you have helping hands and warm hearts. It’s really fantastic that all that work can be achieved in one day and obviously to the delight of all the residents of Ahneen Co-operative Housing.” 

Patti Kishimoto, Director, Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga

Pictured (from left to right): Panasonic Canada volunteers painting the park benches and taking a much needed dance break.

The Panasonic Canada buses pulled up bright and early into crowds of Habitat HM employees and volunteers cheering, a sea of pom-poms and the unmistakable beat of 80’s classics (Courtesy of Ron Finlay, Perpetual Rhythms Entertainment Services), setting the scene for a truly extraordinary day of neighbourhood revitalization.

We were honored to welcome a very important Panasonic Canada volunteer, Michael Moskowitz, the new (as of August) Chairman and CEO of Panasonic North America. Of all the places he could be, we asked Michael why he chose to come all the way from his office in New Jersey to be at our Brush with Kindness event.

“First of all, I’m Canadian and President of Panasonic Canada, so you know I have a soft heart for being here. We’ve been in Mississauga for 50 years and our company is 100 years old built on the principles around giving and collaboration, so it’s just natural that we would give something back to the community of Mississauga.”

Michael Moskowitz, Chairman and CEO, Panasonic North America

When you hear the name Panasonic, you typically think of appliances, TV’s, and cameras, but did you know that this diverse tech company also has a green side? Some of their quieter initiatives may come as a surprise.

“95% of our overall business in North America is non-consumer. So we do a lot of things that [you] probably didn’t even know about…We’re doing some great work around sustainable energy and smart cities and leveraging the technology that we’ve invented or developed in collaboration with others to improve cities and the well-being of individuals.”

Michael Moskowitz, Chairman and CEO, Panasonic North America

Through their core company values to support the surrounding community, Panasonic also recognizes that they are in a very fortunate position. They say that there is a need for support and so they feel it is their duty to answer that need. With a significant footprint in North America and a Head Office in Mississauga, Brush with Kindness was the ideal way for Panasonic Canada to give back to their surrounding community.

Throughout the day, they rolled up their sleeves and got down to business: revitalizing the children’s park…

gardening…

painting…

constructing park benches and picnic tables…

and even putting some extra TLC into the Ahneen Co-operative Housing neighbourhood sign!

As the day progressed, Habitat HM presented Panasonic Canada with a very special plaque in honour of their support for the community of Mississauga. In addition to participating in Brush with Kindness for the second year in a row, Panasonic Canada has very generously donated $100-thousand in cash and product donations to Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga in 2019 alone. Last year, they donated over $70-thousand. We can’t thank them enough!

Pictured (left to right): Patti Kishimoto, Director, Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga and Jan Gillespie, Vice President of Marketing, Panasonic Canada.

Pictured: Jon O’Brien, Sales Manager, Panasonic Canada installing their engraved plaque onto a newly constructed park bench.

“We [Ahneen Co-operative Housing] expected little things, maybe not so noticeable things, but what you have done is amazing…everybody was kind of like ‘Oh okay, they’re doing something,’ but this, this is not something, this is amazing guys.

Senad Senderovic, Board President, Ahneen Co-operative Housing

Pictured: Panasonic volunteers with Michael Moskowitz, Chairman and CEO, Panasonic North America, receiving a specially engraved hammer for their support in community building.

I’m super inspired when I leave here. I get back and I say, ‘We need to do that again!” So let’s rally our troops to do this again, when’s the next date we can put on and how can we get everybody on board? I feel that I’ve gotten to know some individuals better. I feel good about the way we feel and the way we are as a company because we know that we’ve made a difference.”

Michael Moskowitz, Chairman and CEO, Panasonic North America

As a Brush with Kindness packed up, the children of Ahneen flocked to the area, so overcome by excitement for their new playground. To be honest, I think they just couldn’t wait for us to get off so they could try it out for themselves.

Don’t worry kids, the playground is all yours! We hope you enjoy your revitalized space, Ahneen Co-operative Housing!

And until next year, Panasonic Canada! We can’t wait to do it all over again.

Are you interested in participating in our team building days such as Brush with Kindness? Check out https://habitathm.ca/teambuild/ for opportunities!

Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga is a proud member of our national organization Habitat Canada and is one of 54 local Habitat affiliates across our country. Habitat for Humanity brings communities together to help families build strength, stability, and independence through affordable home ownership. We provide a solid foundation for better, healthier lives in Canada and around the world. You can find out more about Habitat Canada at habitat.ca.

By: Rebecca Mitchell