Nissan Canada Foundation is no stranger to working with charities. Created in 1993, the Foundation aims to deliver on Nissan’s corporate vision of enriching people’s lives, by improving the quality of life in the communities in which Nissan operates. Their actions are aligned with Nissan’s three chosen areas of focus; the environment, education and humanitarian relief. The Foundation establishes lasting partnerships, ensuring its efforts lead to making long-term tangible differences in people’s lives that will continue to impact for years to come.
In 2008, Habitat for Humanity Canada’s lasting partnership with the Foundation was formed. To date over 1,000 employees from Nissan dealerships and head office have volunteered over 8,000 hours to build 50 homes across Canada.
On July 24th as part of their 25th anniversary celebrations, Nissan came out to Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga’s (Habitat HM) Crew-Goetz Landing build in Burlington to leave their mark. They braved the heat and started the framing process, erecting walls on our latest 18 unit project.
An added bonus to make the build day experience even better the employees had the opportunity to work alongside Bryan Baeumler, HGTV host and DIY expert.
Bryan has a history of giving back. He explains, “I think affordable housing is important in our communities. Working with a partner like Nissan Canada that shares the same values we do, we have skills, we have manpower, we have time and giving back is important. I think giving back to our community and helping out our neighbours is the only way to make our entire community successful.”
So why would a company want to celebrate their 25th anniversary by coming out to a build site on one of the hottest days of the summer when they could just as easily host a party for their employees and reward them with food and drink?
Something unique happens on a Habitat build site when you shed your everyday work clothes and change into our uniform. The work boots, vest, hard hat and tool belt transform you. They equalize you and they unite you. Because for those six hours you are equal, no man or woman greater than the other. Whatever your role in the corporate world, you are a team reliant on each other to reach a common goal to help others. And that is the magic that happens on site.
In this digital world of faces planted in electronic devices checking to see the latest posts on our friends lives and measuring how our own life stacks up, we have lost sight of what really matters.
Nissan Canada Foundation knows that the best gift they can give their employees is the opportunity to be part of something bigger than themselves. Through building with Habitat, Nissan provides an outlet for their employees to participate and to give back instead of just observing from the sidelines.
Joni Paiva, President of Nissan Canada, reflected on his build day experience.” My father was a stonemason in France. He built houses from stone…today I learned to build a house from wood.”
There was pride and a sense of accomplishment in his statement. For one day he wasn’t the President of Nissan Canada; he was his father’s son, learning to build and following in his footsteps.
That is the power of the build experience. Nissan is a true believer in that power.
And they have also contributed financially to prove it. As well as their support of Habitat Canada nationally they are a Home sponsor of one of the 18 townhomes at Habitat HM’s Crew-Goetz Landing project in Burlington and recently became the Foundation Partner of the Bristow-Law build In Malton, Mississauga.
That hot summer day in Burlington as the walls were being framed and erected, the homes started to take shape. Nissan employees could be seen smiling, high fiving and working together with the common objective to help build a safe, decent affordable “home,” one filled with possibilities and progress. Joni Paiva explains “Offering a safe place for somebody to live that fits perfectly with our vision.”
If you are a Manager, CEO, or President of a company and you are reading this before you book that Christmas party or social gathering, think instead about giving your employees the gift of building. For one day the digital devices are put away and teams learn a valuable skill while bonding in a common goal. There is nothing more rewarding than giving back while at the same time receiving so much.
We at Habitat HM have seen amazing things happen when groups come together on the build site.
July 24th marked a special day for Nissan Canada Foundation , a day we were proud to host.
As the day came to a close and the boots, hard hats, vests and tool belts were taken off and the employees returned to their cars heading back to their everyday lives. They were exhausted and exhilarated at the same time, smiling and looking back on what they had accomplished together. Every time they travel on the busy QEW and drive by the build site they can look over and know… I helped build that home.
On that day Habitat HM and Nissan Canada Foundation were united in a common goal sharing the belief that everyone needs a place to call home. No matter who we are or where we come from, we all deserve to feel strength and stability day after day. To know we have the power to take care of ourselves and build our own futures.
Through affordable homeownership, we can change lives and empower.
Thank you Nissan Canada Foundation. With companies like you by our side we know we can make a difference!