In 1941, Danish entrepreneur and inventor, Villum Kann Rasmussen, came up with an idea that would transform dark attics into livable spaces. His first roof window was patented in 1942. The company name, VELUX, was created to highlight the key benefits of his invention: ‘VE’, short for ventilation and ‘LUX’, Latin for the word light.
In 2016 VELUX celebrated 75 years of daylight and fresh air by sending a challenge out to over 9900 employees in 40 countries worldwide to engage in an event or team building activity using the number “75”. What resulted when VELUX Canada Managers sat down brainstorming ideas to make the challenge a reality? Arethea Harris, National Marketing & Communications Manager, explains, “We thought ‘why not 75 days of building?’ We are a supply manufacturer, this is our industry, we are a leader in our industry and that’s essentially how we connected our challenge with Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga (HFHHM).”
Nels Moxness, President & CEO, adds, “The fit’s really good. We are about creating better living space for the homeowner. Of course, that’s exactly what Habitat is doing, improving lives and building a better living space.” And their support didn’t end with the 75 days of building. VELUX Canada saw that there was a need for natural light in the units of the 13 townhome build they were working on and thought ‘wouldn’t it be amazing to bring ‘light’ into the new homeowners lives?’ They put a call out to one of their VIP Elite Installers, Snow’s Construction, and when company owner Patrick Snow heard the project was for Habitat, he committed immediately. Subsequently, 13 VELUX Sun Tunnels were installed in just 2 ½ days, providing Habitat families with the gift of ‘light’.
VELUX is no stranger to working with charities. Since 1971 and the formation of the VILLUM FONDEN foundation, a greater part of all company profits are donated back to society, having given away an equivalent of 1.4 billion Canadian dollars worldwide over the last 10 years.
When asked about their Habitat experience and what they learned over the 75 days, Arethea comments, “Giving back to the community was really wonderful. Words cannot describe the feeling knowing that you helped a family who is now able to live in a well-built, well-lit space. Overall, it was a special experience. The team building was something that we got out of the process that we weren’t expecting. We created lasting memories our employees will never forget.”