Yesterday, I had the privilege of presenting a partner family with keys to their new home at a Habitat for Humanity Home Dedication and Key Ceremony. For the first time, they were able to open their doors to a safe, clean and healthy environment. At the event, I joined TELUS team members, volunteers, corporate sponsors and community partners to dedicate the completion of six homes in the Kingsview Village neighbourhood in Toronto. It was the culmination of all our work as a team and a symbolic representation of our philosophy at TELUS – we give where we live.
Habitat for Humanity’s vision is ‘decent housing for all’. As a mom, that really resonates with me because I truly believe that all children should be able to live in a safe, secure and healthy environment. When I learned that I could lend a hand to help families living in difficult conditions in unsafe parts of Toronto, I jumped at the opportunity.
I first became involved with Habitat for Humanity through Connections, a network of women at TELUS. Connections supports the advancement of business expertise, mentoring and networking opportunities for women across the country. Over the past six years, more than 200 TELUS Connections members have dedicated countless hours to fundraise, roll up their sleeves, don hard hats and steel-toed boots to help build houses for those in need in our community. Together, we’ve raised more than $120,000 for Habitat for Humanity – and we’re not stopping there.
The great thing about Habitat for Humanity there is that they’re all about working side by side with partner families to provide them with a hand up, not a handout. The families who purchase homes are involved throughout the construction – the partner family we dedicated this house to has contributed 500 manual hours into the build site! Plus, to help them succeed in the future, they’ll take on an interest-free mortgage, attend home ownership and budgeting seminars and will continue to be involved with the organization. Most importantly, they’ll have a safe and quiet place for their children to live, learn, play and thrive well into the future.
I’ll never forget the looks on the faces of the parents and kids as we handed them their keys; the pride, the sense of accomplishment, and the relief of knowing their family was well cared for. I was humbled and honoured to be involved in their journey.
This October, I look forward to continuing my involvement as I take part in the TELUS Connections Women’s Build for the fourth year in a row. I will join dedicated women across TELUS to frame walls, dig a foundation, move lumber, clean up the site and much more. The Women’s Build is all about team spirit, fun and learning, all while working with a family to build a place they will soon call home.
Learn more about Habitat for Humanity and how you can participate in a build.
Lisa Richardson is the Vice-President and General Manager, BLACKS.