Build Days

Get ready for a truly rewarding experience.

Habitat for Humanity Canada’s team building opportunities offer organizations a chance to invest in their employees while making a real difference in the lives of hard-working families and the communities in which they live.

Just like future Habitat homeowners do prior to purchasing their Habitat home, your team members will come together on a Habitat build site, roll up their sleeves and work together to help build a safe, decent, and affordable place that a family in need will one day call home.

Habitat’s team building opportunities are an experience like no other. When your team arrives on the build site, their job titles will disappear. Employees of all skill levels – beginner to professional – will learn useful skills as they work side-by-side in a safe environment under the leadership of experienced Habitat crew leaders. While the work will be challenging, it will also be rewarding. Together, your team will have fun, connect with their fellow colleagues in a truly meaningful way, and leave the build site proud of their accomplishments, their colleagues, and their organization.

We created these options so that you can build a better workplace culture while giving back to your community.

When your group or organization participates in one of our team building pportunities, everyone wins. Your colleagues will roll up their sleeves, and join forces toward a common goal. They will be inspired to work together while learning new skills. At the same time, your organization is demonstrating its commitment to improving the community and championing the cause of affordable homeownership.

Habitat Build Days offer the quintessential Habitat experience. When your  team participates in a Habitat Build Day, they’re helping to build a home at one of our many Habitat build sites across the country.While building your team, you’re building a stronger community.

Included in every Habitat Build Day:

  • Lunch and snacks
  • Commemorative team photo
  • Commemorative Habitat Build Day t-shirts
  • Company-wide invitation to attend groundbreaking ceremony
  • Company-wide invitation to attend dedication ceremony
  • Dedicated Habitat Build Day coordinator

We also provide:

  • Invitation to Habitat Canada partner events
  • Company partnership feature in Habitat Canada Open House, internal national newsletter
  • Use of Habitat Canada name and logo with "Proud Supporter of" messaging in internal communications only
  • Certificate of appreciation
  • Habitat Canada annual report

A Build Day Story

“This is where we started. Pulling weeds from back patios,” says Robbie Munn as she and Sue Lasby rake in some topsoil around one of the duplexes at Habitat Village. Munn is one of dozens of Bank of Montreal executives who have been coming to the Sunshine Coast from the lower mainland for the past five years to help build affordable housing for struggling families.

Carol Carr-Andersson, a financial planner for both BoM branches on the Sunshine Coast, is the point person for this group of volunteers. She begins planning for the annual work day four months before they arrive, polling participants to find out what skills they have, and matching them to needed jobs on the site.

Building skills, however, are not necessarily a prerequisite. “Do I have building skills?” asks Mahiyan Mehta, a financial planner from North Vancouver. “Not at all.” Although he describes himself as a labourer, he does wield a mean carpenters’ level as he works with other volunteers to build a recycling station on the site. “We generally enjoy these volunteer days. I wish we could do it more.” In his five years of volunteering at the Habitat site, he has also done landscaping, roofing and siding.

The Bank of Montreal is a big supporter of volunteer work through its Days of Caring program. During the month of June, all bank employees are given time off to volunteer at a project. This particular group chose to help the Sunshine Coast Habitat for Humanity chapter because the lower mainland already has a large pool of volunteers, Carr-Andersson says, but the beauty of the coast is also a powerful inducement; many of the volunteers stay an extra day or two to enjoy all the coast haves to offer.

Although volunteering on the coast does require a small bit of sacrifice — the participants pay for the ferry ride over and cover their own meals and accommodation — the rewards are more than enough compensation. “There is a real sense of pride with what we can accomplish in one day. I have been told that one day for all of us (this year there were 30 adults, two kids and one dog) can equal six or seven weeks of normal volunteer help.” Andrew Hung, regional vice president for North Shore and Vancouver Downtown has volunteered at Habitat Village with his wife, Kira, for four years, but this is their son Ethan’s first year.  “We thought he was old enough to do some hard work now,” Kira says. Why does this family feel volunteering is important?  “It is so impactful for the community. It’s not always about money. It is good to do something physical to help.”

Kate Giannotti has volunteered here for three years, and this is the second year for her son, Keagan Lidstrom. While her son put his back into some pretty serious topsoil shoveling, Giannotti was putting down flooring — quite a skilled job. “My dad was Italian. He helped me install my own floor a couple months ago, and he is the kind of guy who,  if he agrees to help you, you better help, too.  He teaches you while he helps you.”

Carr-Andersson, who paid for lunch for the volunteers and hosted a barbecue at her home in the evening, says the group went home tired but happy. “Everyone was so thrilled with all that we were able to accomplish. This year there was more complex work than in previous years, so it required more skills versus labour. That being said, it was very satisfying to walk away at the end of the day feeling like we made a great impact for the families.”

She encourages other businesses to reach out to Habitat.  “You don’t have to bring 30 people. Even five people can accomplish a lot.”