Helping Hands in Action (HHIA)
Employees & Retirees in the Community
Did You Know?
- 2016 Projects: 301 completed
- Projects include: Construction of playground areas, gazebos, camp shelters and walking trails
- Who: Union Gas employees and retirees
Union Gas employees and retirees are committed to working to enrich the quality of life in their communities and one way they do this is through the company’s Helping Hands in Action (HHIA) program.
Through the HHIA program our employees, retirees and their families and friends contribute their "sweat equity" to projects that improve, renovate or add tangible value to non-profit and charitable organizations in their communities. In addition, the company supports these employee-led projects with community improvement grants of up to $1,000 each to purchase supplies and materials for the completion of the projects.
In 2016 alone, 301 HHIA projects across Ontario were completed. In fact our employees and retirees volunteered more than 8,884 hours to the communities where they live and work. Employees and retirees demonstrated their giving spirit and commitment by donning gardening gloves and safety gear and getting out their hammers, paint brushes and cooking utensils.
Union Gas Employees Give Back to Walpole Island
Union Gas employee volunteers till compost into the soil of the Walpole Island community garden
A team from the company's corporate office came together to complete a Helping Hands in Action event for Bkejwanong First Nation on Walpole Island. These employees traveled to Walpole Island in support of the "Food for Our Future Coalition" project.
The goal of this project is to establish a community garden on Walpole Island for the use of local residents. The garden is entirely organic, providing residents with access to healthy, natural foods. A variety of plants are being grown there for use as traditional medicines. The garden not only provides benefit to the residents, but also to the health of the community.
Fourty Union Gas employees tilled compost into the soil of the one-acre garden as well as built a fence to surround it to protect it from local wildlife.
After a morning of hard work, a delicious traditional meal, which included a selection of fish, moose, salad, fried bread and desserts, was served to the volunteers. Accompanying the meal was a lively performance of native music.
Chief Joseph Gilbert provided the traditional blessing for the meal and thanked the volunteers for helping to make this a successful project for the Walpole Island residents.
Food for Our Future Coalition officials Dean Williams (president) and Clint Jacobs shared some of the history of the Bkejwanong First Nation and information on the local environment. Both stressed the importance of this garden to their community and thanked the Union Gas employees for their efforts.
"Going back to our traditional ways of using the land for our own resources is paramount to our strength and healing as a whole," said Williams.