Ottawa’s defence and military communities are no strangers to collaboration and physical work.
But building a house from the ground-up is a unique team-building challenge like no other.
Lockheed Martin, a global defence giant with a significant presence in the National Capital Region, has teamed up with Habitat for Humanity Greater Ottawa (Habitat GO) to sponsor military themed “build days” that brings its employees together while helping local families achieve affordable home ownership.
Janice Menezes, the chief financial officer of Lockheed Martin Canada, describes her firm’s build days as amazing opportunities for colleagues to foster closer connections.
“It builds a camaraderie and you really become more of a team,” she says. “Now I see people in the hallway that I only met through a build day, and you get this new special bond.”
With its business focusing on security and defence, Lockheed Martin was the perfect partner and sponsor for Habitat GO’s military build days, where veterans and military members are invited to help in the home construction process.
“It’s been a beautiful partnership,” says Alexis Ashworth, the CEO of Habitat GO. She adds that Lockheed Martin’s involvement of the military community brings a new dimension to Habitat GO’s homebuilding efforts by involving a diverse range of individuals with unique skills.
“Military build days are now part of our program, which greatly benefits everyone involved,” she says.
One of the most exciting parts of military build days is the friendly competition that usually happens to see who can get the job done fastest, says Menezes.
“It’s great to see even the military guys forget their ranks and their titles for the day, and work together on the same level,” she says. “It’s an amazing team-building opportunity, but also a chance to give back.”
More military build days are planned this fall, Menezes says everyone is gearing up and getting really excited.
“Doing good can be really good for business,” says Ashworth. “Participating in Habitat’s build days is not just giving to charity; it’s doing something that is going to increase the engagement of your employees and get people really excited about working for your company. Teams leave our build site excited and with a renewed energy that comes from knowing they’re helping to build a stronger community.
Supporting members of the military
As it looks towards its next project, Habitat for Humanity Greater Ottawa is looking to help local military or veteran families achieve affordable home ownership.
If you know anybody from the military community who is interested in purchasing a home through Habitat’s program, please visit habitatgo.com.
Recipients receive a manageable interest-free mortgage and are asked to contribute 500 volunteer hours towards a Habitat GO project.