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Building a greenhouse, building community

by Amy Bunton
July 13, 2016

Community investment, Employee volunteering


Think of the most complicated piece of Ikea furniture you have ever built. Then, multiply the number of tiny pieces by ten, add 25 degree weather with a beating sun plus a sweaty hard hat. Sounds fun, right?

When it's helping a good cause, hard work is always fun!

On June 16, a group of FortisBC managers and supervisors from Vancouver Island came together to test their instruction-reading, communication and perseverance skills to help build a greenhouse for the Powell River Brain Injury Society (PRBIS)
PRBIS was nominated by Councillor Maggie Hathaway, at the 2015 Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) conference, to receive a $15,000 community investment donation from FortisBC. The funds were used to purchase the materials for the year-round greenhouse. The society's vision is to include year-round gardening as part of their client programs; offering a sense of ownership and community to their members while helping them learn about gardening, nutrition, meal-prep and business. The group plans to sell their canned salsas at the local farmer's market! 

"When we heard that the society needed help putting the greenhouse together, we jumped on the opportunity. It’s a great way to see FortisBC's support come full circle; from donating the money to actually building the greenhouse," explained Carmen Driechel, Community and Aboriginal Relations Manager. 

Dave McColm, operations manager, described his involvement in the day, "I am proud to work for a company that not only provides funding for initiatives like this, but also encourages employees to get out and help the communities we serve every day." 

One of our long-time local contractors, Shaun Gloslee Excavating, also donated his afternoon to help the group put the greenhouse together. "It was a great day for two local companies to come together and encourage a sense of community in Powell River," said Shaun.  

The PRBIS provides services and support to persons in our community who are living with the effects of acquired brain injury. The society believes it’s important that clients learn skills and rebuild their lives so they can go on with living the best life they can following a split second that changes their lives forever.

Each year, FortisBC provides funding and employee volunteer hours for a variety of initiatives that work towards making local communities a brighter place. This initiative is one example from the many community giving days that our employees participate in throughout the year and across our entire service territory.  Any charity or nonprofit project, service or initiative within our service territory that is interested can review our community investment guidelines.


Watch this video of the group working on the green house: