Since 1996 Magna IV Engineering has been a proud supporter of the United Way Alberta Capital Region and in that time we have raised over $268,000! We support the United Way because of the confidence we have in their ability to make a real and lasting difference in our community.
This year we were happy to include Coats for Kids & Families and the Edmonton Food Bank as additional areas to donate. As well as all the proceeds raised at our 5th Annual Chili Cook-off was donated to our campaign.
With the support and participation in our 2015 United Way Fundraisers, Magna will again make a difference in our community! This year we raised $22,221!
2015 United Way Edmonton Engineering Day of Caring
On September 18, 2015, seventy-five volunteers from Edmonton’s engineering community descended upon an apartment complex in East Edmonton. The goal? Transform the mostly empty courtyard of Northstar Apartments, a low income housing project associated with Boyle Street Community Services, into an exciting new community space for its residents.
The residents and the planning committee were equally excited about the project right from the start. One of the most excited residents was an avid gardener. The committee met him early on in the planning phase, and it was on his personal request that one of Magna's employees be tasked with designing a cold frame. It was always the plan to go above and beyond the residents’ expectations, so it was a no-brainer to make the cold frame happen and to make it sturdier and more beautiful than this resident had envisioned. When the resident saw the completed cold frame, he was over the moon, and with an unabashed grin on his face, he told the volunteers about next spring's gardening plans.
To go with the cold frame, volunteers built four raised garden boxes. Before the Day of Caring, the Northstar residents only had a small herb garden and a few decorative flower beds, not suitable for growing food. Now, with a new 80 square foot garden space, they plan to grow their own vegetables, reduce their grocery bills, teach their children where food comes from, and are excited to enjoy delicious, home-grown, fresh produce. The garden boxes were made even more special when volunteers and residents were invited to decorate the boxes with painted handprints.
The Northstar property had an existing deck which was used heavily by the residents for everything from lounging in the sun to full-blown Thanksgiving dinners. It was great to be able to improve such a central part of the community. Magna's crew took charge of the deck project, and we are very pleased with the results. The deck is now ready to take on many more years of community events, especially since volunteers assembled three new beautiful cedar picnic tables, two full sized, and one just for the kids!
The most obvious and substantial change to the Northstar property was the addition of a brand new playground, complete with a poured rubber mat ground surface, and a set of four swings. Prior to this project, parents of the dozens of young kids that live at Northstar were wary of going to the neighbourhood playground being unsure of what foreign objects might be found in the sand. Now, their playground is within a fenced courtyard, visible from half of the units in the building, complete with a safer, poured rubber surface. The playground was an ambitious project which required excavation, gravel placement and compaction, post hole augering, assembly and installation of the playground equipment, concrete pouring, and finally, pouring the rubber mat surface. Outside help was arranged and donated for the excavation, concrete pouring, and rubber mat installation. Volunteers did everything else, and the finished result is spectacular!
Overall, the 2015 Day of Caring was a huge success! The Northstar residents were overwhelmed by the hard work put in, the quality of the projects completed, and the sheer number of volunteers that were on hand to help out. Thanks also to the residents of Northstar for putting on a fantastic lunch. Despite the current economic climate, there were a record 18 participating firms, taking part to make a real difference in the lives of less-fortunate Edmontonians. That is something we should all be proud of.