Admittedly, furniture isn’t high on Darren Prather’s wish list.
Prather is principal at Calgary’s Christine Meikle School, whose 75 students have moderate to severe developmental disabilities, and complex learning, medical, and emotional needs. Some students are able to operate with a degree of independence, while others—including teens afflicted with cerebral palsy, mobility issues, and autism disorders—need care 100 percent of the time.
“The programming we provide is critical to the Calgary Board of Education’s commitment to inclusive and personalized learning opportunities,” says Prather. “And to do that, we need multiple types of specialized equipment, and unique teaching strategies.”
Still, Christine Meikle has logistical needs like any other school—to a much higher degree right now, actually, since the school will relocate in December 2016 to a more appropriate CBE space in the Varsity Acres neighborhood that will accommodate 125 students.
That’s where Project: ONE has helped out. The extensive renovation of Enbridge’s corporate head office, at Calgary’s Fifth Avenue Place, wrapped up late last year after more than three years of activity. Project: ONE presented a great opportunity for Enbridge and Green Standards, a specialized Canadian sustainability firm, to repurpose and recycle quality office furnishings while also diverting considerable waste from landfill sites.
Project: ONE provided more than $150,000 worth of in-kind donations to 24 local non-profit organizations – including Christine Meikle School, which received hundreds of pieces of office furniture including computer desks, chairs, bookshelves, and filing cabinets.
Prather says the new furniture will help make the school’s classrooms – including multi-sensory rooms, which create a calming effect and help make the brain more receptive to learning – more attractive and inviting.
“This is better furniture than we ever had,” says Prather. “This generous donation will allow us to meet the furnishing needs of most of the new school . . . and the funds we’ll save will help us better meet the needs of our students.”
Other beneficiaries of Enbridge’s Project: ONE furniture redistribution include Distress Centre Calgary, the Community Kitchen Program, the Chestermere Food Bank, STARS, the Almadina Language Charter Academy, Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta, and Foothills Academy.
With a population of 275, Foothills Academy serves students with learning disabilities and ADHD – and the furniture donation from Project: ONE has helped refresh and update several areas of the school.
“We want to give each student the resources needed for success,” says school director Simon Williams. “Any dollar saved through donations is invested back to the students who require individualized programs, which is greatly appreciated.”
Through our partnership with Green Standards, 97 per cent of Project: ONE’s office materials—or 304 tonnes—were diverted from landfill sites. That’s the equivalent of:
“Enbridge is committed to making life better in the communities near our projects and operations. This is a tangible example of how we turn that commitment into action,” says Marc Weil, Enbridge’s Calgary-based Vice President of Human Resources.