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My General Manager, Jamie Allen, came to me last year and explained that he had been approached by BC Woodworks, a non-profit association that helps developmentally challenged adults to integrate into the workforce, by training them in woodworking. They had offered to finish our cedar slats for our Columbia Picnic Table – our most popular table.
BC Woodworks would, Jamie explained, supply slats finished to our specifications. This would include getting quality cedar planks, drying and sorting them, sanding, edge dressing and finishing with Sikkens Cetol – as had all been done here in our plant. The work would be done by people who have a hard time, because of their challenges, gaining meaningful employment. It would be done for the same or less than what we were already paying, and we would be helping out a really good cause.
When you own a business, you have the ability to multiply your charitable donations, and – I believe – an obligation. Most business people feel this way. We can give to charities at home, but our businesses have the ability to generate much more towards good causes than we could easily contribute ourselves. Our colleagues at The Langley Concrete Group donate large amounts to cancer research. Having been touched by cancer as my family has – the Omelaniec family, owners of Langley Concrete, lost their father to this insidious disease – they are strong supporters of cancer research. At Sanderson Concrete, we applaud their efforts and try to do our small bit as well. If you’re in the market for civil infrastructure precast concrete products, Langley Concrete is the place to look.
Most business people I know will support numerous causes, but there is usually one that is dear to their heart. Some offer donations of cash or goods to help fundraise, expecting nothing more in return than a mention at the podium or the ability to take a business card to the donation as it sits on the prize table. Many will help Police associations, the Fallen Firefighter’s cause, cancer, heart disease or something a neighbor may be afflicted by. Then there are the larger causes that maybe hit closer to home – cancer and heart disease for me. My dad has heart disease and has had cancer and my mom has lost a large part of her family to this terrible disease.
It costs a bit of time and money, but I believe that you have to give back to the communities you earn your living in when and where you can. Sometimes, though, without looking and with very little effort or cost on your part, you are afforded an opportunity for your business to do some good. BC Woodworks has done this for us. We are not spending any more than we would anyway, and we can steer a little work towards a really good organization that is doing something important.
Recently, BC Woodworks had an open house, showcasing their work and introducing the guests to the workers. Jamie and I were fortunate enough to be invited and we met a couple of the guys who are finishing our cedar. It was a humbling experience for me. We were thanked by Kevin, Pratap, and Teri – the managers and director – for what we were doing, but we really didn’t feel like we are doing anything more than working with a new supplier. BC Woodworks is providing us a service, and they are doing a wonderful job.
We have a lot of great suppliers, many of whom we have done business with for over 25 years. And we can now proudly call BC Woodworks one of our suppliers. They finish our table slats and now our bench slats as well. I would encourage you to visit their website – especially if you are looking for a little cedar work. From gift boxes for wine to some beautiful garden furniture and custom work, these guys are really good.