How a partnership between Habitat for Humanity and a Australian company Merlin gave employees the chance to experience the nonprofit’s mission first-hand.

The past 18 months have impacted all Australians, particularly our most vulnerable families and communities. That’s why Merlin, Australia’s leading garage door manufacturer, partnered with Habitat for Humanity for its Brush with Kindness program.

Habitat for Humanity is driven by the belief that everyone deserves a safe and decent place to live. Their Brush with Kindness project mobilises teams of volunteers to conduct home repairs and maintenance for disadvantaged and socially isolated members of the community.

Merlin’s Queensland team travelled to Ipswich to lend a helping hand to a local family in need.

F&P caught up with Grant Emanuel, Marketing Director, International at Chamberlain Group (Merlin is a brand of Chamberlain Group) to discuss the project, the partnership, and what the Merlin team got up to on the day.

Tell us a little about Merlin?

Merlin is a brand of the Chamberlain Group, the world’s largest manufacturer of automatic garage door openers. Our global experienceand innovation have resulted in industry leading smart automation technology, safety, service and support, putting homeowners incontrol.

We provide access and knowledge to different types of people and for different events.

We are always looking to reinvest in our services and products, promote open communications and demand the highest ethicalstandards in all our relationships.

Has Merlin been active in the nonprofit sector prior to partnering with Habitat for Humanity Australia?

While we have always donated product and financial support to various charities over the years, Merlin’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity Australia is our first official partnership with a nonprofit.

Partnering with Habitat for Humanity has provided us with the opportunity to help more families nationally and internationally. Merlin was ready for a larger commitment where we could help improve the lives, accommodation and relationships of families and communities across the world.

How did Merlin and Habitat for Humanity Australia connect?

We wanted to connect with Habitat for Humanity Australia to help empower more families by providing shelter as this is one of our corebeliefs.

In Australia, there is a growing shortage of social and affordable houses. The current shortfall in social housing is estimated to be around450,000 dwellings.

Providing shelter and safe housing for Australians has always been a driving factor for us so the partnership with Habitat for Humanity Australia seemed like a natural fit, and it’s important that we can now work together to provide safe and secure accommodation forthose in need.

What was it about Habitat for Humanity Australia that attracted Merlin to become a corporate sponsor?

Merlin is of the firm belief that safe housing leads to stronger communities that can grow and sustain themselves.

We chose to partner with Habitat for Humanity Australia because Merlin is dedicated to providing safe and secure homes for families across the country. According to Habit for Humanity, over a million households in Australia are spending more than 30% of their income on housing. This means that so many Aussie families are often left with little money to maintain their homes.

A decent home provides much more than bricks and mortar. It’s the foundation for the future, giving families the opportunity to be healthier, happier, and more secure.

Having access to and feeling safe in your own home is a vision shared by both Merlin and Habitat for Humanity Australia. Thesecommon company values make the partnership between Merlin and Habitat for Humanity Australia the perfect fit, as we both work to provide safe housing for all Australians.

Tell us a little about the Brush for Kindness project.

Habitat for Humanity is a not-for-profit on a mission to ensure decent, safe, and secure housing for families across the world. Its Brush with Kindness project is a home repairs and maintenance program working in partnership with disadvantaged and socially isolated members of the community. It mobilises teams of volunteers to conduct landscaping and minor repairs to the homes of people living in poor housing.

As part of Habitat for Humanity Australia’s Ipswich Brush with Kindness project which we recently took part in, the Queensland teamof six worked to help turn the local Ipswich family’s three-bedroom house into a home. When the team arrived, the walls were a bit chipped and dull, however, throughout the day every surface of the home was painted, bringing new life to the space.

The Brush with Kindness project provided the Merlin team with the opportunity to take a hands-on approach to supporting those inneed. Throughout the day the team also had the opportunity to talk to Wendy from Habitat for Humanity Australia about other Brush with Kindness projects happening in and around the local community.

What was the experience and impact of the staff who volunteered?

The team were able to experience first-hand Habitat for Humanity’s mission. By volunteering on the Ipswich Brush with Kindness project the team saw how people can make a tangible difference to the lives of vulnerable Aussie families.

The staff emerged with a greater understanding of what a home represents. A home provides a sense of place and pride for people, so having a safe place for families to come together and share time with each other is so important.

At the end of the day, the team felt fulfilled knowing that they had made a difference. The house wasn’t in great shape when they first arrived but through teamwork and guidance from Habitat from Humanity, they were able to leave the space looking great.

The Merlin team came away from the day having given a family the strength, stability, and independence to build better lives.

What makes the partnership work?

Merlin and Habitat for Humanity are united by our common values and our commitment to safe and secure housing for families.

Our Merlin team thrives on being out in the community, seeing what needs to be done, and helping in whatever way possible.

Habitat for Humanity is similar in its approach and that’s why we are continuing our support of the Brush with Kindness projectshappening all around Australia. By helping these families and learning about their experiences, Merlin and Habitat for Humanity can better understand the needs of our communities and discover ways in which we can solve them.

Together, Merlin and Habitat for Humanity Australia are ready to continue supporting hard- working Aussie families in need.

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