Owners and operators of Invermere Home Hardware, Al and Lucy Miller, recently had the chance to help build a school in Mexico as part of a program through Home Hardware Stores Limited.
“The complete company from coast to coast took onthis program five years ago. We, through the building centre side of the business, go south for a convention each year. It was decided that it would be nice as part of the convention to reconstruct, build something new or improve the conditions of a local school,” Al Miller said.
This year the group went to a small village in Mexico and built a brand new building along with an outdoor playground area for the students.
Almost 250 people came out as a part of the group this year to help with the build.
Along with the help of a contractor the managed to complete the school in just a couple of days this time around.
“The contractor worked with the school board and they put the structure together to a point. We then went in as volunteers to do painting, landscaping, plumbing, electrical, hanging doors and windows and building equipment for the kids to play on,” Miller said.
He went on to explain that what had been there before was a shanty.
“I give the people credit. They literally have nothing but yet make it work.”
During the week different shifts went out to the project and completed it to the point that plants were in the ground and children were trying out their new play area.
“When you see their little eyes sparkle and tears in the teachers’ eyes, it is pretty impressive,” he said.
being a part of many different communities is part of the reason Al enjoys his connection with Home Hardware.
“Certainly as being a part of Home Hardware I enjoy all facets of the business. The community aspects of the business is something I really enjoy. To go down there and be a part of a much bigger thing in a community. Doing whatever it takes is fun and everybody joins together to do it,” Miller said.
Through the schools Miller hopes that the children of the area will benefit for many years to come.
“I think any time you can feel pride in what you are doing it will give you higher expectations in life. You will drive harder. This year we took a look back at the other projects that we have done and they are being well kept. The communities are very proud of them. In some cases the locals in the community have added more to the building.”