Each year we present the Spark Outstanding Pro Bono Award at the Volunteer Manitoba Awards. We look forward to this day because it gives us a chance to recognize one of our volunteers and the impact their work has had on the community, as well as celebrate volunteerism throughout Manitoba.
A number of organizations we worked with this year nominated their Spark volunteer and wished to recognize them for their fantastic leadership and coordination, the outcome and impact of the match on the organization’s work, the depth and quality of their expertise, and their commitment to doing pro bono work for a stronger Winnipeg.
For the months of March and April, until the the awards night, we are celebrating these nominees for the Spark Outstanding Pro Bono Award, and their contributions to their community through a series of volunteer profiles.
Today we are profiling S3 Interior Design.
“Giving back is part of our company values”
It started with a simple email. Winnipeg Harvest, a community based food distribution and training centre, reached out to Spark for help. They had an empty and unused space in their building that they wanted to use for programming. They envisioned a space that could host volunteer and school groups, house seedlings for their garden program, and have a kitchen where youth can learn to prepare healthy foods. The challenge was turning this vision into a reality.
They needed help to conceptualize their dream space.
We called S3 Interior Design.
S3 is a local company specializing in both interior and commercial design that prides themselves on “creating spaces that are functional, aesthetically impact and eco-friendly.” The company began volunteering with Spark in 2013 because “giving back is part of our company values”, and have since completed 3 pro bono matches with us.
S3 made “what was once simply a dream, into a reality.”
Since the first introduction, the two groups work quickly- arranging check-ins and meeting frequently to ensure Harvest was happy with the developing designs. According to Grace Weigelt, Director of Community Engagement for Harvest, “with each meeting the space blossomed and [Harvest’s] excitement grew.”
The excitement came to a boil when S3 sent their final drawings to Harvest. Not only did the designs include everything on Harvest’s wish list but according to Grace, they created a space that is “destined to be a warm, bright, inviting space for children and youth from all walks of life.”
In addition to designs, Grace also noted that S3 “went above and beyond to provide us with a final presentation board, necessary for us to go out and seek funding to make the project possible.” It will “make what was once simply a dream, into a reality.”
Harvest expanding their programming
This reality includes the ability to “grow programs like Partnership for Change where schools and community organizations throughout Winnipeg come to Winnipeg harvest multiple times throughout the school year to learn about social justice, sustainability, and global citizenship in relation to the school curriculum”, as well as allowing Harvest “to expand the reach of [their] newest initiative, Breakfast 2Go, a new program for Winnipeg Harvest, where [they] pack two nutritious breakfasts that students receive on Fridays for the weekend.”
S3 took a neglected area and designed a space that will house school groups, community organizations, and allow Harvest to expand their programming to include new food initiatives.
The impact of their designs is huge and as a result S3 has been nominated for this year’s Spark Outstanding Pro Bono Award.
Thank you S3 for your incredible work on this project!