WGI Donates more than $50,000 in cladding to Haiti Housing Charity
A shipping container full of furniture, doors, beds, mattresses and 27,000 pounds of metal departed Brandon on Thursday morning for a journey that will take it to Canada’s east coast and beyond.
All of the items are destined for Haiti, contributing to a transitional housing complex being built by Brandon-based charity Live Different.
The metal, which will be used for the cladding in the complex, was donated by Behlen Industries for the project.
Also donated was the use of Behlen’s east end facility to package the Haiti-bound goods and prepare them for shipment.
Originally loaded onto a detached flat-bed trailer, several Behlen workers worked together Thursday morning to slide the package into an empty shipping container on a trailer hooked up to a truck.
Live Different CEO Charles Roberts said Behlen’s donation started to materialize in 2018, when he encountered Behlen owner Russ Edwards at the charity’s annual gala at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Edwards made a commitment to help with the project.
Formerly based in Toronto, Live Different closed its office at the beginning of the pandemic and started to have its employees work remotely. Roberts and some of the staff live in Brandon, which has become the charity’s official address.
"Our mission is to empower and engage youth into a lifestyle of compassion and service," said Roberts. "It’s about getting outside yourself and serving other people and caring for other people. Holistically, our organization does motivational assemblies and work with high school students all across Canada. We do a lot of work in Indigenous communities and northern Manitoba."
They also arrange for trips to foreign countries. To this point, Roberts said Live Different has built more than 500 homes and a dozen schools in four different countries: Haiti, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Thailand.