Many Hands marks two decades of community impact

Niagara College

from Niagara This Week:

A lot has changed over the years but, then again, much has stayed the same.

Since its inception 20 years ago, Niagara College’s Many Hands Project has grown immensely in scope from a humble build of a few sheds and gardens at All People’s Daycare in Welland with a budget of $5,000 to a $44,000 renovation at the Hope Centre in 2016.

While the size may have changed, at its core however the annual project — that on Saturday celebrated its 20th anniversary at Club Castropignano in Port Robinson with a Cowboy Boots Hometown Roots fundraiser — has remained the same, with event management students hosting fundraisers in support of a renovation or build for a Niagara charity carried out by construction students.

“In short it has changed completely and not at all,” said college associate vice president of academic and learner services David Veres. It was Veres who first came up with the Many Hands idea as the college prepared to launch its event management program. He admitted it was a wonder the project got off the ground, given the fledgling nature of the program.

“At the time we didn’t have a program, I didn’t have an idea of what we would be doing,” said Veres, who was able to launch the project thanks to a $5,000 donation from Canadian Tire Bank. Over the last two decades, Canadian Tire has continued that support.

“It’s still a catalyst for change,” said Veres, noting the project has annually made a difference while delivering experiential learning for students. While the first few may have been rocky Many Hands has since grown into a well-oiled machine according to Veres.

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