Mar 17, 2016 3:59 PM
I started working at Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North at the end of December through the ‘Get Youth Working’ program, a government-funded program that helps BC youth “improve existing skills and gain new ones through practical experience and training.” My job at Habitat is to research and write grant applications, meaning I write applications seeking funding for our various programs, build projects, equipment, and more.
I recently graduated from the Writing and Publishing Diploma program at Okanagan College, but I had no prior experience with writing for grants. Luckily, I was provided with plenty of guidance, both in researching grant opportunities and with my writing. The ‘Get Youth Working’ program also covered some training. So far, I’ve taken one online grant writing course, and I’m almost done a BCIT course on fundraising. I’m also set to attend a one-day grant writing boot camp at SFU.
I was thrilled to get a job opportunity with an affiliate of a charity I really admire. However, even though I thought I knew about Habitat for Humanity, I soon found there was a lot I was unaware of. For example, I didn’t realize how many hours of work partner families put towards building their own or another family’s Habitat home. I think it’s really neat how Habitat provides an opportunity for empowerment and self-reliance, rather than just “giving away” houses like some might think.
I had never worked at a non-profit before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was happy to find that the Habitat staff genuinely and passionately cares about the cause they serve. At our staff meetings, regardless of whether we’re discussing a fundraising event, raffle, or the ReStore, it always comes down to our primary mission of building houses and helping families. It’s very inspirational to work with such a passionate and caring team. I feel very grateful to have the opportunity to work for such an amazing organization, and I’m excited to learn more about the nonprofit sector.