A Look Back at 2018
A New Year gives us the chance to plan for the future and reflect on the past.
What a year 2018 was at Sifton, our 95th to be exact. We have learned and incorporated so many new things into our way of life. We wanted to build a better community for the future, one that is more sustainable and environmentally conscious, and the development of West 5 has shown what we’re truly capable of when we work together. With over 85 homes and 47,594 sq. ft. of commercial office space occupied in 2018, the families and occupants are making a difference today by being part of West 5, and perhaps more importantly for the future.
It’s very true that West 5 is about energy creation, preservation, and conservation, but it’s about more than that too. We work hard to make our communities about social connection, sharing and caring for family and neighbourhoods. I am so proud of every one of the individuals that work so hard to make Sifton the organization we’ve become. Being a part of such change is not easy and I want to recognize and thank the extended family of our employees for doing so much for the communities in which we live, work, and play.
Here are but a few of the things we accomplished together in 2018:
In 2018, to honour our 95th anniversary, we set a goal and asked our employees to volunteer in the community for a grand total of 950 hours. By year end we reached 2,377 hours. Our employees took part in many different initiatives; this included donating over 66 units of blood at the Canadian Blood Services, impacting nearly 200 lives through their life-giving generosity.
Our contributions to United Way, as part of their Best First Day drive, gave local kids a better start to the school year. And it didn’t end there. This past year in association with our employee matching program, we donated $95,000 to United Way and set a goal to repeat this in 2019. Our volunteers donated their time to the Ronald McDonald House, providing dinner and baked goods for families with loved ones in need. In fact, our very own executive chef at RiverBend Golf Club donated his time in order to provide family members with an extra special culinary dining experience.
This past summer, Sifton employees donated their time to London Urban Services Organization, providing breakfast for low-income families in the community. As well, they spent time at SARI Therapeutic Riding, donating supplies, cleaning the barn and helping with general upkeep. They volunteered for a week at My Sister’s Place in order to help serve lunch to women and girls escaping difficult situations. Our employees spent time educating and collecting donations at various restaurants around the city for the HIV/AIDS Connection as well.
From the London Health Science Foundation to Make-A-Wish, and the Heart & Stroke Foundation; from the Ontario Lung Association to Anova, and the Neighbourhood Resource Associations – I am so very proud of everything our team did to help those in need this past year. Thank you, each and every one of you who donated your time.
In 2018 we took West 5’s environmentalism and sustainability mindset across the city. Sifton planted 250 trees to our west London development. And since there is nothing as tasty as produce fresh from the garden, we planted community gardens throughout our Sifton communities, giving our residents the opportunity to grow their own food. We took part in the London Clean and Green – a city-wide initiative focused on cleaning litter and planting trees. As part of our 95th anniversary, we teamed up with local beekeeper, Heff’s Hives to bring hives to five new Sifton locations. At the height of the summer season, our hives were buzzing with over one million busy honeybees! If you asked me 5 years ago if we would be in the “bee care and housing” business I would have laughed, and yet here we are, because bees play a major role in pollinating flowers, fruits, and vegetables and are responsible for about 1/3 of all the food we eat.
During 2018 we were also acknowledged by our peers for our successes. With over 10 awards received in 2018, the list is too long for this post, however, of note are the 2018 Jim Kennedy Project of the Year Award for our West 5 Townhomes, the 2018 Enerquality Environmental Stewardship Award, and the 2018 EnerQuality Canada -Ontario Green Builder of the Year Award. We are making a difference, and Canada is paying attention.
I couldn’t have asked for a better year. I couldn’t have asked for better employees, and I couldn’t have asked for a better community. Thank you everyone. My heart is filled with pride.
Here’s to 2019 and the even more exciting year ahead.