We are fortunate to work with a dynamic and talented group of homebuilding professionals. Our clients wow us daily with their passion, dedication and innovation within the industry, and at times they overwhelm us with their commitment to community. Stepper Custom Homes is one such client. Since 2010, the Stepper team has travelled to the small Central American country of El Salvador on an annual mission to build dozens of safe, sturdy homes for the deserving people there.
The idea was sparked in late 2009, when Hurricane Ida devastated the already impoverished country, destroying over 16,000 homes and forcing thousands into hastily constructed, inadequate shelters. In partnership with Shelter Canada, The Stepper team stepped in to do what they do best – build homes for families.
With time, their singular mission to build homes expanded into a partnership with a group of local women (and one man) called The Sowers of Jireh. What started just a year ago as one person making quilts from recycled jeans, has now flourished into a fully functioning sewing center where women are able to learn a skill, receive a fair wage, and support their families through the creation of handmade quilts.
Upon learning of The Sowers of Jireh in 2012, the Stepper team committed to purchasing 100 quilts and giving them to new homebuyers in Canada as possession gifts. Murray Danyluk, Stepper Custom Homes’ Manager of Marketing and Communications, explains what it means to support the center.
“Not only did we see the impact that a new home has for the people of El Salvador, but the quilting center was just as important. When we go back each year to see our friends in El Salvador, we see and hear the stories of how the ability to work has changed the lives of the ladies there. They are able supply food for their families on a regular basis. Their kids can go to school and they can afford to have a home to keep them from the elements of weather in El Salvador. They also show so much pride in their work. They are so talented!”
Stepper Custom Homes’ site supervisors, who have all have been to El Salvador, personally give the gifts to homeowners at possession. “When they give the gift of the blanket to the home owners,” Danyluk explains, “they tell of their experience in building homes and hope for the people of El Salvador. They share pictures that they took and stories that they experienced. It is truly a life-changing experience. The response from the home owners has been great!” As part of the gift, Stepper also makes a donation to Shelter Canada on the homeowners’ behalf.
The Stepper Custom team will return to El Salvador in January and March of 2014 to build over 30 new homes. Since their first trip in 2010, they have built or contributed to build over 150 homes for the people in El Salvador.
For more information on Stepper Custom Homes’ work in El Salvador, visit www.Stepper Customhomes.com/in-the-community/el-salvador. You can also follow their El Salvador journey the first week of January at www.facebook.com/stepperhomes.