A dozen Cargill employees honed their painting skills during a Day of Caring at the Islamic Social Services Association (ISSA) on Wednesday.
“Cargill is really aligned with the United Way Day of Caring because we want to give back to the community in terms of volunteer hours, not just donations,” said Derek Penner, an accounting supervisor at Cargill, from atop a ladder.
“And apparently we all just discovered we’re painters.”
The Cargill painters applied a combination of gold and beige, giving a new feel to the ISSA space, which gets used for counselling, mediation, referral services and youth and after school programs for Winnipeg’s Muslim community.
ISSA office coordinator Irene McConachy said the old paint could not be washed. Efforts to do so left it splotchy and looking worse.
“It was just horrible. The people who were in here before were here for 30 years.”
She said imprints from pictures, and even the shadow of a coat hanger on the back of a door, could not be wiped away.
“When you came in and the impression is, ‘don’t they ever wash their walls?’ that sort of reflects on the organization.”
Irene was thrilled with the change as the Cargill crew advanced through the rooms.
“It’s fabulous. It gives a very professional look. It’s going to be nice to work in this space and give a warm welcome to clients that come here.”
Beyond social services, ISSA works to educate the public and about Winnipeg’s Muslim community.
“Muslims are the same as everybody else. They go through the same struggles – they worry about how they’re going to pay the rent and about sending their kids to school.”