Once a year, a group of Be Green Packaging’s staff goes above and beyond the call of duty to donate their time, hands, and hearts to help build a house for a deserving family in Tijuana, Mexico. Tijuana is a large border city at the Northern end of the Baja Peninsula, that, like much of Mexico, has struggled for decades with large swaths of the city’s population living in poverty.
This year, Shala Kiewert, Senior Administrative Vice President, and Eva Van Wingerden, Director of Eco-Social Initiatives, spent the last weekend in April helping a team of like-minded volunteers as part of a larger effort by the non-profit organization, Corazon. The “Comunidad Corazon” project was founded by the organization as a way to help families who help themselves. Families that are eligible to receive a “free” house must meet certain requirements such as having their children enrolled in school and donating their time towards various community service programs. The program aims to not just provide housing for needy families but to establish a functioning, integrated community in the areas in which it operates.
Eva introduced the idea to Be Green as a way for staff to enrich the lives of others and their own simultaneously through selfless service. A program veteran, this year will mark Eva’s 5th house build. Although Be Green endorses the program wholeheartedly, the effort is made on the participants personal time and is completely voluntary.
“This was my second trip to Tijuana and both have been great experiences.” said Shala of the experience. “Its amazing when you sit behind a desk for most of the day to actually see what the work of your hands can do — to see the impact of your work in someone else’s life.”