PROs Give Back: Donating Time and Services

These two companies are making a positive impact in their communities

PROs Give Back: Donating Time and Services

Gary Weiner, left, and Gina Damiano on site at one of the Paterson Habitat for Humanity projects.

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“We make a living by what we get. But we make a life by what we give.” 

Winston Churchill knew what he was talking about. But you don’t have to be a prime minister or even among his ranks to understand the impact of the simple act of giving.

PROs know that giving back to their communities is not just good business practice, it’s fulfilling on a personal level as well.

Take Katy and Dave McGregor, owners of Northern Disposal and Sanitation in Ontario. They’ve supported charities for the homeless and cancer survivors for years, but this year, Dave McGregor will be taking on his tallest challenge yet — he will don high heels for the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event to raise awareness of violence against women and girls. 

“I am so proud of him for doing this,” says Katy McGregor, who is vice president of the Muskoka Builders’ Association; Dave McGregor will be walking May 27 on the association’s Men with Tools team with several other men, hoping to raise $3,000 for the cause.

“I get this feeling like warm lava flowing in my belly when I know that as a person and as a business we’ve done some good for someone,” Katy McGregor says. “It’s a great feeling, and I know that if more young people just took a step toward volunteering, they’d feel it too.”

The McGregors have a daughter, so championing this cause is personal. “Violence happens so much now compared to when I was growing up. It seems to be all over. I truly commend these men. It’s not easy getting men to step out of their comfort zone. … And it’s a unique event where it wouldn’t happen if men didn’t participate.”

The McGregors also donate portable restrooms for the event, which could draw about 1,600 participants.

While Katy McGregor says it’s important to be leaders in the industry, it’s even more important to give back to their community. “Dave and I really love what we do. It’s really easy to write out a check, but it’s very difficult to commit time and volunteer.”

The McGregors also participate in Pumping for Patients — an initiative in which a portion of the cost of every septic tank they pump (and any pink restroom they rent) is donated to the Huntsville Hospital Foundation to support cancer care programs. And it was also their sixth year participating in the Coldest Night of the Year walk, in support of hungry, homeless, and hurting individuals across Canada. “It’s a true reality check.”

Donating services

About 1,000 miles southeast of Ontario in Keasbey, New Jersey, another waste management company is doing its part to share its good fortune and spread its name. Mr. John, a large portable sanitation company serving New York, New Jersey and the Philadelphia area, is continuing its work with Habitat for Humanity in Paterson, New Jersey.

In the past two years, the company has donated more than $200,000 in portable restrooms as part of its more than decade-long support of Habitat for Humanity. Mr. John has provided restrooms for 15 years, and in 2017, they donated $16,000 worth of units and service to the chapter in Paterson.

Gary Weiner, Mr. John president, hopes to continue these efforts. “You need to find ways to give back to the community, and it just seemed logical to support Habitat for Humanity across our service area,” he says. “Some Habitat volunteers are also construction workers, which is a major industry we serve. So it just makes sense to offer up this service. It makes a substantial impact in transforming these neighborhoods.”

Habitat for Humanity is a global nonprofit housing organization working in nearly 1,400 communities across the U.S.; it works toward its vision by building strength, stability and self-reliance in partnership with people and families in need of a decent and affordable home.

But when the houses are being built by volunteers, one thing often overlooked is access to restroom facilities. That’s part of why Mr. John got involved. 

“We get almost 4,000 volunteers a year at our sites,” says Gina Damiano, corporate development officer for Paterson Habitat for Humanity. “If we didn’t have Mr. John donating these facilities, our volunteers would have to spend time driving to and from our offices to use the bathroom, taking valuable time away from the project.”

Habitat is required to provide on-site restroom facilities to licensed subcontractors as well. So, Damiano says, “Not having to spend money renting (portable restrooms) also allows us to put that money directly into every home we build.” 

“It’s a needed service on the job site,” Weiner says. “It just makes sense to offer up a service like this; it’s an in-kind donation, and it makes a substantial impact.”


We know you don’t serve your communities for the recognition, but we’d like to acknowledge your contributions. If your company, or another PRO you know, is giving back and deserves some recognition, let us know about it. Email kim.peterson@colepublishing to be featured.


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