On May 1, Discovery House Family Violence Prevention Society hosted the grand opening of their new Child Development Centre (CDC), courtesy of Calgary-based software company, Pandell.
“This was not an ordinary project but Pandell is not an ordinary donor,” says Evie Eshpeter, Director of Philanthropic Partnerships. “Typically, corporate funders donate money with the expectation that certain criteria are fulfilled. Pandell not only funds the projects they support but executes them as well.”
Discovery House’s Child Development Centre sits in the heart of the shelter and is where critical prevention work with children takes place.
“We believe that kids are the key to ending domestic violence,” says Monique Auffrey, CEO of Discovery House. “Children who experience domestic violence at a young age are more likely to become victims or perpetrators later in life. But the adverse impacts of violence can be mitigated if caught and addressed early.”
Pandell’s renovation upgraded the CDC with a variety of activity stations tailored for different age groups, including the shelter’s first therapeutic sensory room. These new resources will facilitate Discovery House’s prevention programming and will be used to run interventions like Working with Kids, developed by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh; and ATTACH, developed by researchers at the University of Calgary and funded by the University of Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child.
“This is not just a renovation. The new CDC will change the lives of the hundreds of children who pass through our doors each day,” says Auffrey.
Founded in 1997 as a basement start-up with two employees, Pandell is now a booming energy software company with a team of over 185 employees and offices in Calgary, Houston, and Denver. It is part of the company’s ethos to engage their staff in meaningful philanthropic projects. Each year they select a charitable recipient and work with them to fulfill an area of need.
“We like to be very hands-on” says Karen Beagle, Marketing Manager at Pandell, who is leading the project on behalf of her company. “It’s really important that the project is meaningful, but also that it gives our entire staff an opportunity to be involved so they can truly understand the impact they’re having.”
The CDC renovation is Pandell’s most ambitious project yet. This year, the team raised more than $25,000, solicited in-kind donations valued at $10,000 and invested almost 1,200 hours to pull it off.
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