Heading out of town this weekend?


Johan posing for photo with Habitat for Humanity representative

Well yes.

Johan MacKenzie, Tocci’s comptroller, heads out Sunday evening for her Habitat Global Village trip to Cape Town, South Africa.  This trip is a culmination of her service projects over the past 12 years. A frequent Habitat volunteer, and more recently an annual New Orleans volunteer, she yearned for a greater challenge and a truer test of her mettle. This yearning led her to apply for a spot on Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village team.

To her delight her application was accepted—she was properly vetted, her references approved, background check cleared– but a bit daunted by the money she needed to raise:  over $6,000. Resourceful as ever, she applied to her church for a grant to pay for her flight, dipped into her savings for personal expenses, and asked Tocci for a donation.

Donation? No, this type of effort—using your vacation to help people who lack the means to help themselves—deserves a matching grant. Tocci began a program for employees to apply for a matching funds grant, where the company matches employee donations for projects in line with Tocci’s vision and values.

In April we kicked off the program at a Wednesday morning coffee break and followed up two weeks later with a fundraising lunch: homemade meatball subs ‘n salad where we raised $310. A great beginning.

Mid-May when all the donations were counted and matched, and the check was written out for Habitat, we were close to our goal of $2200. Not bad for our first shot at Tocci-wide charitable giving, not bad at all.

Johan has promised to communicate via a blog—hoping to have internet access. We look forward to updating you on her progress as her team builds a world away.

I’m excited to be traveling to South Africa as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village program. I’ll be working side-by-side with people who need a decent place to live, helping to build simple, affordable houses.

Please visit my Habitat Web page, where you can learn more about my trip.