International Teams Canada’s national office operates essentially as a strategic hub, providing support for missionaries and indigenous leaders as they work on 15 major international development projects that serve widows, orphans and refugees in Canada and around the world.
2012 has been an exciting year for International Teams Canada, in part because it is the 10-year anniver- sary of national office staff moving into their new home on the second floor of 1 Union Street in Elmira. This office space was secured on a long-term lease with low rates and renovated to provide office and meeting space for what was, at the time, a small team of 12 people. It is a great building in a convenient location and the 2002 leadership team were confident in its flexibility and ability to adapt to a growing organization.
Every day, the staff members meet together on Union Street to process donations, manage finances, collaborate with international leaders, create newsletters, mobilize and support some 60 short-term mission teams, submit government reporting, receive oversight from the Board of Directors, and work in partnership with the various department and program directors to plan and implement new initiatives.
Neil Ostrander, CEO of International Teams Canada, says the number of staff has grown significantly in recent years. “Our national office team has effectively doubled since we first moved into this space, and our recent partnership with Careforce International has been a welcome source of personnel growth as well. A thorough assessment of our office structure at the end of 2011 led us all to the same conclusion: the space was no longer allowing our growing team to work as efficiently as we would like. The best way to remedy this problem was to begin our first construction project in over 10 years.”
Sandy Bender, a local contractor and long-term supporter and friend of International Teams Canada, did the general contracting for the project, based on a wonderful floor plan by staff member Karl Gingerich. Together with a team of volunteers, they maximized the space and minimized the overall costs. Much of Sandy’s labour was donated to the cause and Neil says they are grateful for his generosity and expertise. The end result is 4 new offices, along with 4 additional workspaces – all of which allow the team to work more efficiently in the existing space.
One of International Teams Canada’s core values is to maintain low overhead costs, so more donor funds can go directly to providing life’s necessities to widows, orphans, and refugees around the globe. Because of this, Neil believes an investment in infrastructure is also an investment in community transformation. “Please consider supporting International Teams Canada with a financial gift as we raise $10,000 to offset the costs of the renovation. A gift of any size toward this capital investment will allow us to keep overhead down, so that our other donor support can continue flowing out of Union Street and into the homes, churches, schools, and refugee camps of the 15 countries we serve!”
To contribute to the project, visit www.iteams.ca/growth2012 or mail a cheque to Donor Services, International Teams Canada, 1 Union Street, Elmira ON, N3B 3J9.