Many Hands Project transforms Strive Niagara’s Welland site

Students from Niagara College’s Event Management (Graduate Certificate) and Renovation Technician programs celebrated the success of the college’s 18th annual Many Hands Project by unveiling renovations at Strive Niagara’s Welland location.

A Reveal Day Celebration was held on Saturday April 18 which included a ribbon-cutting ceremony; tours of the newly renovated facilities; family-friendly activities for invited community residents; and speeches by representatives from Strive Niagara Niagara College the City of Welland and lead sponsor Canadian Tire Bank.

“The importance of applied learning and getting involved in the community are at the core of a Niagara College education and the Many Hands Project is a valued NC tradition that provides our students with both opportunities” said Niagara College vice-president Academic Steve Hudson PhD. “As our students apply skills they learn in the classroom to a real-world setting they not only gain valuable experience they are making a difference.”

Now in its 18th year the Many Hands Project is a student-driven renovation initiative run by the College’s Event Management (graduate certificate) and Renovation Technician programs as a component of their studies. Each academic year Event Management students plan and host a series of fundraising events to raise money for the recipient while Renovation Technician students renovate the site from January to April.

Since this year’s project kicked off in January Strive Niagara’s Welland location has received a range of renovations such as a new reception office space and desk a new waiting area new storage room an updated play area new flooring painted walls and brick new doors and more.

“The past three months have been an experience like no other. We have witnessed a transformation of our tired building turned into a feel that is welcoming and optimistic” said Sandy Toth executive director of Strive Niagara. “The amount of work that has gone into this project is absolutely humbling for all of us at Strive – the hours the materials and the enthusiasm from the faculty and students. They have all become one of us; we will miss them when they’re gone.”

Event Management students have raised more than $31110 for this year’s Many Hands Project. One of their fundraising events held on April 1 broke a Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Dessert Party (results await official verification by Guinness World Records) with 910 attendees and 4111 desserts consumed during the event (more than 5200 desserts present in total). Fundraisers for this year’s Project also included an upscale country evening a computer gaming competition a children’s fairy tale event and various other ancillary events and initiatives.

Money raised by the Event Management students through fundraising events will also provide Strive Niagara with additional equipment and supplies such as a water cooler for the classroom a microwave and school supplies for students and for the daycare. Students have also put together gift bags for mothers who use Strive Niagara services which includes a gift card for groceries.

Lead sponsor Canadian Tire Bank – which has been a partner of the Many Hands Project since its inception – has donated $7500 to the Many Hands Project. Additional sponsors for this year’s Project include the Welland Tribune St. Catharines Standard Niagara Falls Review Sherwin Williams Paints Boston Pizza Altieri Building Supplies St. Catharines Building Supplies Chartwells and Prosol Distribution Inc.

The Many Hands Project was developed by Niagara College faculty to provide students in the Event Management and Renovation Technician programs with hands-on learning experiences in their respective fields of study while helping to make a difference in the Niagara region. Since 1998 the Many Hands Project has supported 18 not-for-profit organizations through renovation and landscaping projects which have enhanced program and service delivery and helped to raise awareness. Selected by a committee agencies that benefit from the Many Hands Project must be not-for-profit and involved in the provision of a community-based service in the Niagara region.

Strive Niagara was announced as the recipient of Niagara College’s 18th annual Many Hands Project in November 2014. The non-profit social service organization provides child care outreach resources and support for young families in need who are pursuing an education. Visit

In addition to Strive Niagara this year’s Many Hands Project also included a minor kitchen renovation for the United Way/Big Brothers in Welland to help facilitate its Cupboards for Kids Project which provides healthy snacks for children. A portion of Canadian Tire Bank’s donation ($2500) was used to support this initiative.

Niagara College offers more than 111 diploma bachelor degree and advanced level programs at campuses in Welland Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Falls; as well as more than 600 credit vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences advanced technology media applied health and community safety supported by unique learning enterprises in food wine beer horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit