H&B Builds a Home of Hope

Hillberg & Berk and Youth with a Mission (YWAM) in Tijuana



AS IF we needed another reason to say why we love working at H&B, but Rachel surprised us yet again. Add it to the list – we love working at H&B because we were given the opportunity to change a family’s life. In just one weekend, two representatives of Hillberg & Berk were given the incredible opportunity to travel to Tijuana, Mexico and build a home for a family living in poverty.

Thanks to the generosity of W. Brett Wilson (Rachel’s favorite business partner, investor of H&B, philanthropic rock star, etc. etc.), we joined a group of amazing people to build with YWAM (Youth with a Mission). We arrived in Tijuana ready to work hard and to share our sparkle!



The beautiful kids of the Segura Vargas family, Fabiola and Uriel. We would be building a home for them and their loving parents. The whole family took part in our entire build and brought smiles to our faces as the house took shape.



Walls are going up on day one!



Debra, jumped right into help paint. We were on the red team, so it was only fitting to trim the house in red!



We took care of all the details, even touching up the baseboards.



Just to show what the family is going through in this emotion-filled weekend – the new home is being built on the left, and their previous accommodations on the right. Yes, that’s a tent. It was an overwhelming feeling knowing that the family would now have a roof over their heads with a lock on their door. The parents can take comfort in knowing that their little ones can sleep in a safe place!



Our family’s house progress!



We never thought that we’d take something as easy as a bathroom for granted (especially a bathroom with privacy!) We revived their outhouse with fresh paint and some hand-painted flowers, and even added a door. That was a game changer!



At the end of the build, we did a dedication ceremony where we each got to hold the house keys and say a few words to the family (with the help of some awesome translators). There wasn’t a dry eye in the circle.



The kids put their hand prints on the flower box – that was a huge moment that made this house their home!



The Grey Team after a hard day’s work!



Brett and the Blue Team - He brought with him enough people to build not just one, but three homes for three wonderful families in just one weekend!

After completing the build, we gathered for our evening meal when Brett Wilson invited each of us to share a thought of our experience. As the microphone was passed around the room, we shared feelings and thoughts of the impact of our whirlwind trip. For many participants, this was a life altering experience.

“I chose to focus on the word ‘gratitude’. I felt gratitude for being chosen to participate in the trip and experience; gratitude for meeting a group of compassionate and giving individuals. I saw the heartfelt wishes and gratitude conveyed to the Segura Vargas family during the key ceremony. I saw the gratitude the Segura Vargas had towards us for our contribution. I was reminded of how fortunate we are to live in the country and communities we do and to take for granted basics such as water, plumbing and electricity. I recently read it's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived." - Debra



We were honoured to build for this family – they were so sweet and gracious throughout the whole weekend. All of the ladies of the red group received handmade friendship bracelets – the Segura Vargas girls now know that they have newly acquired sisters all the way back in Canada!

“Adiós from Mexico! At Hillberg & Berk, we strive to make a difference in the world and share our sparkle. We felt that this experience helped us change the world for three deserving families, and we will never forget that. No act of sparkle is too big or too small!”

- Steph, H&B’s Supply Chain Planning Manager

- Debra, H&B’s Financial Officer

Photography provided by Sergey Abramov, New West Video