THE HABITAT - Habitat for Humanity Canada

THE HABITAT - Habitat for Humanity Canada




News and Views for the Friends of Habitat for Humanity Canada

The Need for a

360 o Approach

to Affordable


Habitat for





Saving Homeowner’s

Money, Saving












Habitat for Humanity Canada News & Views

Habitat Partner Puts

Pen to Paper

Thanking Affiliate and Volunteers for

Making Dreams Come True

Moving Forward with

Habitat’s Vision for

Sustainable Communities

New Partnership Program,

Launching Spring 2011

Habitat for Humanity Abroad

Building Homes and Hope After Katrina,

in Lesotho and for Haiti

At the Street Level

Habitat for Humanity and

Partners Going Green

We Can Because You Do

Habitat for Humanity Canada

Volunteer Award Winners

Great Ways to Support Habitat for

Humanity this Holiday Season

Cover: Josh Smoke (5) hanging from the

bunk bed in his Habitat for Humanity home, the

first Habitat home to be built in a First Nations

community, in Alderville, Ontario.

The Habitat Spirit, a

publication of Habitat

for Humanity Canada,

seeks to promote

communication, discussion

and networking among

Habitat for Humanity

affiliates, volunteers

and supporters.

Questions or comments

should be sent to:



477 Mount Pleasant Rd.,

Suite 105, Toronto, ON

M4S 2L9 1.800.667.5137

Fax: 416.646.0574


The photos contained in

this newsletter were

provided courtesy of

Habitat for Humanity

Canada, its affiliates and

HFHI unless attributed


We Want Your


Please visit

to complete our

newsletter readership

survey and provide

us with valuable

information to improve

our publications.


Nicole Dunsdon

Kate Arnold

Kim Sprenger

Soapbox Design

Communications Inc.

RR Donnelley


HFHC Resource

Development Team


Stewart Hardacre was

recently appointed

President and Chief

Executive Officer of

Habitat for Humanity

Canada (HFHC). Stewart

joined HFHC in 2008

and since 2009 has served

as President and Chief

Operating Officer.

Under Stewart’s leadership,

HFHC has seen

tremendous growth in

terms of families served

both domestically and

internationally and in funds

raised for the organization.

Within the association,

Stewart has lead the

national office’s growing

support of local Habitat

for Humanity affiliates in

Canada. HFHC welcomes

Stewart into this new

leadership role and

anticipates continued years

of unwavering leadership

and guidance.

A Message from our

President & CEO

Building on our


Home by Home

t’s hard to believe that the end of 2010 and our 25th

year in Canada has already arrived. This past year,

Habitat for Humanity Canada (HFHC) and our 73

affiliates have marked our 25th Anniversary by

hosting a number of blitz builds, a house pull,

hundreds of home dedication celebrations, and

several World Habitat Day events on October 4th.

The enthusiasm and commitment of HFHC and its

affiliates has never been stronger. In 2010, we built

the most homes we have ever built in one year: 235.

When you think of the transformation that a new,

permanent home creates for 235 families – about a

thousand family members – the impact of our work is

truly enormous.

With this issue of The Habitat Spirit, we want to

thank everyone for their passion and belief in our

vision of a world where everyone has a safe and

decent place to live. Sustainability is referred to a lot

in this issue, as we want to celebrate and acknowledge

the numerous ways that Habitat and its partners are

bringing sustainability to life. HFHC is committed to

building sustainable communities in all senses of the

word: environmental, social, and physical. We thank

our corporate partners for their ingenuity and

generosity in the programs that they have developed

with us in 2010. We also want to recognize our

amazing volunteers, who make Habitat for Humanity

such an inspirational organization to be part of, and

who have kept sustaining us and our builds for the

past 25 years.

This is a time to look forward and plan for 2011

and the years beyond. As we look ahead, we are even

more excited about what the future holds. In 2011,

HFHC will build its 2,000th (and 2,011th) house!

We’re sure it will be another great year of

accomplishments, thanks to the help of our donors

and volunteers.

Though we’re sure much lies ahead for us over

the next 25 years, one of our challenges going

forward will be how we sustain the growing drive

and passion surrounding our cause, continuing

to transform the lives of families as we build more

homes each year.

HFHC could not reach its goals nor continue on

its mission without help. HFHC and its affiliates

need the financial support of individuals to buy

land and cover other hard costs incurred on builds.

We are very grateful that you share the same

devotion and passion for our cause as we do – it’s

individuals like you that ensure Habitat for Humanity

can remain on its course and allow us to help more

families each year.

We hope you and your family enjoy your home

this holiday season. Again, thank you for your

support in 2010; we look forward to another

successful year in partnership, giving a hand up

to transform Canadian lives and communities.


Stewart Hardacre

President & CEO

Habitat for Humanity Canada

P.S. You might notice that this issue of The Habitat Spirit has

a new look; this is part of our effort to make communication

with HFHC supporters more engaging, while also getting the

most out of our dollar spent. In order to help us continually

improve this and other publications, please go to

and take our newsletter survey. We’d love to hear from you on

what you’d like to read, know and learn about Habitat for

Humanity in Canada and around the world.

2 The Habitat spirit Fall/Winter 2010 To donate, participate or advocate visit 3


Habitat for Humanity Canada

News & Views

Dates marked by

Habitat for Humanity Canada


Habitat Day

October 4th

In 1985, the United Nations declared

the first Monday of October to be

World Habitat Day (WHD) in order to

call attention to the state of the human

habitat and push toward adequate

housing for all. The hope is that by

raising awareness and advocating for

universal decent housing, the systems

that reinforce and entrench poverty

housing can be dismantled and

affordable, decent places to live can

be made a reality for all.

Why WHD is important to

Habitat for Humanity Canada

In Canada, 1.3 million families are in

need of decent, affordable housing.

Federal support of the issue has been

in decline and responsibilities have been

shifted to the provinces, which have in

turn offloaded them on municipalities,

most of which lack the tax base and

budgets to support significant housing


In March 2010, Miloon Kothari, the

United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on

the Right to Adequate Housing, released

a report that found Canada to be in

urgent need of a “comprehensive and

coordinated national housing policy.”

Of the countries that make up the G8,

Canada is the only one that lacks a

national housing strategy.

Habitat for Humanity Canada (HFHC)

marks WHD to bring attention to the

issue of affordable housing in Canada

and to promote the idea of a world

where everyone has a safe and decent

place to life.

How WHD was marked by

Habitat for Humanity in Canada


HFHC ran a two-page insert in the

Globe and Mail to raise awareness

of the Canadian housing crisis and

the work of HFHC and its 73 affiliates.

The insert also recognized the

generous contributions made by

HFHC’s multi-year donors.

Habitat for Humanity Winnipeg

Habitat for Humanity Winnipeg launched

their High Schools for Habitat (for

Humanity) program, encouraging high

school students and their communities

to foster social consciousness by

developing an awareness of Habitat for

Humanity and encouraging cooperative

involvement through educational,

volunteering and fundraising opportunities.

Habitat for Humanity Toronto

Bruce Johnson, Chief Financial Officer

of Habitat for Humanity Toronto, was

joined by Stewart Hardacre, President

and CEO of HFHC, Ed Clark, President

and CEO of TD Bank Financial Group,

Habitat for Humanity Toronto partners

Antonio and Helen Garcia, along with

others in the ringing of the opening bell

at the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Habitat for Humanity Toronto hosted

a flag raising ceremony at Toronto’s City

Hall as well as had the CN Tower lit with

Habitat colours to commemorate WHD.

For more information on WHD or to

learn more about advocating for housing

need, please visit


Reduction Week

October 18th – 24th

Waste Reduction Week (WRW) aims

to inform and engage Canadians

about the environmental and social

ramifications of wasteful practices.

It strives to educate, engage and

empower Canadians to reduce,

reuse and recycle waste.

Why WRW is important to Habitat

for Humanity Canada

While WRW encourages us all to

be mindful of the amount of waste

we produce, Habitat for Humanity’s

ReStores in Canada provide the

opportunity for Canadians to be

waste-conscious year-round by

accepting and reselling new and

gently-used home improvement and

building materials. In 2010 alone,

ReStores will divert more than 20,000

tonnes of materials from landfills.

Public support of our ReStores is

critical. Revenues generated fund

the building of Habitat homes for

local families in need.

How WRW was marked by

Habitat for Humanity in Canada

ReStores across Canada used WRW to

communicate how shopping at ReStores

is both an environmentally and socially

conscious decision. Affiliates delivered

their message by holding open houses,

hosting media events and sponsoring

radio ads. As a result, Habitat for

Humanity’s WRW messaging garnered

local and national media coverage.

Visit to find the

ReStore location nearest you.

Chantal Paquette:

Writer, Orator,

and Grateful

Habitat Partner

Chantal is 16 years old and is the

daughter of Brenda and Yvon Paquette.

The Paquettes have six children (five

daughters, four of whom live at home

and one son). I first met the Paquettes

in 2005 when they were interviewed for

a home that we built in Port McNicoll.

The home unfortunately was too small

to accommodate the family.

When Habitat for Humanity North

Simcoe was given the opportunity to

build a fourth home in 2008, the Paquettes

were interviewed again and determined

as the best suited family for the home.

They moved in June 2009.

It has been a pleasure getting to

know the many members of this amazing


Chantal wrote a poem on behalf of her

family to thank those who made their

dream come true. After reading the poem,

Thank You

by chantal paquette

I suggested that she present it at the home

dedication ceremony. Chantal had never

spoken in public, she was nervous, but

read her poem – as a result there was not

a dry eye at the event. When asked if she

would read her poem at Habitat for

Humanity Canada’s Annual General

Meeting in April 2010, she put her nerves

aside and said she would.

I believe that the opportunity to read

her poem “Thank You” at the AGM has

been an experience that will shape

Chantal’s future. She has been writing this

summer and has a determination to

explore outside her comfort zone.

Chantal has grown immensely from the

experience. Thank you Habitat Canada.

Written by Kate Arnold, Chair, Family Selection

& Partnering, Habitat for Humanity,

North Simcoe

A miracle happens only once in awhile,

We just had to keep going that extra mile.

We were patient and waited a whole seven years,

Now we are filled with devotion expressing in tears.

We now have something to call our own,

We finally have this place called HOME.

Overwhelmed, amazed, it’s hard to explain, we are shocked,

Our emotions exactly the same. It’s a beginning to a brand new start,

We are striked with amazement, this fills our heart.

We are astonished that something like this, could happen to our family,

It’s a crazy twist. This is the happily ever-after we were waiting for,

It was only our choice if we opened that door.

In the dark you showed us the light,

We now have the courage; we now have the might,

To take the next step in our brand new life.

So I’m saying this to only be true,

Habitat and Helpers we want to thank you.

25 years

of support

2010: Over the past

25 years, and with more

than 10 million volunteer

hours logged, HFHC has

successfully provided

almost 1,800 hardworking

Canadian families with

safe, affordable housing.

Internationally, HFHC has

helped build over 1,100

homes in approximately

90 countries.

Looking Back:

Early Milestones

1985: First Habitat home

is built on Canadian soil

in Winkler, Manitoba.

1987: First Canadian

affiliate is established in

Winnipeg, Manitoba.

1990: Habitat for Humanity

Canada head office is

established in Waterloo, Ontario.

1991: World’s first ReStore

opens in Winnipeg with the

help of five volunteers.

1993: Canada’s 100th Habitat

for Humanity home is built in

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

4 The Habitat spirit Fall/Winter 2010 To donate, participate or advocate visit 5

By Annette Verschuren

President, The Home Depot Canada

By Paul Ostrander

CEO, Holcim Canada Inc.

The Need for

a 360 º Approach

to Affordable


Growing up in North Sydney, Nova Scotia,

I was relatively insulated from the realities

of Canada’s affordable-housing crisis until

I moved to Toronto in the mid-1980s.


cross Toronto, in 2009, 71,000 families were on the waiting

list for subsidized housing. And looking at Canada’s numbers,

an estimated 1.3 million families are in need of affordable

housing right now.

A number of public, private and non-governmental

organizations are hard at work to provide Canadians with

homes that meet their needs. But we must move faster.

And our solution must be more holistic, taking the entire

picture into account: environment, community connection,

volunteerism, education, corporate social responsibility,

employee engagement and more.

Since 1996, The Home Depot Canada has provided tens of

thousands of skilled, volunteer labour hours, and more than

$20 million in cash and in-kind donations to Habitat for

Humanity Canada’s (HFHC) housing projects across the

country. Through our experience, we have found Habitat’s

program does more than build homes; it empowers families

and builds a sense of community. It gives families a hand up

rather than a hand out.

Now, The Home Depot Canada and its foundation are

making a long-term, three-year commitment of $12 million in

cash and in-kind donations to support sustainable community

development with HFHC. We’ll achieve this through a new

program HFHC is launching in 2011

with our support; the 360 Built Smart

Partnership, which will:

• help families in need access and

succeed with homeownership;

• reduce Habitat’s environmental footprint

by funding more environmentally

sound building practices;

• rally communities and volunteers

in Habitat’s work; and

• more strategically engage public

and private partners in affordable

housing solutions.

The Home Depot Canada and its

foundation are making this contribution

in recognition that an investment in

affordable housing is more than an act

of charity; it is a strategic investment

in our society.

Research has proven that affordable

housing improves the health of children

and adults, helps children achieve better

grades, keeps family units stronger and

improves an individual’s job prospects.

As Canadian businesses, we can all

help provide affordable housing by

getting involved and contributing to

organizations like HFHC.

This article originally appeared in a Habitat

for Humanity special information feature in

The Globe and Mail newspaper on Oct 4, 2010.

Produced by RandallAnthony Communications Inc.

Reprinted with permission.

The 360 Built Smart Partnership

Program is an exciting new program

that will launch in the spring of 2011

that plans to transform the face of

communities across the country.

Through the program, we will

demonstrate that an investment in

affordable housing provides tremendous

economic returns to society in the areas

of better educational, economic, and

health opportunities for families at risk.

The results – healthier families and

communities, and ultimately a more

productive nation.

Invest in the 360 Built Smart

Partnership, and become a leader in

the field of sustainable communities.

By doing so, you will not only help

families in need access affordable

housing, but you will also make a

lasting impact on the communities

where you live and work. For more

information on the 360 Built Smart

Partnership, please call (416) 644-0988

x353, or visit

Long-term corporate investment

Creates Change,

Builds Communities

In an age where Corporate Social

Responsibility is an expected business

practice, rather than a rarity, it is

important for Canada’s businesses to

look more closely at what it means to

“give” in this environment.

No longer does corporate giving involve

an arm’s-length financial donation that

gets logged in the books as another

transaction and nothing more. Today,

companies are creating partnerships that

have a multi-layered benefit that extends

beyond the handing over of money.

Take Holcim Canada’s strategic,

longterm partnership with Habitat for

Humanity Canada (HFHC) as an example

– a partnership that began in 2003.

Not only does our partnership allow

Holcim to achieve our own business

objectives in areas such as employee

engagement, environmental stewardship

and community investment, it also

places hardworking families into homes

of their own.

More recently, Holcim joined the

HFHC 360 Built Smart Partnership

(launching 2011), making a three-year

pledge of significant monetary and

in-kind material donations to be put

toward the building of sustainable

communities across the country.

Our employees will be actively engaged

in hands-on volunteer work to further

define what a sustainable community

looks like by putting hammers to nails

and carpets on floors.

This definition of a sustainable

community certainly includes

environmental considerations such as

energy efficiency, green material use

and reduced carbon emissions, but it

extends far beyond that.

Our vision of a sustainable community

is one where children in stable homes

get better grades and have fewer health

problems, adults have better future

prospects and higher self-esteem, and our

company’s employees connect with the

communities in which we are located

through meaningful volunteerism.

Holcim Canada’s relationship with

HFHC has raised our profile in local

communities, establishing a deeper

relationship between our company and

the people we do business with every day.

As well, this type of longterm, multi-year,

strategic partnership will also lead to

brand recognition, employee retention

and help with recruitment.

Holcim has paid a lot of attention to

improving environmental performance

and community relations in recent years,

and our involvement with the HFHC

360 Built Smart Partnership will allow us

to continue to do that as we go forward.

We are a visible leader in our industry;

Holcim is one of Canada’s largest

producers and suppliers of products and

services for the construction industry,

employing 3,500 Canadians and serving

customers across the country. But we

choose not to stop there.

Our leadership extends into

commitment to sustainable building, the

environment and community, and

empowering working families towards


This article originally appeared in a Habitat

for Humanity special information feature in

The Globe and Mail newspaper on Oct 4, 2010.

Produced by RandallAnthony Communications Inc.

Reprinted with permission.

6 The Habitat spirit Fall/Winter 2010

To donate, to advocate or participate visit 7


National Partners








Thank you to our partners that have committed multi-year support to Habitat’s work.

By investing over the long term, you are helping us to better achieve our mission

and build sustainable communities across Canada. To learn more about partnership

opportunities with Habitat for Humanity Canada, contact Matthew Gustafson at

416-644-0988 ext. 352 or

legacy Partners














GOLD Partners

SILVER Partners


Habitat for


Canada is

fortunate to

have many


partners –

not all could

be listed here.

To view the

complete list

of donors,

please visit

bronze Partners

gold Partners

silver Partners

8 The Habitat spirit Fall/Winter 2010 To donate, participate or advocate visit 9

International Feature:

Habitat for Humanity Abroad




Since the massive earthquake struck Haiti on January 12, 2010,

Habitat for Humanity has committed to helping 50,000

low-income families rebuild and recover from the

devastating disaster.

The earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 struck the Caribbean

nation of Haiti just 10 miles west of the capital, Port-au-Prince.

The U.N.-sponsored Shelter Cluster estimates that 105,000

houses were destroyed, and more than 208,000 were damaged.

Millions of people were affected, and nearly 1.5 million people

were left displaced or homeless.

More than one million people now live in temporary

shelters in Port-au-Prince, though 600,000 have left the

affected areas to seek shelter elsewhere in Haiti. The damages

and losses are estimated at nearly US$11.5 billion.

Habitat for Humanity has implemented immediate relief

efforts and is addressing long-term shelter solutions.

Reconstruction and development is aimed to initiate projects

that address the structural causes that allowed this

earthquake to affect the country so greatly. Habitat’s

particular focus is on six cities: Cabaret, Léogâne, Jacmel,

Carrefour, Port-au-Prince and Croix-des-Bouquets.

Based on current information and past experience

with international disasters, Habitat for Humanity has

developed a multi-phrase strategy of response.

United States:

Hurricanes Katrina

and Rita

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita made landfall in late 2005 and

became one of the most destructive disasters in United States’

history. The two hurricanes displaced more than a million

residents, inflicted major damage to nearly 550,000 homes

and demolished hundreds of square miles of coastal land.

Within weeks after Hurricane Katrina barreled across the

U.S. Gulf Coast, Habitat for Humanity started building

houses and rebuilding lives. Operation Home Delivery was

the first response to the devastation, helping low-income,

hurricane-affected families in Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas

and Alabama achieve simple, decent and affordable housing.

In May 2008, more than 5,000 volunteers joined the Jimmy

& Rosalynn Carter Work Project at sites along the Gulf Coast

from Mobile, Alabama to Beaumont, Texas. Their effort

helped move 250 more families closer to living in a secure

home once again.

The Gulf Coast region is still dealing with the aftermath

of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Although Habitat’s initial

Gulf Coast disaster response program, Operation Home

Delivery, is officially complete, Gulf Coast affiliates continue

to build houses in the hurricane-affected areas as part of

Habitat’s long-term recovery program.


CIDA and Habitat

for Humanity Canada

Safe Space Project

In response to Lesotho’s rising number of widows, orphans and

vulnerable children (OVC), for the three-year period beginning

in June 2007 and ending earlier this year, the Canadian

International Development Agency (CIDA) and Habitat for

Humanity Canada funded the Secure Tenure and Safe Space

for Lesotho Widows, Orphans and Vulnerable Children Project.

Implemented by Habitat for Humanity Lesotho, the purpose

of the project was to secure tenure and inheritance rights

of widows and OVC who have been made vulnerable by

HIV/AIDS and to reduce incidents of abuse and sexual

molestation of widows and female OVC.

Due to the current trend of property grabbing by male

relatives of deceased fathers and husbands, the project first

focused on an educational campaign to disseminate

information regarding basic ownership and inheritance

rights to vulnerable households. The project’s second phase

sought to provide safe and adequate living spaces for females

and OVC through the construction of new homes and

additions to existing homes.


Safer, more secure,

permanent places to

call home for earthquake

affected families

Help Habitat rebuild Haiti

Visit to learn more

Commitment by the Numbers


Transitional shelters built

a week to provide safe,

dry housing for Haitians

living in unhealthy,

vulnerable conditions


Of emergency

shelter kits



Of structural damage

assessments and

home repairs needed


Of Haitians in

need of shelter

Results by the Numbers


Weeks after Katrina,

Habitat’s Operation

Home Delivery began

construction on its first

hurricane-response house


Houses built a year by

all Gulf Coast affiliates

prior to Katrina


Houses built, repaired

or rehabbed a year by

all Gulf Coast affiliates

since Katrina


Habitat houses built in

total since 2005 as

part of the hurricane



Homes cleared of debris

by Habitat volunteers in

preparation for rehabbing


Volunteers have helped

with rebuilding efforts in

New Orleans alone

Results by the Numbers


Paralegals trained to

execute public awareness

campaigns and provide

support to communities


Safe and secure living

spaces created for

540 females and OVC


Ventilated latrines

constructed to reduce

health-related incidents

resulting from lack of

access to decent sanitation


Community members

reached by public

awareness campaigns

10 The Habitat spirit Fall/Winter 2010

To donate, participate or advocate visit 11










Genworth Financial

Canada’s Path to Home

program supports

Habitat for Humanity

Canada in its efforts to

build affordable homes

from coast to coast.

For many Canadians, it’s not easy to

answer the question, “What do you love

most about your home?”

In fact, 1.3 million Canadian families

are in need of decent, affordable housing

right now.

In response to this Candian housing

crisis, mortgage insurance provider

Genworth Financial Canada is lending its

voice, volunteer resources and financial

assistance to a new program with Habitat

for Humanity Canada (HFHC), called

“The Path to Home.”

A $1 million donation

goes a long way to helping

families in need

The Path to Home is a three-year,

$1-million commitment from Genworth

that will go a long way towards positively

impacting the lives of those in need of

a safe, affordable home by providing

cash grants, educational material and

resources, and by engaging its employees

in volunteer opportunities throughout

each year of the program.

“This new effort will expand our

work with Habitat in helping Canadian

families become homeowners,” says

Peter Vukanovich, President and COO

of Genworth Financial Canada. “We

are proud to support Habitat’s efforts

to break the cycle of poverty by

building homes for those who need

them the most.”

This partnership comes following four

years and over $1 million of support

already provided to HFHC by Genworth.

Meaning of Home

contest engages youth

for the fourth year

In 2007, Genworth held their first

Meaning of Home Contest in support

of HFHC. This year’s marks the 4th

annual Meaning of Home contest and

asked grades four, five and six students

from across Canada to describe, through

a written submission, what they love

most about their home.

When determined, the winner will

help build a Habitat for Humanity home

in their neighbourhood of choice by

deciding which Habitat for Humanity

affiliate will receive a $60,000 donation

from Genworth.

Five runners-up will direct $5,000

to their affiliate of choice, also provided

by Genworth.

“Not every child in the world is

fortunate enough to enjoy a good home,

but even the most modest quarters

offer stability and love for a child,”

Mr. Vukanovich says. “The Meaning of

Home contest is a chance for us to raise

awareness about the importance of a

home and to gauge what is most special

to children.”

“We’ve been able to

motivate individuals of

all ages to get involved

and have generated

invaluable goodwill

for Habitat and for

our organization.”

– Peter Vukanovich,

genworth financial canada

Last year’s winner, Kyle Dingle, from

St. John’s Newfoundland, wrote that

home is the transformation that takes

place after a family moves into what

is no longer just a structure made out

of nails and wood. For him, “a family

makes a house a home by living in it

and making it special.”

Genworth’s corporate leadership

initiative with Habitat for Humanity

Canada provides rich employeeengagement

opportunities. The company’s

employees have graciously donated

over 800 hours nationwide to the cause.

“By partnering with Habitat for

Humanity Canada, we’ve been able to

effectively engage the public in a

discussion around the need for affordable,

healthy housing and homeownership in

Canada,” says Mr. Vukanovich. “We’ve

been able to motivate individuals of

all ages to get involved and have generated

invaluable goodwill for Habitat and for

our organization.”


Please help us transform the

lives of more families like

the Shea’s. Please give to

Habitat for Humanity Canada


for more information on

how to give

Habitat Home

Gateway for Transforming

Family’s Future

radley and Charissa Shea have four children;

Caleb is seven, Joshua is five and the twin girls –

Kayla and Kariann – are one.

It’s hard to imagine this Port Colborne, Ontariobased

family in a tiny, two-bedroom, mould-infested

apartment, but that is where they were before

purchasing their own home through Habitat for

Humanity Niagara in June 2009.

“We were living in basement suites; the first

one was too small, and the owners of the next two

decided to take over the whole house. We had no

control,” says Mr. Shea, recalling the three times

his eldest son moved within -his first year of life.

Working in insurance sales to make ends meet,

these living conditions were devastating for

Mr. Shea. “I felt like, as the provider for my family,

I had failed my kids, failed my wife. Habitat

helped me provide for them the way they deserve

to be provided for.”

The Shea family put in 500 volunteer hours

of sweat equity and took on a mortgage they

could afford.

“All we’ve ever wanted is a stable place where

our children could be healthy and able to learn

and play. Now they have a huge yard...and we know

we’re not going to have to move,” says Mr. Shea.

For this community-minded family, life has been

transformed through homeownership.

While Charissa is able to stay home with Caleb,

who suffers from autism, and her other children,

Mr. Shea balances three jobs and a few college

courses. “I had too much on my mind before,” he

says. “Now we can concentrate on what we want

to do with our lives.”

This article originally appeared in a Habitat for

Humanity special information feature in The Globe

and Mail newspaper on Oct 4, 2010. Produced by

RandallAnthony Communications Inc. Reprinted

with permission.

12 The Habitat spirit Fall/Winter 2010 To donate, participate or advocate visit 13

Second Annual Great-West Life,

London Life and Canada Life National

Award for Leadership in Sustainable

and Affordable Home Building awarded

to help green building initiatives:

Jim Carragher recognized for instituting

and advancing green building practices

for Habitat for Humanity Prince

Edward Island


Peter Mullins, Director,

Business Development,

Freedom 55 financial, awards

Jim Carragher and Susan

and Sarah MacCormac

with the award


In recognition of his outstanding contributions to his local affiliate, Jim Carragher,

Board Chair for Habitat for Humanity Prince Edward Island Inc. (PEI), was presented

with the Second Annual Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life National Award

for Leadership in Sustainable and Affordable Home Building.

The award is a $25,000 grant bestowed upon a Habitat for Humanity volunteer in

Canada who then directs the funds to a Habitat sustainable building project. It was

created in 2009 in an effort to encourage and inspire more individuals to champion

the cause of affordable homeownership in their own communities. The award is also

designed to encourage the adoption of sustainable building practices to help address

“energy poverty” – an affordability issue that many households face in the wake of

increasing utility costs.

“Many low-income families living in affordable housing are facing financial

challenges due to increasing utility costs. It is our hope that this award will continue to

encourage individuals like Jim to actively support and engage in affordable sustainable

home building as a means to help Canadians break the ‘energy poverty’ cycle,” says

Jan Belanger, Assistant Vice-President, Community Affairs, Great-West Life, London Life

and Canada Life.

Carragher was recognized with this award on April 29th, 2010 at the HFHC Annual

General Meeting following his instrumental role in instituting and advancing the use

of green building practices at Habitat for Humanity PEI. Specifically, Carragher helped

raise approximately $88,000 for Habitat for Humanity PEI to use towards the building

of sustainable homes, while also playing a leading role at Habitat for Humanity PEI’s

2009 Eco-Build.

“Jim has been a wonderful advocate for Habitat for Humanity PEI. He has a minor

in Environmental Studies and never misses an opportunity to educate our volunteers,

partner families, and the general public about the importance of building more

sustainable housing in PEI. Jim often schedules his work commitments around his

passion for Habitat,” says Susan Zambonin, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity PEI.

Following him receiving the award,

Carragher directed the $25,000 to Habitat

for Humanity PEI to help build an

energy-efficient home for Habitat partner

Susan MacCormac and her three children

– Katie, Justin and Sarah. The home was

dedicated on August 8th, 2010, and features

such green/sustainable features as Energy

Star rated windows and appliances,

insulation levels 15 per cent above building

code and an ultra-efficient heat recovery

ventilation system.

“Our home is a raised bungalow with

an insulated styrofoam block basement,

new energy efficient windows, water

conserving toilets, energy efficient washer/

dyer set, high efficiency heating system, and

more. We are very happy with the fact that

our home is so energy efficient as it is good

for our planet and we will save money

that will in turn help us financially,” says

Susan MacCormac.

In 2010, approximately 50 per cent of

HFHC’s builds have been enrolled under

recognized green building programs, and

HFHC expects this proportion to only rise.

Going forward, the contributions made

by organizations like Great-West Life,

London Life and Canada Life, which are

committed to promoting green building

initiatives, will certainly play a large part

in helping make this a reality.

Great-West Life, London Life

and Canada Life’s longstanding

partnership with HFHC

Great-West Life, London Life and Canada

Life, along with their staff and distribution

associates, have a long history of supporting

HFHC, sponsoring multiple builds and

contributing hundreds of hours to the

cause. Great-West Life and its subsidiaries

have made a five-year commitment of

$250,000 to support this award.

Green building:

Saving Homeowner’s Money,

Saving Everyone’s Environment

Habitat for Humanity affiliates committed to using valuable and

limited resources wisely in building affordable housing.


hen it comes to affording a house, Habitat for

Humanity Canada (HFHC) is aware of the financial

challenges. To help, Habitat offers pre-qualified

families no down payment, interest-free mortgages

that are geared to income.

With today’s rising costs of energy, water,

building materials and land – innovation is an important way

to ensure homeownership is sustainable. As a result, HFHC

created the National Green Building Program to provide

leadership, support and funding to help affiliates build more

energy-efficient homes and to save partner families thousands

of dollars every year.

By reducing the utility costs associated with homeownership,

HFHC is hoping to prevent low-income families from facing

what is known as “energy poverty.”

With the support of organizations such as RBC Foundation –

a founding member of HFHC’s environmental program –

Habitat affiliates have already completed a number of green,

affordable housing projects.

RBC has been involved with HFHC since 1992, providing

more than $2.5 million for home building needs in Canada,

with RBC employees involved in Habitat for Humanity

projects in over 40 communities nationwide.

“We believe our success is tightly interwoven with the

economic and social well-being of the communities in which

we do business,” says Shari Austin, Vice-President and Head

of Corporate Citizenship, RBC Foundation.

There are more than 13 million homes in Canada with

17 per cent of the energy consumed across the country being

used to run them. But certified energy-efficient homes, such

as ENERGY STAR homes, are 25 to 30 per cent more energy

efficient than houses built to today’s building-code standards.

In addition, energy efficient homes can reduce greenhouse

gas emissions by up to three tonnes a year and reduce

homeowner costs by up to 30 per cent.

Last year alone, RBC helped 17 Habitat for Humanity affiliates

adopt more environmentally sustainable building practices,

reducing CO 2 emissions by approximately 380 tonnes per year.

As well, seven affiliates undertook their first home(s) that

were built to recognized sustainable building standards. RBC’s

continued support will continue this legacy.

Green Building at the Street Level:

Habitat for Humanity Winnipeg’s Sir

Sam Steele Housing Development

Currently on the second phase of the Sir Sam Steele

housing development, Habitat for Humanity Winnipeg’s

Integrated Project Team has built about a third of the

development’s 32 energy-efficient homes that will be

completed by the end of 2011.

All homes will be constructed to the Manitoba Hydro

standard, but will also meet Leadership in Energy and

Environmental Design (LEED ® ) Gold standards, with

the potential to achieve the highest LEED ® standard

possible, Platinum.

“The energy and water efficiency of all these homes

not only makes them environmentally friendly, but

also more affordable by reducing the daily living costs

for our hardworking families,” says Sandy Hopkins,

CEO of Habitat for Humanity Winnipeg.

HFHC and its affiliates have shown that responsible and

sustainable building, in compliance with the most stringent

green-building standards in Canada, can be achieved by

affordable home builders. Green building is not just for

the high-end, custom homes anymore.

“As Director of Building Services for Habitat for

Humanity Canada, green building is a very important

focus for me, as I am convinced that not only will more

families find more affordable housing solutions, Habitat

for Humanity affiliates will gain stronger support over

the long term, greater capacity to deliver on programs

and also gain greater respect in their community,”

says Terry Petkau.

14 The Habitat spirit Fall/Winter 2010

Habitat for


Humanity Canada:






of the Year




A Real Gem Of A Volunteer!

Much like the gem with whom he shares

his name, Garnet Crossman is a much

sought-after, resilient, and of course,

brilliant addition to the Habitat for

Humanity Toronto volunteer team!

As the recipient of the Habitat for

Humanity Canada (HFHC) 2010

National Volunteer of the Year Award,

Garnet is one of those unsung heroes

that organizations such as Habitat for

Humanity Toronto couldn’t survive

without. He began volunteering with

Habitat for Humanity Toronto in

1998 and since then has proven to be

an unassuming, yet tireless, life-force.

Customer Satisfaction Ensured

For the past 12 years, Garnet has been a

quiet, dependable and dedicated volunteer

at the Toronto ReStore. At the age of 75,

he works one day a week, making himself

available when the store needs him and

often covering shifts whenever the store is

short-staffed. Garnet arrives early, stays

late and always ensures that customers are

satisfied with their ReStore experience.

The consistency and reliability Garnet

provides makes him a one-of-a-kind

volunteer and reflects his dedication and

enthusiasm towards the cause.

Here And Abroad

As if his involvement with Habitat for

Humanity in Canada was not enough,

Garnet’s devotion has led him to volunteer

for the organization internationally. He

has participated in both a Global Village

Build and a Jimmy Carter Work Project,

building homes and hope in South Africa

and Hungary. Following his travels, Garnet

was delighted to share his experiences with

schools, colleges, community groups and

bystanders alike through outreach

presentations and word-of-mouth.

With his typical humility, Garnet feels

very humbled to accept the 2010 HFHC

National Volunteer of The Year Award.

Congratulations, Garnet!



J. Meinert





Interested in


Visit and click

‘Local Affiliate Offices’

to find your nearest affiliate.

To volunteer internationally,

go to ‘Global Village

Program’ under

‘Our Programs’.

We Can All Learn From Vern

As a selfless and dedicated advocate for

Habitat for Humanity for over 17 years,

Vern Koop has been awarded the 2010

Kenneth J. Meinert Leadership Award.

The award is named after the volunteer

Director of the Habitat for Humanity

Canada (HFHC) Foundation.

Vern’s commitment to assisting families

in need with affordable housing has

been called “unparalleled in Habitat

Winnipeg’s 23 year history”.

During his time working with Habitat

for Humanity Winnipeg as volunteer

Director of Construction, Vern has

distinguished himself for his kind and

unassuming nature. He is especially

patient with new homeowners,

answering their questions and providing

encouragement. Vern believes strongly

in giving Habitat for Humanity

homeowners the tools they need to

succeed…“if you give a man a fish, you

feed him for one day. If you teach a

man to fish, you feed him for life.”

Committed to the Global Mission

While dedicated to the Winnipeg affiliate,

Vern has demonstrated his commitment

to Habitat’s global mission through builds

across the country and beyond – including

St. John’s, Newfoundland, Americus,

Georgia and Jamaica, as well as on Jimmy

& Rosalynn Carter Work Projects in

Hungary and Eagle Butte, South Dakota.

He was also tremendously involved in

the 1998 flood relief efforts following

the “Flood of the Century” in Ste. Anne’s,

Manitoba, as well as in important rebuilding

efforts following Hurricane Katrina.

Way to Go, Vern!

Vern’s caring nature is also apparent

through his foster parenting (along

with wife Agnes) of 29 children, including

many special needs children, all while

raising his own three children.

Congratulations, Vern, on receiving this

important leadership award. Your selfless

and passionate nature is an excellent

reflection of HFHC!

16 The Habitat spirit Fall/Winter 2010 To donate, participate or advocate visit 17


CIPH Encourages

Creativity in



by Offering

CIPH Building

Hope Trophy

“CIPH members should

be very proud of their

association’s amazing

contributions to Habitat for

Humanity Canada

together our association is

truly making a difference

for many Canadian families

in need of safe, decent

and affordable housing”

The 4th Annual CIPH Habitat

for Humanity Week

September 12th to 18th, 2010, marked

the 4th Annual Canadian Institute

of Plumbing and Heating (CIPH)

Habitat for Humanity Week, a week

used by CIPH’s member companies

to fundraise for Habitat for Humanity

Canada (HFHC). Following each

CIPH Habitat for Humanity Week,

CIPH awards their Building Hope

Trophy to the member or members

that plan and execute the most

creative fundraising initiative.

CIPH members Sean Giberson

(Taco Canada Ltd.), Jeff House

(Jess-Don Dunford Limited) and

Simon Blake (Plumbing & HVAC)

answered CIPH’s call for creative

fundraisers this year by organizing

the first ever CIPH Ride for Habitat,

a 166 km motorcycle ride that

saw participants travel from Vaughn,

Ont., to Newmarket by way of

Brampton and Orangeville.

“We had a great ride. The weather was

fantastic, we had more than 30 riders,

and we managed to raise more than

$5,000 for Habitat for Humanity Canada.

It was a great way to spend a Sunday,”

said Sean Giberson, Taco Canada Ltd.

To date, the 4th CIPH Habitat for

Humanity Week has raised over $35,000

for HFHC’s home building activities.

Since CIPH began their partnership

with HFHC in 1994, they have

contributed over $6.3 million in cash

and product donations.

Support Fair Trade and

Habitat for Humanity

Canada by Shopping at

Ten Thousand Villages

Between November 26th

and December 12th

Fruits & Passion Helping

Make the Holidays Brighter

for Habitat Families

Purchase Cucina Arancia Dolce Purifying

Hand Wash and Support Habitat

This holiday season, Canadian retailer Fruits & Passion will continue

their longstanding support of Habitat for Humanity Canada (HFHC)

through sales of their Cucina Arancia Dolce Purifying Hand Wash.

This limited edition product will be available at Fruits & Passion

Boutiques across Canada during the months of November and

December at the special reduced price of $8.50 – with every

in-store purchase.

Supporting Habitat Since 2003

For the eighth consecutive year, Fruits & Passion will raise funds on behalf of HFHC by

offering consumers a wonderful product that will support Habitat’s home building

activities in Canada. Since 2003, Fruits & Passion has donated over $250,000 to HFHC

through its seasonal product sales. Their goal this year is to raise an additional $45,000.

– Charity Committee Chairman,

John Hammill (Moen).

CIPH, Also Working for a World

Where Everyone has a Safe

and Decent Place to Live

CIPH is a non-profit trade association. Founded

in 1933, the Association represents the interests

of over 350 companies that manufacture, sell,

and distribute plumbing, hydronic heating, PVF and

waterworks products and services. By partnering

with HFHC, CIPH is taking a hands-on, active

approach to improving our Canadian communities.

Over the past 16 years, CIPH has supported HFHC

through the provision of monetary, in-kind and

volunteer resources.

PHOTO: Mechanical Business Magazine

Ten Thousand Villages, Canada’s largest and oldest

Fair Trade organization, will be celebrating its

65th anniversary in 2011. To mark this milestone,

Ten Thousand Villages is kicking off a year long

partnership with Habitat for Humanity Canada (HFHC).

The launch begins with a coupon which will direct

10% of your Ten Thousand Villages purchase to

HFHC, with no cost to you!

Use this coupon at any of Ten Thousand Villages’

49 stores or online (coupon code: HABITAT2010)

and help give a hand up to Canadian families in need

while supporting artisans in developing countries.

To shop online, find store locations or learn

more about Ten Thousand Villages, please visit

Watch for upcoming opportunities to raise funds

for HFHC while supporting artisans in developing

countries through Ten Thousand Villages.

Offering a wide range of handcrafted home decor,

personal accessories, food products and much more,

Ten Thousand Villages is a non-profit retail organization

that works with artisans and producers who would

otherwise be unemployed or underemployed,

providing sustainable income through Fair Trade.

This income helps pay for food, education, health

care and housing. Thousands of volunteers in Canada

and the United States work with Ten Thousand Villages

in their home communities.

18 The Habitat spirit Fall/Winter 2010

To donate, participate or advocate visit 19



Habitat for Humanity Canada

upholds the highest standards of

accountability and transparency.

Our reputation is our most important

asset, and maintaining strong and

open relations with our supporters

is a top priority.

For this reason, Habitat for Humanity Canada

is one of Imagine Canada’s Ethical Code

Program participants, meaning that we commit

to the guidelines set in Imagine Canada’s

Ethical Fundraising and Financial Accountability

Code. For more information, please visit

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines