Habitat homeowner gives back
Eduardo and his wife Vanesa purchased a Habitat house two years ago, and he recalls having to volunteer 500 hours building his home alongside Habitat Build Day participants – but he never thought he’d be back on a Habitat build site helping other families this time.
“All the memories came back to me when I walked into the house,” Eduardo explains. “It’s different when you are helping to build your own home, as a future Habitat homeowner you have to put in the hours before you get your home. This time around I’m doing it because I want to give back.”
Eduardo’s employer, the YMCA of Niagara Employment and Immigration Services, fundraised to have a team of six employees participate on a Habitat build day, helping to build the homes on Afton Avenue in Welland to enhance the partnership between the two organizations.
“Through a joint team building initiative the YMCA team learned that one of our very own was a Habitat recipient and we immediately wanted to give back,” explained Deanna Delia, Director at the YMCA. “There were about twelve employees interested in helping to build, so we had to have a draw to narrow it down to six people. We were really excited that Eduardo wanted to be on the team seeing as he is a Habitat homeowner. After pulling five names, none of them were Eduardo’s, but the last name we pulled was his – and we all cheered for him!”
Patrick Carew, an Employment Coach at YMCA Niagara, led the team in their fundraising efforts to participate on the build site. “We had a lot of fundraising activities to raise $2,500 for our team to participate,” says Patrick. “We had weekly sweets and treats, a pancake breakfast, a lunch, 50/50 raffle, silent auctions, some people make whole cakes and pies to sell just before Thanksgiving , which was a real hit.”
Employees from all over the YMCA of Niagara helped the team achieve their fundraising goal.
Anyone can participate in a Habitat Build Day, as a team member, you help to pay for the building materials and the land which greatly helps with the construction costs and directly benefits a Habitat family. A combination of build hours and financial contributions doubles the team’s impact as it costs approximately $250,000 to build one home.
“Since I knew about the build day I had to be on the build site right away,” says Eduardo. “My family is excited I’m here. It feels good to be back, I feel like I am connected again.”
If you’re interested in getting your employees out for a Habitat Build Day, visit http://www.habitatniagara.ca/habitat-build-day for more details.