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2010 News and Views for the Friends of Habitat for Humanity Canada

The Need for a 360o Approach to Affordable Housing Habitat for Humanity Abroad Green Building: Saving Homeowner’s Money, Saving Everyone’s Environment


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Habitat for Humanity Canada News & Views

Partner Puts 05 Habitat Pen to Paper Thanking Affiliate and Volunteers for Making Dreams Come True

Forward with 06 Moving 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

14 At the Street Level

Habitat for Humanity and Partners Going Green

16 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.


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Questions or comments should be sent to: HABITAT FOR HUMANITY CANADA

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 otherwise.

Nicole Dunsdon Kate Arnold Kim Sprenger Soapbox Design Communications Inc. RR Donnelley HFHI 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.

Building on our Momentum, 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. Sincerely,

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.

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Habitat for Humanity Canada News & Views

Dates marked by Habitat for Humanity Canada World 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 initiatives. 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.


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How WHD was marked by Habitat for Humanity in Canada HFHC 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

Waste 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.

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 family. Chantal wrote a poem on behalf of her family to thank those who made their dream come true. After reading the poem,

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

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.

Thank You

by chantal paquette

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.

To donate, participate or advocate visit


By Paul Ostrander CEO, Holcim Canada Inc.

By Annette Verschuren President, The Home Depot Canada

Long-term corporate investment

Creates Change, Builds Communities

The Need for a 360ºApproach to Affordable Housing 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.

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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

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In an age where Corporate Social

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

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 homeownership. 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.

To donate, to advocate or participate visit



National Partners PLATINUM Partners


Habitat for Humanity Canada is fortunate to have many committed partners – not all could be listed here. To view the complete list of donors, please visit


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legacy 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

GOLD Partners


SILVER Partners

bronze Partners

gold Partners

silver Partners

To donate, participate or advocate visit


International Feature: Habitat for Humanity Abroad


United States:


Earthquake Response

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

CIDA and Habitat for Humanity Canada Safe Space Project

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.

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.

Results by the Numbers

Help Habitat rebuild Haiti Visit to learn more






Safer, more secure, permanent places to call home for earthquake affected families

Transitional shelters built a week to provide safe, dry housing for Haitians living in unhealthy, vulnerable conditions

Of emergency shelter kits distributed

Of structural damage assessments and home repairs needed

Of Haitians in need of shelter


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Results by the Numbers





Weeks after Katrina, Habitat’s Operation Home Delivery began construction on its first hurricane-response house

Habitat houses built in total since 2005 as part of the hurricane recovery

Paralegals trained to execute public awareness campaigns and provide support to communities



Ventilated latrines constructed to reduce health-related incidents resulting from lack of access to decent sanitation

Homes cleared of debris by Habitat volunteers in preparation for rehabbing

Safe and secure living spaces created for 540 females and OVC

57 Commitment by the Numbers

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.

Houses built a year by all Gulf Coast affiliates prior to Katrina

400 Houses built, repaired or rehabbed a year by all Gulf Coast affiliates since Katrina


62,448 Community members reached by public awareness campaigns

Volunteers have helped with rebuilding efforts in New Orleans alone

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What Do

You Love Most About Your Home?

♥ ♥

Genworth Financial Canada’s Path to Home program supports Habitat for Humanity Canada in its efforts to build affordable homes from coast to coast.


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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.”

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.”

A $1 million donation goes a long way to helping families in need

“We’ve been able to motivate individuals of all ages to get involved and have generated invaluable goodwill for Habitat and for our organization.”

For many Canadians,

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.

– 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.”


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.

Please help us transform the lives of more families like the Shea’s. Please give to Habitat for Humanity Canada

Visit for more information on how to give

To donate, participate or advocate visit


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

Green building:

Saving Homeowner’s Money, Saving Everyone’s Environment 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.


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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.

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 CO2 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.

Habitat for Humanity Canada:

2010 Award Winners

2010 National Volunteer of the Year Award: Garnet Crossman

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


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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!

2010 Kenneth J. Meinert Leadership Award: Vern Coop Interested in Volunteering? 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

Committed to the Global Mission

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.”

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!

To donate, participate or advocate visit


Creative CIPH Encourages Creativity in Member Fundraising 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”

Fruits & Passion Helping Make the Holidays Brighter for Habitat Families

Drive 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

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.

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.

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.

Support Fair Trade and Habitat for Humanity Canada by Shopping at Ten Thousand Villages Between November 26th and December 12th

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.


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PHOTO: Mechanical Business Magazine

– Charity Committee Chairman, John Hammill (Moen).

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.

To donate, participate or advocate visit



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

THS: Fall 2010  

The Habitat Spirit, a publication of Habitat for Humanity Canada, seeks to promote communication, discussion and networking among Habitat fo...

THS: Fall 2010  

The Habitat Spirit, a publication of Habitat for Humanity Canada, seeks to promote communication, discussion and networking among Habitat fo...