Volunteers in Saskatoon are coming out to help build a better country during for Canada’s 150th — one house at a time.
Habitat for Humanity’s 34th Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project is taking place this week across Canada as an effort to raise awareness for the lack of affordable housing. Groups across the country will all be working this week as part of the build project, and former U.S. president Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn were in Edmonton earlier this week and Winnipeg to be involved in the initiative this year.
Lindsay Sanderson, who handles marketing and communication for Habitat for Humanity in Saskatoon, said this year’s Carter Work Project is a little different than other years.
“It’s the first project that every affiliate in Canada has come together to do. It’s the first time we’ve all committed to doing a blitz the same week, under the same theme,” she said. “It’s a pretty special event.”
Almost 50 local organizations from every province and territory are involved with this week’s event, with a Habitat for Humanity media release calling it “Canada’s biggest build project ever.”
During the week of the project Habitat Canada will be working towards building 150 homes across the country for Canada’s 150th anniversary. Three homes are nearing completion at the Slimmon Road work site in Saskatoon with three more on the way, Sanderson said.
The organization relies heavily on volunteers and corporate sponsorships to complete their projects.
Shahan Fancy, the corporate sales development manager with Superior Cabinets in Saskatoon, credited the excellent work of the organization and the volunteers from Superior Cabinets and elsewhere for all of their success.
“Teamwork makes the dream work,” Fancy said. “That’s really the magic for me… you can really see (volunteers) come here as an individual but leave a more unified team.”
Superior Cabinets has been involved with the charitable organization for many years, providing materials and labour to housing projects.
Habitat for Humanity relies almost entirely on volunteer work hours to build their houses, often as teams from organizations or sponsors. Fancy added that it’s important for businesses to be active in the cities they operate in.
“Our communities have helped build our business and our people. If we can help rebuild those communities, it’s a good synergy,” he said.
One of the volunteers out on Thursday morning, Jovan Larre, said working on the houses is one way for her to “directly” contribute to Habitat for Humanity’s cause.
“I’ve seen the growth in the cause, and how it’s getting better,” Larre said. “It’s just one of those things I look forward to every year, to know I can give back in one way or another.”
All the work this week has taken a toll on former president Carter as he was rushed to hospital from the work site in Winnipeg on Thursday morning after suffering from dehydration.