Volunteers Apr. 24, 2022

April 24-30, 2022 is National Volunteer Week!

It’s National Volunteer Week and this year’s theme, Volunteering Is Empathy In Action, affirms the strong connection between volunteerism and empathy, which our volunteers have in spades! Each and every one of our volunteers are helping us to create a world where we all have access to safe and affordable housing. They are the heart of our work across the country, reinforcing our mission every day.

We are grateful for the opportunity to highlight the efforts of some of the thousands of volunteers who make our work possible. Each volunteer below was nominated by their local Habitat for their contributions on boards, committees, events, at ReStores and on build sites.

Congratulations to each and every one of you for your dedication and commitment to Habitat for Humanity’s work across Canada. Happy National Volunteer Week!

Jason Russon
Habitat for Humanity Fredericton

Jason was introduced to Habitat for Humanity Fredericton Area through its partnership with the Canadian Home Builder’s Association. A dedicated volunteer since 2019, he has taken time out of his busy schedule to lend his finish carpentry expertise for several days each on four home builds in Fredericton and Oromocto. Jason is also a wonderful advocate for Habitat – assisting in meaningful introductions to other tradespeople and businesses, helping us to grow our impact and assist more families in achieving affordable homeownership. We are so thankful for Jason’s support and commitment to Habitat Fredericton.

Jo-Anne Joaquin
Habitat for Humanity Greater Toronto Area

Jo-Anne has been volunteering with Habitat for Humanity GTA’s Procurement Office since 2020 and has amassed over 550 hours to date! In her role, Jo-Anne supports donor inquiries and assists the Donations Coordinator with determining the suitability of donated materials and arranging donation pick-ups. Jo-Anne’s positivity, enthusiasm, professionalism and ability to challenge the status quo with a focus on improving Habitat’s work is a huge asset to the team. We are grateful for Jo-Anne’s caring attitude and to her commitment to making the GTA community a better place.

Audrey Sabiston
Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver

Since her retirement in 2018, Audrey has been putting her experience in home renos and woodworking to good use with Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver. Volunteering on Habitat Greater Vancouver’s Richmond and Mission build sites, she’s logged in over 700 hours. As a Team Lead, Audrey is a favourite among corporate groups and works hard to ensure everyone has an exceptional experience. Selfless, supportive and inclusive, Audrey loves Habitat's mission and leads by example with her impressive work ethic. We are so grateful to Audrey for her commitment to helping families and for the joyful camaraderie she provides. Her contributions to Habitat Greater Vancouver’s Richmond and Mission builds will long be remembered!

Greg Nadjiwon
Habitat for Humanity Grey Bruce

As the former Chief of the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation, Greg is an instrumental leader in the Habitat for Humanity Grey Bruce - Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation Model of Hope partnership since it began in 2017. Greg has put in countless hours building Habitat homes for his community and encouraging community members, volunteers and Habitat staff onsite. As a result of Greg’s dedication, Kaikaiknong Crescent is now a vibrant community with 16 single dwelling homes providing families with safe and affordable housing; the homes on this street house 50 per cent of the children in Neyaashiinigmiing territory. Greg describes this partnership as, “taking reconciliation out of the rhetoric and putting action to it.” It has been Habitat Grey Bruce’s honour and privilege to work alongside Greg throughout the course of this partnership.

Walt Bayliss
Habitat for Humanity Hamilton

Walt is a founding volunteer with Habitat for Humanity Hamilton since its inception in 1991. In Habitat Hamilton’s early years Walt contributed to fundraising initiatives, build planning, served on its Board of Directors, and played an integral role in the opening of the Hamilton Habitat ReStore. Over the years, Walt has continued to offer his support, working countless hours on build sites. Walt regularly assists the build team with repair and renovation projects and generously shares his wealth of knowledge and skills in his role as a crew leader. We want to sincerely thank Walt for his dedication and tremendous contribution to Habitat Hamilton and our mission.

Brad Siemens
Habitat for Humanity Heartland Ontario

Brad’s positive attitude and compassionate personality shines. He joined Habitat for Humanity Heartland Ontario’s volunteer team back in 2020, during the height of the pandemic and was a part of every build project in 2021. Brad has donated countless hours to not only to Habitat Heartland Ontario’s build program, but to events, and in Habitat ReStores as well. While his enthusiasm motivates others, Brad often rolls up his own sleeves to help with any task – which helped propel 10 projects in 2021. Not only did he make a difference, but he also recruited his son Zach who started volunteering with Habitat before being hired on as an employee. We are so grateful to Brad for being part of the Heartland Ontario team!

Dave Ross
Habitat for Humanity Huron County

Dave’s commitment and dedication to the Habitat for Humanity Huron County ReStore through the pandemic has been appreciated by staff and volunteers alike. His positive attitude and generous spirit help make the Habitat ReStore a welcoming and friendly place for staff, volunteers and customers. Dave is a jack of all trades whose experience and skills have greatly contributed to this Habitat ReStore’s success. Whether onboarding new volunteers, assisting with customer donations or helping to build new display cabinets, Dave is always ready to help. We are beyond thankful for Dave’s amazing support.

Guy Yarmack
Habitat for Humanity Mid-Vancouver Island

Guy began volunteering with Habitat for Humanity Mid-Vancouver Island (MVI) in 2020, after another Habitat MVI volunteer piqued his interest. He recently retired from a 30-year career in retail, and volunteering at the Habitat Nanaimo ReStore seemed like a good fit. Guy is an enthusiastic, friendly and engaging volunteer. He enjoys providing excellent customer service and is full of helpful suggestions to continue to make his local ReStore a community success. We are very appreciative for Guy’s contributions to Habitat and are proud to have him on our team.

Lisa Diamond
Habitat for Humanity Moncton

Lisa has been a dedicated ReStore volunteer for the last three years, volunteering over 400 hours every year. She is very capable and her skills lend her to any area of the ReStore, however, her true talents shine in the area of donation repair. Lisa is the type of volunteer who can turn almost any donation into a treasure. Above all that, she has a great attitude and always brings her contagious energy. Lisa is a great member of our volunteer team, and Habitat for Humanity Moncton is incredibly fortunate to have her.

Jeri Dehghani
Habitat for Humanity Niagara

Since 2018, Jeri has been making Habitat for Humanity Niagara’s team smile with her calm and caring demeanor and her attention to detail in the office. She is truly an extension of the team and has never backed down from a challenge, recently taking the lead on a pilot project alongside its St. Catharines’ Habitat ReStore team. During the pandemic, Jeri would stay in touch and offer to volunteer remotely while Habitat Niagara’s office was closed. She would stop by on her own time, pick up the materials needed for the task at hand, and drive back home. We are forever grateful for Jeri’s help and friendship – she makes Habitat Niagara’s office, team and organization a lot brighter!

Jill Bennett-Balaka
Habitat for Humanity Peterborough & Kawartha Region

In just a few years, Jill has volunteered over 1,500 hours with Habitat for Humanity Peterborough & Kawartha Region. Jill’s involvement with Habitat began when she volunteered to help with the painting of a new home in Peterborough. Since then, Jill has continually jumped in to fill a variety of roles whenever needed – including volunteering in the Habitat ReStore on a regular basis, joining the Board of Directors (she’s the current board chair) and actively participating in Habitat PKR’s Women Build program in the fall of 2019. Jill is a critical thinker and a great problem solver who brings her passion for Habitat to everything she does. Jill always has Habitat PKR’s best interests at heart, and we couldn’t be more pleased and appreciative of having her on our team.

Sheila Manning
Habitat for Humanity Prince Edward Island

Sheila started her Habitat volunteering journey working on build sites in Nova Scotia. She joined Habitat for Humanity Prince Edward Island to continue to help make an impact in her community and has been with PEI’s Habitat ReStore for more than two years. Sheila enjoys the sense of accomplishment that comes with working at the ReStore and interacting with customers and donors. Dedicated to our mission, generous, helpful and polite to a fault, staff and customers absolutely love her. Sheila is very committed to her role supporting Habitat’s vision of building safe and affordable homes across Prince Edward Island. We are incredibly grateful for Sheila’s contributions today and every day.

Sylvie Prégent
Habitat for Humanity Quebec

After retiring from a 30-year career as an HR Director, Sylvie was looking for an opportunity to support her community. She walked into a Habitat for Humanity Restore in Montreal in the spring of 2021 and never looked back! Sylvie’s diverse skills were quickly recognized and on top of the two days a week she offers to the Habitat Restore, she spends one day per week to help Habitat for Humanity Québec’s Head Office team and participated in two team builds last fall! Sylvie brings new ideas, positive energy, and a beautiful smile to every project she’s involved with. Her dedication is essential to the work that we do as she cares deeply about our mission. We thank Sylvie for teaming up with Habitat Québec and look forward to continuing to work with her towards making a difference in our Habitat community.

Bruce Barton
Habitat for Humanity Saint John Region

Bruce has been an amazing volunteer with Habitat for Humanity Saint John Region for over six years. A staple in Habitat ReStore’s donations area, Brue eagerly helps to sort donations and assist with testing, pricing, and so much more! You can find him at the Saint John Habitat ReStore almost every Saturday. We are very appreciative of Bruce’s thorough approach and willingness to help out in any way he can. Bruce is truly a value to Habitat for Humanity.

Gord and Carol Fuller
Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta

Gord and Carol are a husband-and-wife team who have been volunteering at the Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta ReStore since 2020. When COVID shut down much of the world, Gord and Carol never pressed the pause button on volunteering, demonstrating their commitment to giving back to their community. Carol provides front of store customer service support, dazzling customers with her friendliness. Gord, on the other hand, loves to work at the back, assisting staff and customers with building supplies. Kind-hearted and fun-loving, Gord and Carol are adored by staff and volunteers alike. We thank Gord and Carol for their dedicated service to Habitat Southern Alberta.

John Newman
Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North

Whether he’s driving a Habitat ReStore truck, swinging a hammer, leading Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North’s local Board or contributing on Habitat Canada’s National Board, John is Habitat Vancouver Island North’s 'Millard Fuller' – an exemplary man who leads with a clear vision of serving families. John lives the Habitat mission and champions our values. We thank John for his decade of contribution to our goal of empowering local families to secure their futures.

Martin Ellard
Habitat for Humanity Waterloo Region

While waiting for an opportunity to join a Habitat International build, Martin learned that there was a build going on in his own community. Three years later, he is still helping build homes with Habitat for Humanity Waterloo Region, having donated almost 3,000 hours of his time. Martin quickly became a Team Lead, mentoring new volunteers and has been a consistent volunteer, even throughout a pandemic, showing his commitment to community. Staff enjoy Martin’s positive nature and witty sense of humour; he is willing to work at any task assigned, and provides good leadership to those he works with. We thank Martin for the heart he brings to helping families at Habitat Waterloo Region.

Wayne Richard
Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex

Despite being a veteran volunteer with Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex for over twenty years, Wayne never fails to put the utmost effort into his daily work. Wayne specializes in light fixture repairs and inspection, but always helps out in other ways at the Windsor-Essex’s Habitat ReStore, and never hesitates to share a laugh with his colleagues. Habitat Windsor-Essex can always count on him to help out multiple days a week at the ReStore. He loves to give back to the community and is so happy that he still gets to learn something new each and every day. Wayne is the perfect example of what it means to be a Habitat volunteer, and we are lucky to have him on our team.

Suzanne Greening
Habitat for Humanity Yukon

Suzanne has been and continues to be the lifeline to Habitat for Humanity Yukon. While Suzanne has been its executive director since 2021, she started as a volunteer board member in 2018 and has been an integral part of Habitat Yukon. The countless hours Suzanne continues to volunteer on top of her executive director duties, all to help better this local Habitat is incredible. Its Board of Directors would not be as committed, passionate, and dedicated without the clear guidelines, communication, role modelling, and commitment Suzanne has shown Habitat Yukon.  The impact of Suzanne’s contributions is immeasurable.