Celebrating our volunteers
It’s National Volunteer Week! Many local Habitat for Humanity organizations across the country have had to temporarily close their offices, ReStores and build sites. That means that, for the next while, our volunteers have put down their hammers and are safe at home. We are looking forward to the day we can re-open and invite all our dedicated and amazing volunteers back. And we’re grateful for the opportunity to highlight the efforts of just a few 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. We’re looking forward to seeing all of you in person again soon.
Habitat for Humanity Brant-Norfolk
Eric has been a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity Brant-Norfolk for five years. He volunteers on our Build Committee, he is on the build site multiple days a week, and when we are NOT in build mode Eric volunteers in the Brantford ReStore. Eric is a team player; he gets along with everyone, is kind and patient and always greets everyone with a warm welcome and big smile. Eric's wife Mary volunteers with us as well, and his son Paul used to volunteer with us - until we hired him to be our full-time truck assistant - proving that volunteering is a Ferguson family affair!
Habitat for Humanity Camrose
Cheryll moved to the Camrose area in 2008. She joined our Family Service Committee in 2009. She served as our secretary for many years. She is a very active member of our committee and has always been ready and willing to do whatever needs to be done. She has helped with interviewing the families, making decisions and also has helped with rewriting our manual and form letters. Cheryll has been a great asset to our committee and deserves to be recognized for her contribution to Habitat Camrose.
Habitat for Humanity Chatham-Kent
Christine Muckle is a treasured and integral member of the Habitat for Humanity Chatham-Kent's team. As a founding member of this affiliate in 2009 she has played an integral role in the growth this affiliate has seen. Christine contributes to several different areas within our affiliate including being a board member, board treasurer, and sitting on the ReStore Committee. Christine is a tireless advocate for Habitat for Humanity Chatham-Kent and we are extremely grateful for all that she has contributed to this organization over the past 11 years.
Habitat for Humanity Cornwall & The Counties
Hank Blasiak has been a driving force for Habitat Cornwall since 2015. As board chair, he has helped revitalize our organization. This includes home build participation, the relocation of our ReStore, the development of a dynamic strategic plan, preparations for our first semi-detached build and more. Day to day, he engages the wider community for Habitat’s benefit as a fantastic ambassador. He takes new and potential board members under his wing and helps volunteers play to their strengths. Habitat Cornwall would not be the vibrant, evolving organization that it is today without Hank’s dedication, drive and award-winning smile.
Habitat for Humanity Fredericton Area
Dave Whitney has been our jack-of-all-trades ReStore volunteer for three years! He faithfully volunteers two days a week and assists with customer service, pricing products, repair and assembly of furniture. Dave always has a warm greeting for everyone he meets. He has also become a wonderful friend and support to our volunteer, Ralph (pictured with Dave) who has intellectual disabilities. He drives Ralph for his volunteer shifts, assists Ralph as needed throughout their shifts, and makes sure that Ralph attends all our special events. We are very thankful for Dave’s ongoing dedication to Habitat Fredericton!
Habitat for Humanity Greater Ottawa
Linda LeBlanc has been a dedicated volunteer with Habitat for Humanity Greater Ottawa for over seven years. Reliable and always smiling, you can find Linda on our build site every Tuesday with coffee brewing, ready to host our volunteers. As a Site Liaison, Linda makes sure that everyone is informed, prepared and has what they need throughout the day, from fitting safety boots and hard hats to preparing meals and helping to keep the build site running smoothly. Linda embodies the Habitat mission and is always willing to help in any way possible. Habitat for Humanity Greater Ottawa would not be the same without Linda!
Habitat for Humanity Greater Toronto Area
Pat started volunteering June 2nd 2016, through a program via March of Dimes and once his program was completed he decided to continue volunteering. Pat is always looking for ways to help in the store, he is a great leader and a great asset for us. He takes the young kids under his wing and helps them feel comfortable and spends time getting to know them. He enjoys showing young volunteers how to test lights, keep the back organized, and encourages them to take initiative in tasks. Pat encompasses the true meaning of volunteerism. Pat is here almost every day that he isn’t working, sometimes as often as six days a week.
Habitat for Humanity Hamilton
Mike volunteers with us in the Hamilton ReStore and has been providing his support for just over a year. He has a special way of elevating the atmosphere in the ReStore, thanks to his upbeat attitude. You'll oftentimes find him providing exceptional customer service and mentoring our youth volunteers. Working as an officer with Toronto Police Service, Mike cares deeply about his community. It's a common occurrence to find him volunteering in the ReStore, even after he's just completed a night shift. We want to recognize Mike because his commitment goes above and beyond his volunteer job description and it makes a world of difference.
Peggy Anne Endean
Habitat for Humanity Heartland Ontario
Habitat Heartland Ontario would like to acknowledge the contributions of Peggy Anne Endean. Peggy Anne has been with Habitat Heartland since 2017 when she first joined us through our Build Project. Since then, she has contributed countless hours to our ReStore, special events, and build site. She now plays a key role on our administration team, where she helps with a variety of tasks within the volunteer services department. Peggy Anne is dependable, and a great ambassador to our mission. I cannot express in words how much Peggy Anne has contributed to the organization and the value she brings having her as a volunteer.
Habitat for Humanity Huron County
Glenn joined the board of directors in May 2015. In August 2015 Glenn headed the (resurrected) Affiliate Build Committee; his expertise assisted with decisions related to the House Construction Guidelines. In April of 2017 he became the vice-chair and finally chair in April 2018. Recently, Glenn supervised two builds, in Clinton and Goderich, donating most of two summers and beyond to Habitat Huron County. Two families have started on the path to strength, stability and self-reliance through affordable homeownership because of Glenn’s generous time and dedication. With more than 100 hours volunteered in 2019, in addition to his role on the board, Glenn has been a true champion for Habitat Huron County and an inspiration for all of our volunteers.
Habitat for Humanity Kingston Limestone Region
Dan Cumming has been part of the Habitat for Humanity Kingston team for as long as we can remember. As soon as he retired from being an aircraft pilot who travelled all around Asia, he wanted to stay active and give back to his community—that’s when he decided to join Habitat for Humanity. He signed up as a build volunteer, and would come regularly until the completion of the project. Once the build season was over, he would switch to help with the processing of donations at the ReStore. He is a real team player and is not afraid to give a hand wherever is needed. Dan is more than a volunteer to us. He has become someone whom we can rely on, become a mentor to newer volunteers and is always able to make everyone feel welcomed and included, a characteristic that not everyone has. We think that he truly deserves to be nominated as the volunteer of the year as a recognition for his many years of continuous support and friendship.
Habitat for Humanity Manitoba
John has been an active volunteer with Habitat Manitoba for a dozen years. He served on our board of directors for nine years, including two years as chair. He raises money for us every year and makes a personal donation himself. For the Carter Work Project in 2017, he secured the largest personal donation in our history ($250,000) and raised another $175,000 from his family and friends. John organized our first Board Build and participates in that event every year. Many times he has served as a House Leader or Team Leader on build projects. Every year John makes several presentations about Habitat to prospective donor and volunteer groups.
Habitat for Humanity Mid-Vancouver Island
Joe Pereira has been volunteering in the Nanaimo ReStore since 2014. He volunteers between 500 to 1000 hours a year. Joe comes into the store almost every day and spends most of his time in the warehouse where he can be found fixing and cleaning lights, which provides important sales for the ReStore. Joe explains, "It wasn't long before I found my niche, and it's become an important and rewarding part of my life. I love being able to be of service to the people who come into the store, and to an organization that is helpful to so many people in their pursuit of the dream to own their own home." Joe is an integral part of our ReStore team!
Habitat for Humanity Niagara
Mark has been an integral part of the Salvage Team since 2017. In his own words, he volunteers to “help improve the opportunities for those in need within the community. It’s rewarding and the people are amazing. I’m proud to be both involved with and advocate for Habitat!” The program is our largest revenue source and he’s easily the most valuable member on the team, having done 66 salvage days last year, often as Crew Lead. He’s the first to take on the more challenging jobs and always puts in extra effort when needed.
Habitat for Humanity Okanagan
Larry is always willing to help as he spends most days at The Up Project. We are very lucky to have his dedication and more so his amazing talents! Since Larry has been with us, he has created some amazing one of kind pieces and said his specialty is wall art and custom reclaimed furniture. Outside of The Up Project Larry has a passion for wood carving. The talent Larry has will not go unnoticed because he is always creating something new and different.
Habitat for Humanity Prince Albert
I was first introduced to Garry through his employer Andrew of Prime Mechanical. Garry had been doing the plumbing for us on one of our build sites. One day he asked if he could come in on the weekend and help out with the drywall mudding and sanding. Since this time, Garry has always gone out of his way to help out with Habitat for Humanity in Prince Albert, not only as a plumber but often doing work in the evenings on his time to reduce costs for us and also volunteering in other ways on our builds. I feel it is important to recognize all volunteers but especially ones who truly go out of their way to help such as Garry has.
Habitat for Humanity Prince Edward Island
Frank is a dedicated volunteer, often working over 40 hours per week. He began volunteering with us during the 2019 build year. Frank’s skill set and commitment to families extends beyond using many of his own tools and materials during builds as he also supervises volunteers and sub-contractors when the construction manager is unavailable. Frank’s devotion to volunteering is evident through his generous in-kind donation of using his own vehicle to transport equipment, tools, and build site waste. He is often on-site thirty minutes early to be sure the site is prepared and organized for the day. Frank’s value is immeasurable.
Habitat for Humanity Red Deer
Dustin Olson is a tremendous leader and champion for Habitat Red Deer! As Operations Manager for LaFarge Canada, he brings a wealth of business knowledge to the table. He has been serving on our board of directors for the past five years, with four of those years in executive positions including treasurer and most recently as board chair. Dustin sits on three board committees, attends Habitat events regularly and encourages other companies to volunteer and donate to the Habitat cause. His commitment to governance excellence, financial acumen, positive attitude and ability to rally people around common goals makes him a well-liked and respected leader.
Habitat for Humanity Saint John Region
Nancy Shipley has been with Habitat for Humanity Saint John for just over two years now, and she has become an integral part of our team. You will find Nancy at the ReStore most days and she always shows up with a huge smile. Her warmth and kindness make her a favourite with customers and staff alike. Nancy was instrumental in organizing and setting up our Christmas store, ReDecorate, in 2019, and it was her love and enthusiasm that made the Christmas store a huge success. We are very blessed to have someone like Nancy on our team.
Habitat for Humanity South Georgian Bay
What motivates him? Knowing that his ReStore work has a direct impact on sales, which builds more houses to help more families. Meeting future homeowners as they volunteer, seeing the lasting change it makes to a family's life is so rewarding. He and his wife Ingrid believe in giving back and pay it forward by volunteering!
Habitat for Humanity Southeast British Columbia
At the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Castlegar, we are privileged to have many volunteers that deserve recognition for their support throughout the year. However, 2019 was a break-out year for us in the community, and we relied heavily on social media to spread the word about everything happening at our ReStore, so we would like to nominate Wendy Wagner. Wendy has been such a valuable supporter. She posts every week to our Facebook page and works a shift every week as a volunteer cashier/customer service person also. Anyone who has met Wendy would agree, her upbeat personality and laughter are special, and something we all look forward to.
Glenda has been a member of our Family Selection Committee (FSC) for over a decade. Looking to apply the skills she had gained from her career with the Calgary School Board, Glenda, a long-time supporter of Habitat’s programs, decided to start volunteering with the FSC after attending a friend’s home dedication. Her passion and commitment to our cause is evident in the bonds she has built with her committee members and the warmth that she brings to family home visits. She has said that some of her fondest memories are of the families she has met. She has been a constant support and we are grateful to have her as part of our Habitat family!
Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North
Sharon has been volunteering with us for over two years, and has been a bright light to our organization. Not only does she bring a smile and positive attitude to every shift, she also is an incredible organizer and is retail savvy. She brings her expertise to our Kitchen Wares department, where we’ve noticed considerably more sales in the last few years. In addition to her winning attitude on the floor, she also donates her time to do specialized projects. Most recently, she used her chalk painting skill to update old outdated furniture and make it look fabulous and new! She recently created a gorgeous quilt that was featured at our Restore and auctioned off to raise more funds for our builds. Sharon’s enthusiastic and charitable spirit is contagious! She’s now enrolled a few of her close friends to volunteer with us and they’ve also become regulars. We are so blessed to have Sharon on our team, and we hope she knows just how grateful all our families are for her service.
Habitat for Humanity Victoria
You can find Terry at the Westshore ReStore volunteering his lighting and electronics expertise three days a week. Terry is a reliable volunteer who is extremely knowledgeable on product. Whenever he is on shift, we can count on Terry to test and repair tons of product, which can then go on the sales floor. When Terry is on shift, his outstanding work speeds up our process and helps us increase our sales. And when a new volunteer starts with Habitat Victoria, Terry is quick to jump in and show them the ropes. Terry’s reliability, skills, expertise and excellent attitude all add up to making him a SUPERSTAR volunteer.
Habitat for Humanity Waterloo Region
What began as volunteering for a corporate build day with Coldwell Banker six years ago has turned into a weekly donation of time to Habitat Waterloo Region from Sharon, who resolved to return regularly once she retired. She kept that promise, and both she and her daughter Elizabeth volunteer with our Hospitality team. Sharon cooks and bakes nutritious meals for our volunteers, ensures safe food handling practices are adhered to and provides leadership and guidance to other hospitality volunteers. Her contribution of time, energy, and caring are key factors in recognizing hundreds of our volunteers annually, and for that, we thank her.
Habitat for Humanity Wellington Dufferin Guelph
Steve Lasko has been a volunteer with Habitat Wellington Dufferin Guelph since 2017. During his time here, Steve has supported us at our ReStores, on our build sites and as a Kitchen Salvage Crew Member. Steve has been a very positive and energetic volunteer during the construction of Cityview Village. As a retired plumber with more than 50 years of construction experience he knows how to fix almost anything. His kind nature and sense of humour brightens the day for all of us at Habitat and he has helped many of our new homeowners settle happily into Cityview Village over the past year.
Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex
We would like to recognize Greg Sasso for his volunteer service in 2019. Greg joined our volunteer team a little more than one year ago. A recent retiree Greg recognized he had time to give back and was interested in Habitat's work as well as developing new skills. Little did we realize upon that first meeting how integral Greg would become. There is no task that our affiliate undertakes that Greg is not willing to be a part of – he assists at the ReStore, on our build, kitchen salvage crew and any additional projects we undertake. Greg is an amazing addition to our team and should be recognized for his generous nature and dedication.