The first session of New Horizons information session was held on Thursday, January 10th at 10 a.m. at the Maryhill Heritage Park Community Centre. It was a large group of interested men and women who came to listen to Karen Coviello, who is the Chief Executive Officer for Habitat for Humanity. Her topic was Building Homes and Hope. There were lively question and answers taking place throughout her presentation.
She spoke on how Habitat for Humanity brings communities together to help families build strength, stability and independence through affordable housing. Thanks to their many volunteers they are able to build, safe affordable single family and multi-unit homes that give low-income families in the community the chance to purchase their own home and build a better life . These volunteers are from various walks of life and different age groups.
They do not give away free homes — the families pay an interest-free mortgage geared to their income and must volunteer 500 hours, once their mortgages are paid off the funds are invested into a revolving fund, which is then used to build more homes for low-income families in the community. They can usually build 6 homes a year in our area, to date they have helped more than 142 families in the Waterloo Region. The value of these homes would be in the range of $270 thousand dollars – thanks to the volunteering, donations etc.
Like Karen said sometimes “Life throws wrinkles”.
They have 2 local ReStores in our area – Waterloo and Cambridge. They accept donations of new and gently used items. This keeps tons of perfectly good items from ending up in the landfill sites. The money realized from these stores pays for the administration costs.
How can you help? Donate money, donate items to their ReStore, shop and spread the word about their store, and volunteer. There are many areas in which you can volunteer – working on construction sites, helping at the ReStores, working behind the scenes, arranging merchandise, etc., etc.
In 1985 Habitat for Humanity came to Canada and the first home was built in Winkler, Manitoba with Winnipeg becoming the first local Habitat two years later. There are now 56 Habitats for Humanity in every province and territory. .
The next meeting will be on Thursday, February 14th at the Maryhill Heritage Park Community Centre from 10 – 11:30 a.m. Admission is $2.00 which includes refreshments and treats. Guest speaker will be Kevin Snyder, Owner of Snyder Heritage Farms
and his topic will be “The Sweet Smell of Success and Maple Syrup.