Community Papers

Habitat for Humanity announces ReStore co-ordinator

Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North has a new member.

Karen Bezaire is the new acting volunteer co-ordinator for the ReStore, build site, and deconstruction projects.

Karen comes to the organization with experience in international volunteer programs as well as other not for profit organizations like the Comox Bay Care Society, and the St. Joseph's Hospital Foundation office.

Working in Africa and Ukraine, Karen understands the value of volunteers.

“Volunteering gives everyone a voice and the space to contribute to the quality of life for someone in their community,” she says. “My first real introduction to HfH in the Comox Valley,” notes Karen, “was noticing that Lisa, a lady who used the same home daycare as me, picking up her son wearing a blue Habitat for Humanity T-shirt.

"When I asked her about it, she was more than happy to share her story. She lived in a modest basement suite with a bar fridge and a hot plate. She was so thankful to have these accommodations although it was one bedroom and she was sharing it with her three-year-old son.

"I was so inspired by her story that I started researching Habitat for Humanity.”

Lisa is not alone; so many other families in our community are living in a substandard situation.

Habitat’s future six homeowners in Courtenay have to complete 500 hours of “sweat equity,” they have to be willing to partner with Habitat for Humanity, and they have to have the ability to repay back the interest free loan.

The mortgage is amortized to be no more than 30 per cent of their monthly income. It’s not just a free home as some might expect — home owners work really hard.

Volunteering provides the opportunity for individuals to engage according to their personal preference and skill. Faith groups, high school students, tradesmen and retired individuals all volunteer for Habitat for Humanity.

HfH is famous for its Women’s Build, involving and empowering women to get on the build site, use a hammer and make a difference.

If you have even four hours a week to volunteer in just one of these projects, if you have a great fundraising idea or a significant donation, contact Karen or Tom at the Habitat for Humanity Restore at 250-334-3777.

— Habitat for Humanity

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