From left: George Wagner, board member; Pat McKenna, executive director; Cady Corman, marketing; Logan Ronhovde, build project manager; and John Newman, board chair. Photo credit: Christina McGory Photography

Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North recognized nationally for Epic Engagement

The organization engaged members of two cities and their surrounding areas to support them

In May 2019, Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North (Habitat VIN) received the Epic Engagement Award at the Habitat Canada National Conference in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

This is one of five awards presented at the Conference Awards Gala, and it goes to a Habitat experiencing success in building their brand and engaging their community. Over 50 local Habitats across Canada are eligible to apply for the awards.

Last year, was the first year in their history that Habitat VIN built in two communities at the same time. With major projects in Campbell River and Courtenay that will provide a combined total of 21 homes for local families by the end of 2020, the organization had to engage members of both cities and their surrounding areas to support them through volunteering and donating.

In order to do this, they partnered with organizations in the community, such as the Comox Valley Women’s Business Network, sponsors of Women Build 2018, and St. George’s United Church. A partnership with CFB Comox, where members of the military called the “Air Force Top Cover Team Build” donated their time to Habitat’s 1330 Lake Trail Road project in Courtenay, was particularly vital in ensuring they had adequate volunteer resources. They also hosted six Global Village teams who travelled from Canada and the United States to contribute to local Habitat build projects while touring the North Island.

Another criteria of the award is delivering the message to more Canadians that Habitat partners with families to help build strength, stability and self-reliance. This meant adjusting messaging and empowering staff and volunteers to act as advocates for the organization.

“A major challenge for us, and for local Habitats across Canada, is clearing up myths about our program. Some people think that we give homes away for free to homeless people, but we actually partner with low-income working families who help build their home and then pay an affordable mortgage. Many also don’t realize that the ReStore supports the building of these homes, or even that it’s connected to Habitat,” explained Cady Corman, Habitat VIN’s marketing and communications manager. “We have been making an extra effort to empower our staff, volunteers, and board members to tell the Habitat story and clear up these misconceptions.”

Despite their success in engaging the community to take action, Habitat VIN is still in need of additional volunteers as they tackle their most ambitious year of building yet.

“We wouldn’t have been able to achieve this recognition without the immense support we received from our community. Thanks to that support, we are building eight homes in 2019—double what we built last year—and we need more volunteers than ever,” said Corman. “We encourage anyone in our community to spend just one day on our build site or in our ReStore. Even if you have no experience, one day of your time would make a significant difference for Habitat and the local families we partner with.”

If you want to spend a day volunteering with Habitat, visit habitatnorthisland.com/volunteer. You can also contact Alli Epp, Habitat’s Community Engagement Manager, at alli@habitatnorthisland.com or 1-604-617-7489.

RELATED: Habitat for Humanity flings open the doors for a behind the scenes look

RELATED: Habitat for Humanity North Island wants to keep momentum going

RELATED: Habitat for Humanity, Poseidon win twice at Campbell River business awards

Just Posted

Campbell River’s Defeat Depression Walk gets the word out

Saturday’s Defeat Depression Walk raised awareness and funds for the Campbell River… Continue reading

VIDEO: Repaved stretch of Hwy. 19A dangerous, Campbell River cyclist says

Mayor says city could do better job at consulting with cyclists and other residents

Campbell River-area residents on the hook following fisheries violations

DFO announces convictions related to sea urchin, prawn fisheries

VIDEO: Heroes highlighted in Campbell River

The 2nd annual Local Hero Awards took place on May 16 in Campbell River

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Most Read