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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Campbell River RCMP warn of ongoing frauds

The Campbell River RCMP are warning of ongoing frauds which continue to… Continue reading

City of Campbell River expands open-access internet network

CRadvantage offers affordable, high-speed internet connections – City

North Island Hospital Campbell River’s campus has a new food forest

And the hospital staff is encouraging the community to come ‘nibble’ on the produce

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Canucks tame Minnesota Wild 4-3 to even NHL qualifying series

J.T. Miller leads Vancouver with goal and an assist

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine: poll

Some are concerned about side effects, while others don’t think the virus is a big deal

Most Read