Emily, a Habitat homeowner, holds some of the #BidtoBuild donations from 2020. The auction was so successful, Habitat VIN will be doing it again this year. Photo submitted

Emily, a Habitat homeowner, holds some of the #BidtoBuild donations from 2020. The auction was so successful, Habitat VIN will be doing it again this year. Photo submitted

Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North wins national award for online auction

Comox Valley/Campbell River chapter bringing #BidtoBuild Online Auction back this year

Another year, another national award for Habitat For Humanity Vancouver Island North.

The local chapter was recently recognized with the Habitat for Humanity Canada Epic Engagement Award for its 2020 #BidtoBuild Online Auction fundraiser.

COVID-19 restrictions forced Habitat VIN to get creative in its fundraising efforts in 2020, and staff stepped up to the challenge, creating an overwhelmingly successful online auction – so much so, there will be another #BidtoBuild Online Auction this year.

“We lost significant revenue when our ReStores closed for over two months. Many of our usual fundraising initiatives were untenable. We needed a new way to engage the community and raise money to build homes and serve families, and it had to be COVID-safe, doable under a short timeline, and something that would resonate with our supporters and community,” explained Pat McKenna, Habitat VIN’s executive director. “Luckily, Cloutier Matthews Chartered Professional Accountants and Temprite Climate Solutions stepped up as presenting sponsors. We wouldn’t have been able to do it without them, and we’re grateful they’re joining us again for a second year.”

The Habitat VIN team also credits their media sponsors the Comox Valley Record, the Campbell River Mirror, and 97.3 The Eagle, for helping them get the word out.

Previous awards

It is the third time in five years that Habitat VIN has been honoured with the Epic Engagement Award. In 2017, it won for its partnership with the City of Campbell River, as well as the development and launch of a new financial education program.

In 2019 it won the Epic Engagement Award for its brand-building efforts.

The local chapter has been recognized nationally in other areas as well. In 2017 it won two awards, also receiving the Mobilized Leadership Award. In 2018 it brought home the Sustainable Funding Award for its partnership with the Comox Valley Coalition to End Homelessness.

In 2020, Habitat VIN was awarded Housing Innovation Award for employing new, improved and innovative cost-effective construction technologies.

2021 #BidtoBuild

#BidtoBuild 2021 will run from June 17-27. Funds raised will go towards Habitat VIN’s upcoming projects on 1375 Piercy Avenue in Courtenay and 461 Hilchey Road in Campbell River, which have the potential to provide safe and affordable homes for up to 32 local families. Interested bidders are encouraged to pre-register on the auction website at charityauction.bid/bidtobuild. Everyone who pre-registers for the auction will be entered into a draw for gift cards to local restaurants donated by “registration sponsor” Brian McLean Chevrolet Buick GMC Ltd.

One of the best parts of the auction, according to the Habitat team, is seeing members of the community support each other. For example, industries that are doing okay, such as Realtors and construction, are purchasing gift cards from local restaurants to donate to the auction.

“There’s really something for everyone in this auction. Gift cards to local restaurants and businesses, experiences like whale watching or a trip to Tofino, and handy household items like a fire protection kit donated by Comox Fire Rescue or a pergola for the yard,” said McKenna. “I truly think we live in one of the most generous communities in the world. We had businesses reaching out after last year’s auction ended to ask if they could donate to the next one. They want to ensure that families in their community have a safe and decent place to sleep at night.”

Last year, they had five supporting partners: The Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce, Campbell River Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Courtenay BIA, Comox BIA, and Downtown Campbell River BIA. This year, the Cumberland Business Association has joined as their sixth partner.

“The supporting partners provided invaluable guidance last year in the planning stage, and they’ve gone above and beyond in sharing information about the auction with their members and networks,” said McKenna.

Habitat VIN is still accepting donations for this year’s auction. Businesses or individuals interested in donating can contact the auction team at bidtobuild@habitatnorthisland.com or fill out a donation form at tinyurl.com/donatebid2build.

-With files from Habitat VIN

affordable housingCampbell RiverComox Valley