Pedro Nasser (right), Nissan’s dealer operations manager, congratulates Habitat VIN director of development Tom Beshr on the new truck. Photo by Mike Chouinard

Habitat Vancouver Island North wins truck from Nissan Foundation

Area chapter’s national grant will cover cost of new vehicle to help with build sites

Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North (Habitat VIN) has been using the same 1997 pick-up for building projects for years.

The truck racked up 850,000 kms, so it’s a good time for the area’s chapter to get a new truck.

On Monday morning, Habitat VIN celebrated its new Nissan Titan pick-up that it can use at its build sites in the region. The organization was awarded a $60,000 grant from Nissan Canada Foundation to cover the cost of the vehicle.

“We’ve been applying for this since the program started,” says Habitat VIN’s director of development, Tom Beshr.

He met with Nissan North Island in Campbell River and Comox Valley Nissan to mark the occasion. The new truck is white and prominently features the Habitat for Humanity decal in black.

“You guys did an awesome job with the decal,” said Pedro Nasser, Nissan’s dealer operations manager, Pacific region – territory A.

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Nissan Canada Foundation has been a partner of Habitat for Humanity Canada for the past 12 years, and since 2008, it has donated more than $1 million to help Habitat for Humanity in Canada projects. These projects, in turn, help Canadian families with affordable home ownership. Since the partnership began in 2008, nearly 1,400 Nissan Canada and dealership staff have volunteered more than 9,000 hours of time to help build 50 homes in cities across the country

In addition, Nissan has been supporting Habitat’s day-to-day operations across the country through the vehicle giveaway program starting in 2016. Fifty Habitat chapters were eligible to apply for the grant this year.

“We’ve been applying for this since the program started,” Beshr said. “It’s highly competitive, and this year we won.”

The eligible Habitat for Humanity groups from across Canada were invited to submit proposals demonstrating a relationship with a local Nissan dealership – in this case, the two North Island sites – their need for a new vehicle and how the vehicle would help them serve more families.

Founded in 2004, Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North brings communities together to help families with affordable home ownership. With its head office in the Comox Valley, it covers an area from Bowser to Port Hardy.

The organization operates two ReStores, one in Campbell River and one in Courtenay, to help generate funds with projects. So far, it has built 24 homes on the North Island. At present, Habitat VIN is working on multi-phase, multi-unit projects on 477 Hilchey Rd. in Campbell River and 1330 Lake Trail Rd. in Courtenay. These will house 21 families by the end of 2020. Beshr encourages people in the Comox Valley to consider volunteering some time to help with the build on Hilchey Road, adding they might even get to ride up to Campbell River in the new truck.

For more information, see www.habitatnorthisland.com.

(This story has been updated.)



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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