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April 23, 2018: Jane Defoe and Leanne Alexander, Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta.     website

Bill Fitzsimmons introduced our speakers. However, prior to doing so he gave an overview of the Global Village Teams with Habitat for Humanity. Bill and his wife have been on seven international builds with Habitat.

Jane Defoe is the Fund Development Officer with Habitat for Humanity in Southern Alberta. She provided an overview of the need, indicating people who could not get ahead in life without the help of Habitat. 50% are single parents who struggle to provide a stable family environment for their children.

She gave an example of a mother and three children who were caught in a cycle of unpredictable rent increases, overcrowded conditions, and a lack of access to affordable financing. Typical families live with a constant burden of uncertainty, stress and fear. That’s why Habitat Canada partners with working, low-income families to help them build strength, stability and independence through affordable homeownership.

Habitat homeownership provides families with more than just equity – it instills them with a renewed sense of pride and responsibility. And while the impact is immediate, the effects are lasting. Research has shown that Habitat homeowners are happier, healthier and more financially stable, which can allow them to return to school, learn a new trade or upgrade their job skills. Meanwhile, their children are more confident and do better in school.

Jane Defoe

Leanne Alexander is the Volunteer Services Manager with Habitat for Humanity in Southern Alberta. Last year 3000 volunteers helped at Habitat in Southern Alberta. She described three areas people can volunteer their time.

  1. A variety of construction work is available year-round, from framing and dry walling, to painting and finishing work. All of the safety equipment, tools and training are provided, so all you have to bring is yourself.
  2. When you volunteer at ReStores, you’re helping to generate funds to cover overhead costs and ensure donations go directly toward building more homes. There are two ReStores in Calgary, and one in Medicine Hat. ReStore volunteers assist with all elements of retail operations, from creating displays to stocking inventory and building customer relationships. If you love interacting with people and working with a team to accomplish tasks, this would be a great fit for you.
  3. Other areas to volunteer include working in the office, becoming a crew leader, working on committees and participating in home visits.

Leanne Alexander

Bryden Horwood expressed the thanks of the club and presented our speakers with our famous Boltman.

  • Terry Felton, Jane Defoe, Leanne Alexander, Bill Fitzsimmons, and Bryden Horwood Terry Felton, Jane Defoe, Leanne Alexander, Bill Fitzsimmons, and Bryden Horwood

reported by Mike Carlin

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