Because of the City of Edmonton’s platinum-level support of the Carter Work Project, 59 more families are building strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter – and more than 200 additional children have a safe, healthy place to live and dream about the future. “To come together as a community and help families build homes is a humble act of service,” says Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson. “All of us should work together and do more to make a difference.”
Mayor Gale Katchur is proud of the eight duplexes built in Fort Saskatchewan during the Carter Work Project. “We’re a nation of givers,” says the mayor, who split her time volunteering at build sites in her home city and Edmonton. Many Fort Saskatchewan residents work in the service industry and struggle financially, with some crowding into homes to share the rent with other families. The City of Fort Saskatchewan, a platinum-level Carter Work Project sponsor, plans a continued partnership with Habitat as part of its strategy to help even more families in the future.
“I’m so happy to partner with the Carter Work Project because Habitat for Humanity, the Carters and all of the volunteers are helping Albertans have better lives through better housing,” says Lori Sigurdson, who serves as Alberta’s ministers of seniors and housing. With an estimated 15,000 Albertans on the waiting list for social housing, Sigurdson is heartened by the progress she witnessed at the Carter Work Project. The Province of Alberta, a platinum-level sponsor, filled more than 100 volunteer spots during the weeklong build.
“Housing is a true component to lift people up,” says Scott Fielding, the Province of Manitoba’s minister of families. “We think that housing is really essential to creating well-being for families and individuals and really is a key component to strengthening families by building healthy communities.” The Province of Manitoba, a platinum-level sponsor, backed up that belief by joining with the Canadian government to invest in the Carter Work Project, which included the construction of 25 affordable homes in Winnipeg and surrounding areas.
Tyler Edgington, president of Dow Canada, is proud that the company he works for donated products to every single of the 150 houses built during the Carter Work Project and supported the project as a gold-level sponsor. “Dow has proudly supported Habitat for Humanity for 35 years, and we’re looking forward to continuing the partnership for at least another 35 years,” he says. Tyler had a great time volunteering on what he calls his “first of many” Habitat builds and was wowed with his team’s results after just five days.
Volunteering at the Carter Work Project just made sense to Sue Rainville, director of marketing at Hunter Douglas Group Canada. The company, a gold-level sponsor, filled more than 140 volunteer spots in 15 cities across Canada. “At the end of the day, life is about giving back and helping your community,” Sue says. “Carter Work Project volunteers are helping families improve their homes and elevate their lives.”
Bruce Wilmer knows all about Habitat for Humanity’s work. The vice president and general manager of Lafarge, a gold-level sponsor, has dedicated countless winter days to building frames and floor joists at the Habitat Prefab Shop in Edmonton. The pieces completed there during the freezing months are moved to Habitat build sites when it’s warm enough for volunteers to work outside. “When you see the families and how much their lives will change once they move into their new homes,” Bruce says, “you realize how much good your day of volunteering will do.”
Shawn Kidd, finance system administrator for Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries, a gold-level sponsor, has helped build Habitat homes around Manitoba and was happy to get the chance to put in days at the Carter Work Project in Winnipeg. He also has traveled to Cambodia and Portugal with Habitat’s Global Village program. “I am the one who benefits from this,” Shawn says. “It makes me feel good. It’s awesome that my work allows me the time off to go out and help the community.”
Sara Pedersen, program director of The Rossy Family Foundation, a gold-level sponsor, worked alongside a future homeowner and other women to construct a set of stairs during the week of the Carter Work Project. The team worked hard to make sure everything was just right and, when they were done, each woman signed a message of love underneath the steps. “So many homeowners at the Carter Work Project have the ability to achieve so much,” Sara says. “Moving into healthy, affordable homes will make all the difference in their lives.”
“The reward you get from volunteering with Habitat is so much more than what you put in,” says Steve Stremecki, regional sales manager of CGC, a silver-level sponsor. He should know. Nearly 25 years ago, Steve began volunteering with Habitat after participating in his first Carter Work Project in Canada in 1993. Steve was happy to build with the Carters again this year and connect with local Edmonton families, Habitat volunteers and his colleagues at CGC. Steve builds with Habitat families, he says, so that together they can have a positive impact on their community.
Volunteers from the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation, a silver-level sponsor, built alongside Habitat families at the Carter Work Project. Ryan Marsh, assistant coach for the Edmonton Oil Kings, the Oilers’ junior hockey team, was struck by just how many volunteers came from all over to help families in Edmonton. “As a volunteer, you feel like you’re really part of something special,” he says.
Floform, a silver-level sponsor, has donated countertops to local Habitat homes and ReStores for several years. The Carter Work Project gave Candice Brent, Floform’s co-owner, the chance to experience what she has been contributing to. Candice and her son made it a point to meet as many homeowners as they could, really getting to know the mother they built alongside. Candice took pictures throughout the week to make her new friend a photo album. “I can’t say enough about how great this experience has been,” Candice says.
The Carter Work Project was life-changing for Harlan Stone, chief executive of Halstead International, a silver-level sponsor. “The opportunity to work with people at this project has been one of the happiest experiences of my life,” he says. “I’m so proud to share Halstead’s products and passion with the future homeowners.” The company, there on behalf of The Home Depot, donated all of the flooring for the Edmonton and Fort Saskatchewan homes. Harlan has been connected to Habitat in one way or another for the past two decades but this was his first Carter Work Project. He called it “an honor” to bring some 20 employees along to play a part in strengthening their communities.
Sean Tayler, who heads the Kristie Charitable Foundation, a silver-level sponsor, spent part of his childhood living in social housing so he knows what a stable home means to a family. The foundation, which was started by Sean’s mother, has been sponsoring homes for families for close to 20 years. “So many people don’t know the joy and pride that come from giving back, and that is unfortunate,” says Sean, who framed a house alongside a future homeowner at the Carter Work Project.
James Frison, director of community relations for Lowe’s, a silver-level sponsor, describes the Carter Work Project as a kind of family reunion. James has built with Habitat before, but this was his first international build. It gave him the chance to engage with other Lowe’s employees and Habitat homeowners. “When you get a hug or a ‘thank you’ from a homeowner, it is so sincere,” he says. “Showing you care about them and their situation is a big deal to the homeowners.”
Canada’s 150th birthday. The Nissan Canada Foundation’s 10th year partnering with Habitat. Louise Pan could think of no better way to celebrate these major milestones than to give fellow foundation employees the opportunity to make a difference at the Carter Work Project. “The power and impact of Habitat’s work is something you can only truly discover on a build site,” says Louise, manager of Nissan Canada Foundation, a silver-level sponsor. “It is amazing to realize that we’re transforming lives for so many families.”
“Even though Owens Corning has offices all over the world, working with Habitat always feels local,” says Don Rettig, president of Owens Corning Foundation, a silver-level sponsor. “We like working with Habitat because they have offices in every area where we work, so we can easily get our employees involved in their communities through Habitat build projects.”
Silver-level sponsor Qualico has partnered with Habitat Edmonton for years, helping to purchase and develop land. Most Habitat houses in Edmonton are built in Qualico communities. At the Carter Work Project, Qualico employees helped do the building. “It’s all about the families,” says Brad Armstrong, Qualico’s vice president of community development. He called the progress made each day amazing. “Another great thing about volunteering with Habitat is how quickly you create lasting relationships with the homeowners and volunteers,” he says.
“Housing seems so basic, yet it is so very important,” says Juan Macias, president of silver-level sponsor Schneider Electric. He has shown just how important he thinks it is by volunteering with Habitat for seven years now. When Schneider Electric decided to support the 2017 Carter Work Project, Juan was excited to build with a team from his company, including Ted Klee, senior vice president of the global supply chain who first volunteered with Habitat in 1989. “Meeting the homeowners is great,” Ted says. “Understanding how your brief time on the build site impacts their lives is amazing.”
Silver-level sponsor Stanley Black & Decker generously donated all of the tools used to build homes at the 2017 Carter Work Project. “A day spent on any Habitat site automatically ranks up with one of my favorite memories, but a day spent on the Carter Work Project site is truly an experience unto itself,” says Tim Perra, the company’s vice president of corporate brand marketing. “Seeing more than 1,000 volunteers from around the world work together with the common purpose to make the world better for their neighbors is truly an inspiration.”
“It’s hard to verbally describe this experience,” says Michele Perret, a community engagement lead with silver-level sponsor Stantec. “You have to see and hear it in person to really understand. Details, like how it felt to walk to the build site with the homeowners lined up greeting us each morning, leave a lasting impression.” Stantec volunteers were blown away by the more than 1,000 volunteers who came to build alongside 75 families in Edmonton and Fort Saskatchewan. “Working for an employer that builds homes, we know how important affordable, decent housing is,” says Kim Petrin, a senior associate and urban planner.
“Volunteering on a Habitat build site is life-changing,” says Dan Campbell, vice president of risk management for silver-level sponsor Telus. His colleague, Claudia Roszell, vice president of risk management and chief internal auditor, agreed. During the 2017 Carter Work Project, the two exemplified Telus’ motto, “Giving Where We Live.” Claudia loved seeing how proud first-time volunteers were to learn a new skill. “I appreciate the sheer volume of volunteers from Edmonton and all over the world, rallying behind something as valuable as decent housing,” she says.
After attending his first Habitat home dedication, David Wall was hooked. “I was crying and laughing at the same time,” says the president and CEO of silver-level sponsor Wall Grain. He and his wife, Denise, have supported Habitat since 2009. The nature of his company, which builds grain bins and dryers, hasn’t left David much time for swinging hammers and raising roofs. He made time during the 2017 Carter Work Project. “They got me putting on insulation on the outside of the house,” David said. “This is all about a hand up.”
Special thanks to Canada-level sponsor All Weather Windows.
Special thanks to Canada-level sponsor Beaver Plastics.
Special thanks to Canada-level sponsor Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating.
Special thanks to Canada-level sponsor Canadian Tire.
Special thanks to Canada-level sponsor CHMC.
Special thanks to Canada-level sponsor Cossette.
Special thanks to Canada-level sponsor Cycle of Hope.
Special thanks to Canada-level sponsor Delta Airlines.
Special thanks to Canada-level sponsor Habitat for Humanity Faith Build.
Special thanks to Canada-level sponsor Genworth.
Special thanks to Canada-level sponsor Gordon Food Services.
Special thanks to Canada-level sponsor Great West Life.
Special thanks to Canada-level sponsor Manitoba Property Insurance.
Special thanks to Canada-level sponsor McGillivray Group.
Special thanks to Canada-level sponsor Nehemiah Faith Build.
Special thanks to Canada-level sponsor PCL.
Special thanks to Canada-level sponsor Phantom Screens.
Special thanks to Canada-level sponsor PlyGem.
Special thanks to Canada-level sponsor Pollard Banknote Limited.
Special thanks to Canada-level sponsor Reliance.
Special thanks to Canada-level sponsor Ride Around the Lake.
Special thanks to Canada-level sponsor Schlage.
Special thanks to Canada-level sponsor Tachane Foundation.
Special thanks to Canada-level sponsor Whirlpool Corporation.
Special thanks to Canada-level sponsor Habitat for Humanity Manitoba Women Build.
Special thanks to bronze-level sponsor ATB Financial.
Special thanks to bronze-level sponsor Bank of America.
Special thanks to bronze-level sponsor Bill and Paulette Winter.
Special thanks to bronze-level sponsor BMO.
Special thanks to bronze-level sponsor Bodtker Group.
Special thanks to bronze-level sponsor Christenson Group of Companies.
Special thanks to bronze-level sponsor DAL-TILE.
Special thanks to bronze-level sponsor Enbridge.
Special thanks to bronze-level sponsor James Fargey.
Special thanks to bronze-level sponsor MCAP.
Special thanks to bronze-level sponsor Nearctic Property Group.
Special thanks to bronze-level sponsor Nissan USA.
Special thanks to bronze-level sponsor Rohit Communities.
Special thanks to bronze-level sponsor Strathern Heights Apartments.
Special thanks to bronze-level sponsor Ursuline Sisters of Tildonk.
Special thanks to bronze-level sponsor Wawanesa Insurance.
Special thanks to community developer-level sponsor Alberta Forest Products Association.
Special thanks to community developer-level sponsor Cabico by Gem Cabinets.
Special thanks to community developer-level sponsor Edmonton Community Foundation.
Special thanks to community developer-level sponsor John Deere Foundation of Canada.