Habitat for Humanity came on Jim Matheson’s radar while living in Singapore, where he learned that student and teachers were building homes for widows in Cambodia. He admired Habitat’s impact in communities where adequate housing was desperately needed. After retiring from a career in accounting, Jim moved back to Edmonton and inquired about volunteering abroad with Habitat Edmonton. He was directed to Habitat for Humanity Canada’s Global Village Program, where Jim spent the next 17 years volunteering in countries all over the world. In between Global Village trips, Jim volunteered in Edmonton with Habitat. His experience in accounting led him on special projects for Habitat. He gathered and analyzed information about construction costs and practices, developed an inventory system for Habitat’s construction tools, and then began fixing worn or broken tools.
Additionally, Jim volunteered on a number of build sites in Spruce Grove, St. Albert, and Edmonton. His volunteer work was ever changing, and Jim was eventually led to ReStore last year. Every Thursday, Jim repairs donated products such as lighting fixtures, furniture, and of course, tools. From volunteers to staff, he relishes meeting and learning about the many interesting people he volunteers alongside. Jim appreciates that they see beyond the job and are committed to Habitat’s goal and values.
Jim chose to dedicate 17 years of his life to Habitat because we serve a distinct need in our community across the globe. Jim has lived in New Zealand, Scotland, Singapore, and the United States, and estimates he has visited over 60 countries. During his work and travels he has seen people who would benefit from safe, stable, and affordable homes. Habitat helps Jim utilize his time and abilities to provide those in need with a hand-up. Jim also likes that Habitat promotes hands-on volunteer work, so homeowners understand that their home was built from the love and support of volunteers, donors, and staff, often resulting in a strong connection to the home they now own.
Habitat is grateful to Jim for his commitment to helping families build strength, stability, and independence. Jim has given 4,278 hours to Habitat since 2006, and has participated in 14 trips to build homes overseas through Habitat Canada’s Global Village program. Volunteers like Jim continue to be instrumental in helping us serve those in need of affordable home ownership.