Meet John, one of Habitat Edmonton’s longtime volunteers. John’s journey with Habitat began in 2011, when he noticed an advertisement for volunteers on a Habitat Edmonton build site. He was thrilled to have found an opportunity that allowed him to fine tune his existing construction skills and wasted no time applying to volunteer. One project turned into many, and from 2011 to 2019, John participated on several build sites. He also participated on three Global Village Trips to Honduras, The Philippines, and the Dominican Republic.
Eventually, John transitioned from build sites to a unique volunteer opportunity: checking in on vacant homes. In between homeowners viewing homes and getting their paperwork in order, John is tasked with visiting those vacant homes and ensuring all is well. Initially, he checked in on homes in West Edmonton where he lived, but he slowly added more homes to his list as time went on. Now, John checks in on homes all across the Edmonton area three times a week.
John has always believed in supporting those less fortunate than himself. A retired High School teacher, John says he has been well blessed in life and chooses to spend his time helping those in need. Looking around his city, John wants to do everything he can to make a difference in the lives of families. He continues to volunteer his time at Habitat Edmonton as he believes in Habitat’s mission and has seen first-hand the transformational change an affordable home can make for a family.
On his global village trips, John volunteered alongside families as they built their own homes. He recalls one homeowner in Honduras who, while building, repeatedly celebrated this this was “her house” with a big smile. In the Dominican Republic, he remembers laughing with a young boy who was speckled blue and yellow after painting his first room in his new home. In Edmonton, John spent time with young volunteers from training programs, teaching those who had never picked up a hammer how to pound nails and operate saws. By the end of the day, he saw them framing complete walls on their own.
To John, his favourite part of volunteering is simply giving his time. In addition to Habitat, he volunteers at his church and donates to a number of charities. We are so grateful to have a dedicated volunteer like John!