Edmonton's Habitat for Humanity preps for 75-home building blitz
Habitat for Humanity volunteers preparing for arrival this summer of former U.S. president Jimmy Carter
Organizers with Habitat for Humanity Edmonton are bracing for the biggest build in its 25-year history.
"It's like the Olympics," said president & CEO Alfred Nikolai.
"We're expecting literally thousands of volunteers to come that week from across The States and around the world," explains Nikolai.
The Carter crew will be working on 58 homes in the south Edmonton neighbourhood of the Laurel, 16 homes in the community of Fort Saskatchewan, and one site yet to be determined all in one week.
In order to tackle 75 construction projects in one week local volunteers are already building walls, decks, and floors for those homes in the warmth of the organization's prefabrication shop.
"I'm putting out a wish to all Edmontonians to try to help us get ready," Nikolai said. "We're going to need the help of volunteers between now and July."
Each local family receiving a home is also pitching in 500 hours of volunteering.
One of the big ways the organization keeps its administration costs down is through the proceeds of three ReStores in the city, said Chris Gibson director of ReStore operations.
Items are donated by individuals and corporations, volunteers sort and stock the store shelves, and shoppers purchase building supplies, furniture and other items.
In the three Edmonton ReStore locations last year, 100,000 transactions resulted in $3 million in sales, Gibson said.
But whether you support by shopping or by swinging a hammer, Alfred Nikolai believes "all you need is the will to help others."