Yellowknife’s CIBC branch presented a cheque for $2,500 to Habitat for Humanity NWT Friday morning.
The money will support ongoing construction of the non-profit’s ReStore building.
Habitat for Humanity says its mission is to mobilize volunteers and community partners to build affordable housing and promote homeownership as a means to break the cycle of poverty.
Habitat ReStores are building supply stores that accept new or gently used household items and resell them for much less than retail value.
Money generated from those sales is then used to fund further homebuilding projects.
“As a team we got together and chose a charity we wanted so Habitat just fell nicely with what we wanted to do,” said Pam Roberts-Walker, financial advisor at CIBC and board member with Habitat for Humanity NWT.
For a week in August, 25 employees from the local CIBC branch assisted in the construction of the ReStore building. During that time, workers logged over 100 hours of volunteer work.
CIBC then made the donation on behalf of its workers through its employee volunteer program.
“We just wanted to roll up our sleeves and help a cause that mattered,” said Tricia MacKenzie, financial advisor at CIBC.
“We went down in shifts of five to 10 and did three to four hours at a time after work on weekdays and a couple of shifts on Saturday and Sunday.
“Because we are a large financial institution in the North, we really want to make sure we give back to our community.
“Every year we pick a couple community organizations and we get out there and put our hours in. Our company then gets behind us and supports us financially.”
MacKenzie says the group was able to accomplish a lot during the time it volunteered. In future, the branch hopes to assist as many as four community groups a year.
Sandra Turner is a board member with Habitat for Humanity NWT. She told Moose FM the entire donation will go towards the construction of its ReStore building.
“We plan to open it before Christmas and that Restore will provide ongoing donations of materials that we will sell.
“The money that we make in that will go right into the builds again so this is a non-profit organization that just keeps rotating in community builds for people who can’t afford home ownership.”
The NWT chapter of Habitat for Humanity was founded in 2011. Two years later – in late 2013 – the group’s first two homes were completed on a lot in the Niven Lake subdivision.
“We’ve had awesome support from the building industry so the electricians, the mechanical folks and other builders,” said Turner.
“They all put in free hours, donated their time and donated their money to make this project work.
“It’s gone to two families that would not be able to afford home ownership otherwise.
“It’s not free and it’s not a heavily subsidized program. It just gives people a hand up instead of a hand out. But it’s a very good opportunity to get families into home ownership.”