Building a difference at home and abroad

A group of Waterloo faculty, staff and alumni are hoping to make a difference one brick at a time.  On August 2nd, 2014 this group will depart Waterloo and head to Whitehorse, Yukon to build a house as part of Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village program. 

Waterloo Habitat for Humanity team

From Left to Right, Front row: Michelle Burlock, Jennifer Jantzi, Olivia Roth, Ralon Nazareth, Ann Kallin, Debika Burman.Back Row: Erin Smith, Mike Marshman, Barry Ferguson, Bev Marshman, Rod Smith (Absent: Angela Googh)

The team, led by Michelle Burlock and co-leader, Erin Smith, are part of the first annual University of Waterloo Habitat for Humanity build.  Michelle, Erin and Steve Krysak (who was not able to join the Yukon trip) have participated in various builds in the past and always meet people with affiliations to the University of Waterloo along the way. 

It was this revelation that sparked the idea to organize a formal UWaterloo team.  “Over the past 10 years, we’ve met so many people – current students, staff, and alumni – that are involved in Habitat’s Global Village program. It seemed like a great opportunity to put all that enthusiasm and adventure into a special team to show how much Waterloo people care about having a lasting impact in the community" said Erin Smith.  

In the lead up to the official University of Waterloo build, members of the Whitehorse team and others interested in making a difference locally, donned their steel toe boots and hard hats to hone their skills at a local build.

Habitat for Humanity Community build

On July 17, 2014, eight UWaterloo participants informally volunteered with Habitat for Humanity Waterloo Region and helped with the local Kehl Street development in Kitchener.  “As interesting and exciting as it is to travel to exotic locales for Habitat builds, we always try to remember that there are people in our own backyard that need a ‘hand-up’ from Habitat", said Michelle Burlock. "By offering builds within Canada, and within our own city, Habitat for Humanity gives opportunities for people to volunteer, regardless of how much time or funds they have to contribute."  As part of the Kehl Street development Habitat for Humanity Waterloo Region will build 7 new housing units this year.

You can follow the adventures of the University of Waterloo  team while in Whitehorse, Yukon via their blog.

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