Raising walls and building our community – JDI employees volunteer with Habitat for Humanity

August 24, 2018

This month, 19 JDI employees took up hammers to help with the construction of a new home with Habitat for Humanity for a deserving Saint John family.

The volunteer project involved a whole lot of hard work, a whole lot of smiles, and a whole lot of nails.



“We’re building this house for a family that needs a little bit of help. This is going to be a great starter for them, and it has the potential to take them out of the cycle they may be in and help them raise their family in a nice, family-oriented neighborhood and environment,” said Bryan Gauthier, one of the JDI volunteers at the build and a member of the Board of Directors at Habitat for Humanity Saint John. 

The two-story home is for Melissa Rice and her five children. Kevin Perry, the CEO of Habitat for Humanity Saint John Region, says that this project will allow Melissa's family to move from rental housing or social housing situations into their own home, which in turn will allow Melissa to build equity. 

Kevin adds that many volunteers and local groups will play a part in the construction over the upcoming months.

“This is really a labour of love all around. It’s just an amazing way for our communities, corporations, and trusted volunteers to come together and help support this family as they move into this community,” Kevin said.

 Melissa Rice and Family - Habitat for Humanity
 Melissa Rice and her five children will be the owners of the new Habitat for Humanity home.

 
For some of the JDI volunteers at the build this month, this was their first experience volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. 

“I’ve known about Habitat for Humanity for a while and I think that the work that they do is really amazing, but I’ve never had the opportunity to be able to volunteer,” said Allison Poitras, one of the JDI volunteers. “When I saw that JDI was getting involved, I really wanted to get involved as well.” 

 Habitat Volunteers
 Volunteers from JDI work together to assemble a wall frame for the second-story of the new Habitat for Humanity home.


Doyle Bond was another first-time volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. He, too, has been interested in volunteering with Habitat for Humanity for a while.

“I’ve always wanted an opportunity to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, and so when I saw the call for volunteers I thought it was a good opportunity to see what volunteering with them was like first-hand,” Doyle said. “I grew up on the poorer side, and we’ve been helped out before, so this is an opportunity now, as I’m older, to give back.”Doyle Bond was another first-time volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. He, too, has been interested in volunteering with Habitat for Humanity for a while.

 Habitat Group 1
 The team from August 10.



All-in-all, it was a successful two days of volunteering, and we can’t wait to see more updates on the build progress. Thank-you to all the volunteers for your hard work and enthusiasm! 

“This is so important – your efforts, your donations, and your hard labour,” Kevin Perry said, “We just want to say from Habitat for Humanity Saint John Region to you, thank-you very much.” 

 Habitat Group 2
 The team from August 17.



About Habitat for Humanity Saint John Region

Habitat for Humanity Saint John Region brings communities together to help families build strength, stability and independence through affordable homeownership. With the help of volunteers and Habitat homeowners, they help build and rehabilitate safe, decent and affordable homes, including single-family and multi-unit houses.

Habitat for Humanity Saint John Region’s model of affordable homeownership bridges a gap for low-income working families by providing them with the opportunity to purchase their own Habitat home and build a better life.

Their region extends from Sussex to St. Stephen. To learn more about them or to get involved, visit http://www.habitatsaintjohn.ca

About JDI Helps

JDI Helps is an initiative of J.D. Irving, Limited. It is about giving back to the communities where we love to work and live.  JDI Helps initiatives are focused on education, research, reducing poverty and advancing wellness.  We are pleased to support the amazing work of Habitat for Humanity in Saint John with a $50,000 contribution of materials as well as the passion of great employee volunteers.