I had the opportunity to share my Habitat experience at a recent presentation and it reminded me of my introduction to Habitat for Humanity Okanagan back in 2016 when I was as a volunteer participating in a build day on Habitat homes in Peachland. It was so rewarding that I couldn’t wait to do it again and jumped at the chance to help build again in Vernon. Never at that time did I see myself in the position I hold now as CEO and how very fortunate I am to get that feeling of accomplishment from knowing that what we do every day is helping to serve families and change lives.
I participated in my first key ceremony this fall in my new role, and it was heartwarming. As you can see from the story in the attached newsletter, Habitat handed over the keys to Lisa and her family. Lisa has nine year-old triplets with autism so renovating the home to make it safe for them was imperative. With the help of the community, staff, volunteers and donors, we all got the job done. This upcoming Christmas will be so special, when Lisa and her children can finally celebrate with the whole family in the safe and accessible Habitat home they own.
It has been a busy period for our organization. The Up Project officially launched in September and our latest ReStore opened its doors in Vernon during October, this is our 4th ReStore in 6 years. I want to recognise the hard work that the Habitat team did to prepare for these new additions, it means we can divert even more usable items out of the landfill.
This year we have presented three families with new homes, thanks to our staff, volunteers, board members, sponsors and suppliers that help us to make this happen.
With growth comes change and our organization is responding accordingly. We are investing in our systems and processes to maintain relevant and maximise the funds we receive to contribute to our build projects. We have also made great strides in our social marketing and by leveraging this awareness our team have increased our revenues and expanded our volunteer base considerably this year.
I am very excited for 2020 and the opportunities it presents for us. We are exploring options to expand our communities and help provide more families with a safe and affordable place to call home. During this season, with your help, we can continue to give an incredible hand-up.