Today in our blog, we will share Lynn’s volunteer story from a trip she recently took to Mexico to help build 5 homes.

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Lynn has been with Shane Homes since 2006 and is part of our Design/Drafting Team. Lynn is an avid supporter of Kids Cancer Care Foundation since her daughter, Briony, became ill and has participated in many biking adventures to raise funds for Kids Cancer Care Foundation.

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For the last 4 years Rotary South Calgary has teamed up with Kids Cancer Care Foundation volunteers to help build homes in Mexico for needy families. Rotary teams up with a group called “Youth with a Mission” and they provide homes for needy families under the “Homes for Hope Program”.

Inspired by her daughter, Emily, who volunteered in 2010, this year, Lynn volunteered, flying to Ensenada, Mexico with a group of 75 other dedicated volunteers from Calgary and Red Deer.

One would think that the costs for the flight, accommodations and food would be complimentary for those volunteering their time and possible vacation days, but no, it wasn’t. Lynn had to cover the costs on her own.

When asked why she was volunteering to help on this project Lynn said “I am doing this to pay it forward. Our family has been blessed with many people coming forward to help out, when we were going through Briony’s illness.”

Here is more some amazing info on this project:

  • 75 people participate and build five houses over a two day schedule
  • Families must own the land the homes are being built on
  • Families go through an application process to be chosen to receive a free home

Home details:

  • 16” x 20” size of home
  • Home is built on a concrete pad
  • Home has three rooms inside: a sleeping space for the parents, a separate sleeping space for the kids, and a front common area for living space.
  • Inside of home has no ceiling and is open to the rafters which aids in ventilation to keep the home a bit cooler
  • No second floor or basement
  • No cabinets or closets, just open rooms
  • Electrical is run to home but not hooked up
  • Area in kitchen for a fridge and propane stove
  • Exterior of home has a couple of windows and a door
  • The inside and outside of the home are both painted white with the family able to select the trim colour to personalize it
  • Each family was given a propane stove, double bed and single bed
  • Each family was also given $500 cash to shop for items for the home

Lynn also took a variety of goods donated by herself and other Shane Homes employees to give to the families, as the family profiles indicated that the families are very poor. Before Lynn left, she let staff know the children’s ages and sex and many of our staff stepped up, donating clothing and shoes in almost new condition!

Lynn says “I am thankful that I had the opportunity to help on this project. The families were desperately in need of help, and it was heart-warming to be able to help them. A home provides security and shelter and a place for the family to bond and be together as a family. This family will enjoy their home for years to come. When my daughter Briony was going through her illness, which is the toughest thing I have had to experience in my life so far, I had so many people around me helping me. I am glad to be able to pay it forward and help this family in their time of need.”

Here are some photos from over the two days:

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Day 1: Friday, March 14

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The concrete for the home is set and planning takes place on what has to be done in the next two days to build 5 homes.

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Working on the walls and roof

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The team also painted all the walls white (inside and out).

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Next step: install roof

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The families were able to personalize their homes by picking the trim colour. Red and green were popular choices!

 

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This is the family that Lynn helped build the home for.

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End of Day 2 and 5 families are able to sleep a bit more soundly with a roof and shelter to protect them thanks to 75 volunteers including Lynn, Rotary South Calgary, Kids Cancer Care Foundation, and Youth With a Mission/Homes for Hope Program