Ben Guenther of RBC Dominion Securities and Tracy Collins-Decker of RBC Commercial banking work together on a snowy day helping to build the Habitat For Humanity triplex on 44th Street in Eastview Friday. Several volunteers from RBC took time out from their work Friday to lend a hand with the build underway at the property.

Bankers pitch in for Habitat

It’s not everyday that a bunch of bank executives volunteer to shovel gravel in the blowing snow.

It’s not everyday that a bunch of bank executives volunteer to shovel gravel in the blowing snow.

But that’s what makes a Habitat for Humanity build so special.

“It was a cold snowy day but the fact we were there helping out our community, we loved being there,” said Ron Sauve, regional vice-president with RBC for Central Alberta.

“We had no idea what we were going to do. Whatever we had to do, we were prepared to do. Habitat is such a wonderful cause.”

On Friday a crew of 12 from RBC shoveled gravel into the basement so the cement foundation could be poured at Habitat’s triplex construction at 3818 44th St. They also picked up tools and helped with some framing work.

It’s the first triplex to be built by the local chapter.

Three families have been already selected to move into the housing, and have each already completed their “sweat equity” requirement of 500 hours worked through previous builds or volunteering with the organization.

“The framing is almost complete. The roof is on. We’re probably going to be looking at windows and doors, closing it in, in the next week or so,” said Paula Madu, Habitat executive director.

Work started on the triplex in the summer and it should be finished by about Easter.

The Red Deer chapter has built 20 houses since 1994. The last house was built in 2012 in Three Hills, the only house outside Red Deer.

Madu said the chapter would look at more builds outside of Red Deer, but it would require a commitment to the project from outlying communities. The next build has not yet been determined.

“We’re just in the throws of land procurement. Hopefully we would have something in place to commence another build in the spring.” Another unique feature of this year’s build is the local agreement with Corrections Canada to have inmates from the Bowden Institution volunteering their labour to the project five days a week.

Inmates have worked on Habitat projects across Canada for a number of years, but this will be the first time for the partnership in Red Deer.

Anyone interested in volunteering with Habitat for Humanity at a build or at its ReStore can call 403-309-6080 or e-mail info@habitatreddeer.ca.

Refurbished furniture, appliances and building supplies are sold at the ReStore, 4732 78A St. Cl. Proceeds go to the organization’s administration and towards construction.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

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