Habitat for Humanity

Housing is a fundamental human right, and everyone deserves a roof over their heads. In Ontario, 129,000 families are waiting up to 20 years for affordable housing based on income. However, this does not mean we believe that houses should be given away for free. Habitat for Humanity does not provide hand-outs, but they provide a hand-up. The homes are not free. The family must still pay a mortgage, but the mortgage is set at an affordable rate (based on their income). Families must also commit to a certain number of sweat equity hours. Eyes of Hope started the UofT Habitat for Humanity Campaign in summer 2009, and the main objectives are: 1) Fundraise $80,000 for a house for a low-income family in Toronto and 2) Send students/staff/alumni to the construction site to help build this “UofT Sponsored home”.

Habitat for Humanity Builds

Learn awesome new skills – learn to build a house!!! A Habitat for Humaity build event is a unique opportunity to gain first hand experience on how to build an actual house! Professional leaders will teach you exactly how to build a home. NO prior experience is needed.

The task that you will perform and the skills that you will learn depends on the phase of construction, varying from drywalling to building a roof/patio to painting. Meet new people, make new friends, develop your teamwork/leadership skills. Each group will have 4-6 volunteers working together and a crew leader to lead you. This is the perfect opportunity to meet new people, develop leadership skills and make new friends! In addition, a FREE pizza lunch will be provided. Have FUN while helping with a good cause! Hey, this is a FUN social event. And at the end of the day, you are personally showing leadership against the fight against poverty!

How Can I help?

We need to get as many people involved as we can to reach the goal of $80,000! Anyone and everyone is welcome to help out! So far we have all raised $26,000! To get involved, visit our donation page. See below for some ideas.

1) Sign up for a build event. We will post available build events on Facebook.
2) Join our committee to help organize build events and fundraising events. Email eyesofhope@utoronto.ca.

Fundraising

You can set your personal goal on your own online fundraising page to encourage your friends, family, neighbours, colleagues, dentist – anyone you know – to give generously to this important cause.

To reach your goal, you might consider the following:
• Use the template provided by the online fundraising tool (Fundraising > Get Sponsors) to send email to your personal and professional contacts, asking them to sponsor you.
• Get yourself started by making the first donation yourself – all donations are tax-deductible
• Fundraise as a team – join together with your peers and increase the number of potential sponsors through your joint efforts
• Spread the word about your participation in the UofT campaign on sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn
• Organize a fundraising event – garage sale, movie/karaoke night, bake sale, dance/skip/bike-a-thon, etc
• Use the offline pledge form to collect cash, cheque or credit card donations in-person or by phone (click here to download pledge form)

About Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity builds simple, decent, affordable homes in partnership with low-income families. Habitat provides a hand-up, not a hand-out: partner families pay an interest-free mortgage and earn their home through 500 ‘sweat equity’ hours. Did you know that the revenue from Habitat Toronto’s three ReStores covers all of our administrative and fundraising costs? (Habitat ReStores sell quality new and used donated building materials.) This means that 100% of donations will go directly to building a Habitat home.

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Homeless Shelter Volunteering

The goals of the Homeless Project are to: 1) Learn more about the issues of homelessness and to destigmatize homelessness and 2) Show the people that someone does care and to make someone else’s day a little bit better. The purpose of volunteering at Scott Mission is to serve meals to the homeless while meeting new people and making new friends. At Scott Mission, we help prep food and the tables, serve a hot lunch to people from all walks of life, and then clean up. And finally, we sit down with fellow volunteers for a lunch as well!

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Learning and Discussions

The goal of having learning and discussions is to educate people in the community about homelessness and hear what you have to say about it. Come learn and meet new friends at our sessions!!

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Sandwich Runs

Of course, by providing one nutritious meal, this does not solve that person’s plight. The aims of Sandwich Runs reflect the goals of the Homeless Project: to destigmatize homelessness and to show that person that someone recognizes him/her. The sandwiches, then, are an ‘ice breaker’ to start conversations with those on the streets. (And the conversations can get quite interesting!) For participants, the Sandwich Run also allows them to meet new people, make new friends and have fun!

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Socials and Fundraisers

Some of the more recent socials that we have held include: EOH Skating Social, Mug Cake Social and Baking Social. The mug cakes, cupcakes and fortune cookies we made were sold at our fundraiser to help our noble cause. Contact us if you have any ideas for socials or fundraisers!

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Umbrella Painting

Eyes of Hope members have been volunteering at the Out of the Cold program at Knox Church every Tuesday night to serve food to street-involved youth. After serving dinner, members and the youth paint on umbrellas as a form of engagement and interaction through art. It has been really amazing to see some of the youth become more open to us throughout our time there! Each workshop is run by experienced leaders from Eyes of Hope – no artistic skills are required. If you’re interested in Umbrella Painting, we’ll be holding a few sessions this summer – keep an eye out for the announcement!

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