There’s No Better Time Than The Holidays To Appreciate What’s Special About Home

A house isn’t just four walls and roof, a structure made of concrete, steel, wood, masonry and stone. For many of us, a house is a home, a place of refuge, safety and serenity. It’s a place for families to gather, especially during the holiday months.

This need for safe and affordable housing became even more evident during the global pandemic. Never has the need been greater.

Habitat for Humanity Canada is a national, charitable organization that brings communities together by helping families across Canada with affordable homeownership. They’re represented in towns and cities across the country while working with local volunteers, Habitat homeowners, and local Habitats and sponsors to build affordable homes with Canadian families.

Naomi is one of those beneficiaries, who, along with her two young kids, showed the courage to leave a difficult relationship. Naomi and her family are now building a better future with the help of Habitat. Since moving into her own home, Naomi and her kids are now building their own holiday traditions. A home provides so much more than a shelter, it allows those memories and traditions to grow. From that new home, her daughter and son will grow and flourish in a strong, stable environment. In the end it’s all about creating new pathways and opportunities for people.

“This is going to be our first holiday season in our new Habitat home,” Naomi says. “Our favourite holiday tradition is making our salt dough ornaments.”

She looked up the recipe online four years ago, when they were all stuck inside during a snowstorm.

“We loved it. We do it every single year,” she says. “So we’re very excited to be carrying on our family traditions here, to plant our roots, and make our own memories around our own home. This is the first Christmas we have had in three years, just me and the kids. So we’re pretty excited about that too. I am sure we’ll come up with a lot more traditions that we will carry on.”

The true impact on families does last a lifetime. According to statistics from Habitat for Humanity Canada on what was accomplished in building homes for Canadians in 2021, 47 percent were single-parent families, 22 were Indigenous families and 20 families were newcomers to Canada. Additionally,16 percent moved into homes with accessibility accommodations, 23 percent came from social or subsidized housing and 70 percent of families came from market rental housing.

Around 4,100 families in Canada have partnered with Habitat for Humanity Canada to buy their own home since 1985, with a mortgage geared to the income of the family.

Brick by brick, Habitat for Humanity Canada is making a difference in strengthening our communities. In November, Westland Insurance Group, the large and fast-growing national independent property and casualty insurance broker, announced a one-year, $150,000 partnership with Habitat for Humanity Canada. Westland Insurance has supported multiple initiatives, including a $50,000 grant to help support the build of Habitat for Humanity Saskatchewan Yorkton Chapter’s ninth home, and a $50,000 grant as the new lead sponsor of the Manitoba Property Insurance Build in Winnipeg for Habitat Manitoba. And for every donation to Habitat Canada from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31, a critical fundraising period, Westland Insurance will match to a maximum of $50,000, so Canadian communities in need of affordable housing get more support.

“As the largest independent, Canadian-owned brokerage in the country, we have a deep and unwavering commitment to the communities in which we live and work,” says Cari Watson, SVP, Marketing & Customer Experience, Westland Insurance.

Westland launched our Amplifying Communities Initiative earlier this year. The Amplifying Communities Initiative is designed to support community projects and initiatives across the country. Those projects will focus on wellness and mental health, equality and inclusion, homelessness, food insecurity and environmentalism. Westland has made $1 million available in 2021, so there will be other community support announcements made, in places across the country where our brokerage has a presence.

Westland Insurance is now actively inviting submissions from across Canada for community projects like the ones they’ve been doing with Habitat for Humanity Canada. For more information or to submit an application, head here, or send an email to [email protected].