Cook Islands Quest 100 (Quest #4)
Friday Sept. 21st 2012
Location: Rarotonga, Cook Islands, Pacific
TriOil-Soccer Quest 42 (Quest #5)
Friday Oct. 5th to Sunday Oct. 7th 2012
Location: Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre,
I have been a member of the Rotary Club of Cochrane for almost a
year and a half. A big part of being a member is helping out on
community projects. Last Wednesday I was spent a day at the Habitat
for Humanity site in Calgary. First a little background on this
"Millard and Linda Fuller founded the Habitat for Humanity
movement in 1976 in Americus, Georgia. Built on the idea of
partnership housing, Habitat for Humanity volunteers gave a hand up
to those in need by working side by side with them to build safe,
decent and affordable houses.
The concept that grew into Habitat for Humanity International
was born at Koinonia Farm, a small, interracial, Christian
community outside of Americus, Georgia. Koinonia Farm was founded
in 1942 by farmer and biblical scholar Clarence Jordan. The Fullers
first visited Koinonia in 1965. They had recently left a successful
business and an affluent lifestyle in Montgomery, Alabama to begin
a new life of Christian service. At Koinonia, Jordan and Fuller
developed the concept of "partnership housing." The concept
centered on those in need of adequate shelter working side by side
with volunteers to build simple, decent houses.
The houses would be built at no profit and interest would not be
charged on the loans. Building costs would be financed by a
revolving fund called "The Fund for Humanity." The fund's money
would come from the new homeowners' house payments, no-interest
loans provided by supporters and money earned by fund-raising
activities. The monies in the Fund for Humanity would be used to
build more houses.
In 1968, Koinonia laid out 42 half-acre house sites with
four acres reserved as a community park and recreational area.
Capital was donated from around the country to start the work.
Homes were built and sold to families in need at no profit and no
interest. The basic model of Habitat for Humanity was begun.
In 1973, the Fullers decided to apply the Fund for
Humanity concept in developing countries. The Fuller family moved
to Mbandaka, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo.) The
Fullers' goal was to offer affordable yet adequate shelter to 2,000
people. After three years of hard work to launch a successful house
building program, the Fullers returned to the United
In September 1976, Millard and Linda called together a
group of supporters to discuss the future of their dream. Habitat
for Humanity International as an organization was born at this
meeting. The eight years that followed, vividly described in
Millard Fuller's book, "Love in the Mortar Joints," proved that the
vision of a housing ministry was workable. Faith, hard work and
direction set HFHI on its successful course.
In 1984, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife
Rosalynn took their first Habitat work trip, the Jimmy Carter Work
Project, to New York City. Their personal involvement in Habitat's
ministry brought the organization national visibility and sparked
interest in Habitat's work across the nation. HFHI experienced a
dramatic increase in the number of new affiliates around the
In 1985, the movement spread to Canada with the first Canadian
build in Winkler, Manitoba. Two years later, Winnipeg became home
to the first Canadian affiliate. Habitat for Humanity in Canada has
since grown to 69 affiliates in 10 provinces and two territories
and has successfully provided over 2,000 families with safe, decent
and affordable housing.
Since 1976, Habitat for Humanity International has built,
rehabilitated, repaired or improved more than 500,000 houses
worldwide - providing shelter for more than 2 million people."
I was picked up at 7.30am and we headed into Calgary. Fellow
Rotarians Derek, Don and I arrived at the house in the South East
of the city. This is a renovation project and the first thing
foreman Kent did was to give us a safety talk. There were a number
of Rotarians from Calgary West and we were all instructed on the
main safety gear: steel toe boots, gloves and hard hat.
Work rotations were set for the day and our team was given the
task of dry walling. Our first job was to carry 30 sheets of dry
wall into the house. This got the blood flowing. Next we had to dry
wall a closet by the front door. The golden rule is "measure twice,
cut once", the silver rule is "measure twice, cut twice" and the
bronze rule is "make it fit". During the day we practiced all three
Lunch was at noon and it was down tools. We chatted with the
group who had been working in the basement. They had framed up a
wall and were in the process of installing it. Several of these
Rotarians had worked on a number of habitat projects. The houses
last year were new builds and families had moved into them before
At the end of the day we did a major clean up and put the tools
away. We thanked foreman Kent and headed home. It didn't seem like
we'd done a lot but there would be another group of volunteers
coming in the next day to continue. By the end of the summer the
renovation will be complete and a family will move in. This family
could not have afforded a home without the help of Habitat and all
the volunteers. Now that's a job well done.
Quote of the Day
"What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step."
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Working hard or hardly working. Don, Derek and
myself, at the end of the work day, at the Habitat house in