When a major retail store closed across Canada last spring, Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North’s ReStores in both Courtenay and Campbell River were privileged to receive a large donation of store fixtures.
“There was enough shelving to facilitate a complete redesign and upgrade of the interior of our two ReStores,” said Habitat’s resource development officer, Tom Beshr. “We’ve spent the last couple of months utilizing a largely volunteer labour force to retrofit the shelving and redesign our showrooms. The interior renovations are scheduled for completion by the end of the summer. The new shelving beautifully showcases the wide variety of household items, renovation supplies, and other treasures that are generously donated to us by the public and local retailers.”
To add the finishing touch to the ReStore renovation, Habitat is putting out a call for North Island artists to partner in the creation of a colourful header panel that showcases ‘Building Community’.
Each section of shelving has a one-foot by four-foot wooden panel that goes across the top of the shelving.
“We wanted to rebrand the panels, to make them unique, engaging the art community in sharing their talents in a spirit of collaboration and support is how we plan to achieve our goal,” said Beshr.
North Island artists are invited to partner with Habitat to put their personal and visual interpretation of Habitat’s mission on a panel, as part of the ‘ReBrand Hope’ in the ReStore project. Any artistic medium may be used to create an image of what building community means to each artist.
The panels need to be completed and returned to the Restore by Oct. 31.
An open house will follow in November to showcase the artistic talents of the communities.
“Many people do not realize that Habitat does not purchase anything for resale,” said Beshr. “Every single item in our Restores has been donated. Money generated from the sale of these products — combined with the generous support of hundreds of volunteers — is what enables us to build affordable housing for hardworking families. It is also important to understand that the homes are not free. Our purpose is to provide families with a hand up, not a handout. Qualifying families must put in 500 hours of sweat equity as their down payment and then pay a no-profit, no-interest mortgage.”
Habitat is currently looking for several families to partner with in Campbell River to occupy a triplex on Westgate/Dalton road. Construction is starting in the spring of 2016. Do you know a family who could use a hand up?
Artists interested in painting panels, or anyone interested in volunteering at the Restores, are invited to contact Comox Valley volunteer co-ordinator Terri Perrin, at 250-334-3777, ext. 224 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.