On perhaps the hottest, most humid day this summer, I led a diverse group of women leaders in a Habitat for Humanity “Women in Wood” Build Day in Orleans. It was truly an example of “sweat equity”! Our mission was to help build a home for Ida Kakekagumick and her three teenage grandchildren. As members of the Ojibwa Cree First Nation, they are one of the first Ontario Aboriginal families to be helped through a Habitat for Humanity National Capital Region project. The project includes a duplex that will house two more families next door.
Joining me were leaders who work not only in the forest industry but in various government, business, environmental and social sectors, including: Donna Hicks, CEO, Habitat for Humanity National Capital Region (NCR); Joanne Laskoski, Editor in Chief, Capital Woman magazine; Kirsten Vice, Vice President, Canadian Operations, National Council for Air and Stream Improvement and Pamela Miles, Director at CUSO International.
We had a great day putting down flooring on the second floor of Ida’s home, then building and together raising the first wall on the second floor. We also cut lumber and constructed two picnic tables for project volunteers working on the site that will then belong to the families.
The day was brutally hot and humid – but it was a productive and empowering day for us all nonetheless. Much of the wood used for this Build Day was certified to the SFI Standard, including a significant donation of oriented strand board (OSB) from LP Building Products. I was able to present Ida with our best wishes for her and her family along with an Irving Tissue gift basket; the company generously donated beautiful white bathrobes and a six-month supply of tissue and bathroom products certified to the SFI standard for the family. The home will also be the first in the Ottawa area to be certified as a Built Green Canada home.Kathy Abusow SFI President & CEO