For 6 years I've been a part of an awesome little adventure to help raise funds for Habitat For Humanity. Our Ride Through the Rockies turns 6 this year, and with 25-30 riders each year we've raised $640k so far, riding our bikes for 3 days in the mountains believing that we can make a difference in the world.
Habitat's model is one that creates long term lasting change in the lives of families here in Calgary, in Canada and around the world. The money we raise stays right here in Calgary, building homes for families that need a hand up. Families that otherwise could not manage to make the leap into home ownership, are offered an affordable mortage (adjusted to their income), they put in 500 hours of sweat equity into building their own home, and they are supported with homeowner eductation classes ranging in topics from banking and budgeting, to building credit, to the ins and outs of home maintenance.
Last year we met a mom who after leaving an abusive relationship, had moved from home to home, had water in her basements, had rats in her home and never thought home ownership would be possible. Since moving in to her Habitat Home, everything changed for her and her two kids. Her daughters grades turned around and managed to make it in to post secondary here in Calgary, and her son was inviting friends over to play, to their HOME. She pointed out that this also brings a new set of problems - with boys being loud, breaking things and damaging things in their new home - a very welcome problem in her house as her son was previously too ashamed to invite friends over and always went to other people's homes.
The word HOME, is something a lot of us take for granted. Meeting these families reminds me what it means, and how fortunate most of us are to have a place to call HOME, a safe refuge to return to each day to recharge and to launch our lives and our dreams.
I know we all have causes we support and believe in, and this one happens to be one of mine.