GIVING BACK AND A CHALLENGE (sorry for yelling:))

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Posted by: from Dartmouth
5/28/2012 at 4:33:40 PM

Hi All, Just a quick question but first some background.

I have volunteered for something pretty much all of my adult life (over 40 years). From helping disabled kids in a swimming pool at the CNIB to coaching and judging springboard diving and a bunch of stuff in between. When I moved up to the Newmarket area, it became difficult to get back down to Scarborough so I had to give up my activities for a couple of years. I really missed it so I started looking around for something up here to do.

My chosen organization to support is Habitat for Humanity. They use volunteer labour to build homes for disadvantaged families - working hard but can't seem to get ahead. I have helped on the last 2 builds - Markham and Keswick - and had a great time and learned a lot. The Markham build was a total gut of an 1875 farmhouse that the developer moved onto a foundation in the middle of the neighborhood. We rebuilt it twice, once on the inside and once on the outside just to get everything straight. The Keswick build was new from the ground up and we hoped to hit LEED silver or gold - turned out to be Platinum! I got to use my skill set to both do and teach - turned out to be pretty rewarding.

The next build is starting this week in Keswick and is the first multi family that Habitat has done up here. Just a semi but you have to start somewhere.

My question is - Are you guys giving back and if so, what have you chosen to contribute to.

My Challenge is if you are not giving back, find a way!

I would love to hear a lot of great stories - got my fingers crossed!!!

Jim Kuzma

Kettleby Handyman Services

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Date/Time5/28/2012 at 5:37:53 PM


Great post.

I was involved with a Habitat build in Hamilton last August. It was at the final stage and the families were already moved in. We built the fence that went around the townhouse complex. It was a very good experience that made you grateful for what you've got, i.e. health, family and the ability to earn a good living doing what we enjoy.

You've inspired me, and I'll make it my goal to reach out to the coordinators in Hamilton this week and make arrangements to get out there again and give back.


Tom Goodfellow

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Brent from Loves Painting in Fredericton
Date/Time5/28/2012 at 5:44:42 PM

Way to go Jim. I have been involved in Volunteer work since I was in High School. It is very rewarding.

The past few years I have gone on two Family Mission Trips to PEI where I helped paint Harvest House. After hurricane Katrina I travelled to Gulfport Mississippi where I helped replace 5 roofs. I regularly go to a near by Cristian Camp, where I serve on the Board of Directors, and do maintence work.

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Date/Time5/28/2012 at 5:56:26 PM

Hi Jim,

I couldn't agree more.....we all need to be making a difference where we live. We have done a Habitat home in Belleville and have financially supported other Habitat projects. It is easy to volunteer our services....a grandmother who is looking after her grandchildren and needed plumbing assistance as her husband is disabled, a girl's home that takes in troubled teenage girls and needs work done throughout the year, and several other non-profit organizations that need bathroom or kitchens renovated. We just have to be willing to offer our services when asked.

Thanks for the good work you all do!!!

Pat Koets

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Matt in Barrie
Date/Time5/28/2012 at 5:59:00 PM

Good afternoon,

We here at patriot north construction are up for the challenge!

When can we start?

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James from JGD Handyman in Cranbrook
Date/Time5/28/2012 at 7:13:56 PM

Giving back is important I think.

My business JGD Handyman gives back to the community by donating service certificates (gift certificates) to the local Rotary club, which helps our community in many ways. As well as being part of local charities that help citizens who are in need for one reason or another.

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Date/Time5/28/2012 at 8:05:17 PM

Hi Jim;

Great to see that someone is still willing to give an helping hand when the need arises. I'm a

member of the local area Kiwanis Club, we have our own Club building that is over 65 years

old. I give of me time and experience to make sure most of the necessary repairs are taken care as required. We organize a Town Parade at Christmas each year, I'm usually the lead on this

project, which is very demanding of my carpentry skills. Keep up the good work. Don Abbott

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Date/Time5/28/2012 at 8:58:18 PM

Hey Jim

I totally agree. Giving back to the community is very rewarding experience. I

personally volunteer in the school system with a program called Strong Start.

This involves teaching 5 and 6 year old children the basics of reading and to give

them a boost so they are inline with other children their age. Been at it for the last

8 years Wed mornings and find it is a great stress reliever. Keeps you on track and

grounded to what is most important in life.


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Date/Time5/28/2012 at 9:01:49 PM

I have always donated my time to single moms and the elderly who do not have a lot of money, but own a home. Or when we go in to do a project and we find that there are a few projects that need to be compleated we just do them free of charge, or at cost of material depending on the situation and the scope of the project!

We do the relay for life and we help out with prom night for cancer every year. A fundraiser a friend/ cancer survivor started many years ago.

Giving to your community is a great thing!

It is great to hear there are a few of us out there!

Best regards

Robert W. Barrer

Barrer Contracting Services

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Victor from Alarmshield Inc. in Kitchener
Date/Time5/28/2012 at 10:33:27 PM

Good Evening Jim,

I couldn't agree more.... We are a small company in KW, and we've been involved with KidsAbility in our area. We'd be more then happy to donate low voltage wiring services and materials for this project from any of the services we offer. Please let us know the details, and let us know when you need us to start.


Victor Savtchouk

AlarmShield Inc.

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Date/Time5/28/2012 at 10:40:19 PM

That's awesome Jim!

Thanks for sharing your experience and calling out those of us that are involved in the trades.

Creative Remodeling Solutions Inc (CRS). has been contributing monthly to World Vision Canada for many years. World Vision Canada provide the essentials that many of us take for granted. This includes access to improved health care, education, nutrition and clean water.

CRS occasionally drops off materials, products and and salvaged goods to the local Habitat for Humanity depot.

Keep up the great work!!!


Creative Remodeling Solutions Inc.

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Date/Time5/28/2012 at 10:48:59 PM

We are from Fort Erie Ontario and would GLADLY donate to the cause by providing all the framing for a build from me and my guys FREE of charge when ever a build comes up in the Niagara Region. I have seen this in the past but never had a chance to be a part of it. Can't wait, very excited..

I know my crew would feel the same way (although I would still pay them :) )

Count ENGELS Construction & Home Framing in!!!!

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Date/Time5/28/2012 at 11:26:59 PM

Hi Jim,

Its really nice to see that there are still people out there that care more about other people. I have been volunteering all my life as well. For the past 12 years or so, I have been on a volunteer fire department and no matter where I am working or what needs to be done, I always drop everything and go to the call. I find it very rewarding helping others.

One thing that we do as a company is provide on an average of $6,000 in certificates for fundraisers each year. As long as we feel that it is for a good cause we are always more then happy to help out. Another is we do 90% of our advertising locally through non-profit organizations and clubs. We find that we get lot of local support if we give back to the community.

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Mark in Cambridge
Date/Time5/28/2012 at 11:40:34 PM

Yes it is very important to give back. In fact it is a promise from God that you will receive a blessing for doing it. Gods word says that it is better to give than to receive. I have been greatly blessed every time I give.

Back in 1999 I went with 300 artist and business people into China from around the world to perform and bless the Chinese people. The people couldn't believe us and kept asking why we really came there. After that trip my business picked up and God also put it on my wife and my heart to adopt a girl from china. We didn't right away because it is expensive and a lengthy process. But God kept telling us to adopt. Where would the money come from. I still don't exactly know but God provied a way so it 2002 we finally started the adoption process. After $30,000, a two year background check and lots of red tape and paper work. We now have a wonderful daughter who is a blessing to us. I couldn't imagine life without her.

Lately my wife and I have been volunteering at a healing centre in Aurthor, Ontario. We never dreamed that a year and and a half ago that we would be praying for people let alone seeing God heal many of these people. The crazy thing is that our family life and our relationship has soared since then. We go feeling like we are just too tired and busy ( I don't know why we are doing this!) but every time we come home feeling way better than when we went. In fact we feel better than we do going on a holiday etc. We end up being the ones blessed. Gods kingdom sure is different than the kingdom of the world.

Mark Geier


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Date/Time5/29/2012 at 6:42:47 AM

Hi Jim,

I have helped out with the ReStore in Etobicoke and offered my services to ReStore in Newmarket but never heard anything back. I give out gift certificates and donationsto charity and try to get as much good useable product to the ReStore as I can. Givers Gain, so I do what I can. Perhaps Habitat can contact those on this forum to steer us in the direction we need to get our hands dirty and get involved.

If we can do a fraction of what you have done the world would be a much better place.

Nice post, I'm happy to see positive words where we usually see negative thoughts and comments.

Rick Harris

Harris Bath and Kitchen

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Date/Time5/29/2012 at 9:03:03 AM

Hi Jim last july i was approached by an organization here in Oakville called Walls of Hope they were looking for a contractor to help run their project in September in Mississauga. I got to tell you it was a blessing this was something I always wanted to do I think that when people give their time its more valuable then giving money.

From this point we went to do a dream room makeover called spencers room you know I can remember the home owner telling me t the reveal thanks for helping out crying and my response was thank you for allowing me to do what we did in other words your changing my life to I think I will stay with walls of hope as long as I can there is a lot of sprit in this group and talent.



Brian's Home Solutions

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Date/Time5/29/2012 at 10:25:09 AM

WOW! Great start. You guys are all unsung heroes in your communities.

I wish it was a crummy day in February when I really need to read some inspirational stories.

It looks like we are coast to coast - from Don in Conception Bay to James in Cranbrook.

I can't believe there are only 16 stories in the whole HandyCanadian nation.

Come on guys! Bring it on!

I want more!!!

To all of you that are currently doing something - keep on doing what you are doing - good things happen to good people!

To all of you that offered to do something - I am sure there are organizations in your area (including Habitat) that would love to have some skilled help.



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Date/Time5/29/2012 at 12:00:17 PM

Great conversation starter Jim!!!

I believe that to be successful in business you must give to your community also. This applies in personal life as well.

I was one of the founding members of our local affiliate for H4H in Niagara and was on the board for several years after that. It is important to move on and let others with fresh vision pick up and run.

I have been working with the Canadian Cadet Organization (Sea, Army and Air Cadets) since the early 80's, volunteer teach martial arts, have worked with St. John Ambulance, Women's Place Shelter and have recently (last 5 years or so) been volunteering with the Holmes Group as their electrical moderator on their website.

Our company donates to a variety of local organizations throughout the year. During tough economic times, it is tough for business and individuals to donate the "cash" that many of these groups need. But most of us can find time for a few hours a month to give. Consider Big Brothers / Sisters, United Way, March of Dimes, etc. My wife works with Community Living and they are always looking for volunteers for boards, committees or activities.


John Kuehnl-Cadwell

Master Electrician

Datawise Solutions Inc

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Custom Home Control in Toronto
Date/Time5/29/2012 at 3:43:24 PM

Great post Mr. Kuzma!

Custom Home Control just finished a build with Habitat for Humanity 2 weeks ago! We participated in the annual Women's Build here in Toronto and it was a great success! Our crew WINC (Women in Construction) hammered our goal of $100,000, reaching $116,000!

We also volunteer for the Vancouver Aquarium's Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup which I have been the site coordinator for in High Park every year for the last 8 years!

In addition I volunteer on a regular basis with Women in Construction (WINC) which is a non-profit organization of professional women that serves communities and individuals who are in need of help or in crisis.

Custom Home Control has a commitment to the environment, community and to our customers.

It is good to see other companies using their skills for change!

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Sharon from Little City Staging in Red Deer
Date/Time5/29/2012 at 7:26:44 PM

Volunteers start out by giving, but often receive so much back in return!

A favorite organization I volunteered for is the Central Alberta Special Equestrians. We were very touched by the enjoyment of the young rider we helped. He was so tiny (4 yrs) aboard those large horses that we felt quite protective to ensure he had fun, and loved to listen to him tell us about his week each time.

Thanks for bringing up a great topic.


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Fernando from FGM Contracting Ltd in Etobicoke
Date/Time5/31/2012 at 9:32:06 PM

Hi Jim,

Awesome post!!!

In the past FGM Contracting Ltd. have volunteered staff to Habitat for the day specifically the home build in Etobicoke. We also donate, on a regular basis, any excess materials from job sites, particularly supplies (including appliances) we deem in good working condition that is removed from our renovations is offered to the Re-Use it store.

We are proud sponsors of local minor hockey teams.

We are definitely "up for the challenge".


Fernando Martins

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Date/Time6/13/2012 at 8:03:07 PM

Jim Kuzma,

We at Seamless Finishing Inc. in Edmonton Alberta are very excited about starting with Habitat for Humanity in the near future as well! We are in the process of setting up an appointment to get things rolling for next week! Habitat for Humanity is our Charity of Choice as well and we have even started a Fund Raiser for them too!

Feel free to check it out on our Facebook Page!

There is something for everyone and we are hoping to raise a lot of money to help those who are in need of homes! We are very excited to be working with Habitat for Humanity and hope others are inspired by all these stories that get posted!

Sherri and Dustin Depatie

Seamless Finishing Inc.

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