Nationwide Hammer Tour kicks off, building affordable Habitat for Humanity homes to impact youth

TORONTO, Aug. 6, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, The Home Depot Canada Foundation kicked-off its nationwide Hammer Tour with its first stop in Winnipeg, which will help bring the Van De Keere family, including their two children, even closer to realizing a safe, decent and affordable home of their own. By the end of August, the Hammer Tour will see over 500 The Home Depot store associates visit 25 Habitat for Humanity build sites across Canada, bringing much needed financial and volunteer support to each stop.

"Affordable Habitat homeownership has a transformative effect on the lives of low-income families," said Kevin Marshman, president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Canada. "Through the Hammer Tour, The Home Depot Canada Foundation will distribute over $600,000 in donations to Habitat builds while offering thousands of hours of volunteer support, truly illustrating the organization's commitment to helping families get the initial footing they need to improve their lives."

This year's Hammer Tour is placing an emphasis on creating opportunities for youth, with over 60 children and youth set to move into the homes being visited on the Tour's 25 Habitat build site stops.

"The Home Depot Canada is committed to supporting the communities where they operate, and, most particularly, the youth in those communities," said Sandy Hopkins, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Manitoba. "Again this year, The Home Depot has provided a cash donation towards our work in Manitoba and starting today, a large group of store associates are lending a hand to help build two houses that will transform the lives of seven Winnipeg youth."

A 2012 Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation study overwhelmingly found that the children of Habitat families are offered a healthier environment and a safer neighbourhood to live when compared to their previous housing. It also found that Habitat homes have a noticeable impact on children's confidence, social life and grades. The Home Depot Canada Foundation's support this year will help children and youth across the country experience just these transformative outcomes, which will have an impact on their health and wellbeing for years to come.

Six-year-old Cadence Van De Keere, who will be moving into one of the Habitat for Humanity Manitoba homes with her family later this year, says she's looking forward to living in a safer neighbourhood, having a quiet place to study and do homework, and being able to take her toys out of storage - put there because of the cramped condition of her family's last home.

"The Home Depot Canada Foundation wants to ensure that Canada's youth are given every opportunity to achieve their full potential," said Peg Hunter, Chair of The Home Depot Canada Foundation. "By supporting Habitat for Humanity builds, we're able to do just that and help provide children with a safe place to call home."

About Habitat for Humanity Canada
Founded in 1985, Habitat for Humanity Canada is a national, non-profit organization working towards a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to live. With the help of over 63,000 volunteers every year and 69 affiliate organizations from coast to coast, their mission is to mobilize volunteers and community partners in building affordable housing and promoting homeownership as a means to break the cycle of poverty in Canada and around the world. For more information, please visit www.habitat.ca.

About the Home Depot Canada Foundation
As the charitable arm of The Home Depot Canada, The Home Depot Canada Foundation is committed to using its time, knowledge and resources to support affordable housing and create strong communities for Canadians in need.  Our primary focus is to support housing initiatives that benefit Canadian youth because safe, stable, affordable housing matters.  It is the cornerstone of vibrant, strong communities and is directly linked to helping youth realize their full potential and build brighter futures.

Bringing together volunteerism, do-it-yourself expertise, product donations and monetary grants, the Foundation supports affordable housing projects and local small-scale improvement projects that make lasting, physical improvements to the neighbourhoods it serves. Each year, associates from The Home Depot volunteer over 60,000 hours of hands-on service on community projects across Canada through Team Depot, the company's associate volunteer program. For more information, please visit homedepot.ca/foundation.

SOURCE Habitat for Humanity Canada




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