Habitat for Humanity hosts “stud finder” party at Amherstburg build site


Stud Finder Party HBy Ron Giofu


For $100, Habitat for Humanity allowed the public, businesses and organizations to sponsor a stud at their Amherstburg build site.

While some may define “stud” as a sweaty construction worker at the site, Habitat for Humanity defined it as the interior beams shaping the interior of the home.

A “stud finder” party was held Wednesday night at 784 Richmond St., the future home of the Paquette family. The party allowed those who sponsored a stud to be able to come out, see their stud and the progress of the home, and enjoy some food.

Pamela Breault, operations manager with Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex, said the local chapter was the first Habitat for Humanity-affiliated organization to put on an event like the “Sponsor a Stud” fundraiser.

“We gave businesses, families, groups and organizations the opportunity to sponsor a stud for $100,” explained Breault. “The studs were used for the interior of the home.”

Breault added the party was a “great way” to be part of the home build “and to be part of this family’s lives forever.”

Between the “Sponsor a Stud” fundraiser and the team sponsorship initiative, over $20,000 was raised, said Breault.

“It’s a huge success,” she stated. “It’s more than double what we anticipated.”

More and more groups of volunteers have been helping on site, she noted, as the home is expected to be dedicated and keys given to the Paquette family Oct. 12. The “blitz” began Tuesday with groups working full tilt to get the home ready in time.

Breault estimated it will likely take another week after the Oct. 12 date before they can actually move in, as the mortgage still has to be worked out.

Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex will hold the mortgage, she noted, with the family paying them the mortgage and property taxes. It is a zero per cent mortgage, she added, to make it affordable for the family. Money collected from mortgage payments will be put towards the next house, Breault continued.

“Amherstburg has been amazing. This is the first Habitat for Humanity home we’ve done in Amherstburg and the response has been overwhelming,” Breault said. “The neighbours have been amazing too.”

Breault pointed out two more homes in Windsor will be started Oct. 7 on World Habitat Day and sounded optimistic that Habitat for Humanity could do more work within Amherstburg at some point in the future.

“This Amherstburg build has gone extremely well,” she said. “We can’t wait to work more with Amherstburg.”

Renee Lebrun, the build assistant at the Amherstburg project, reiterated that the “Sponsor a Stud” fundraiser exceeded expectations.

“It’s been a great success,” said Lebrun. “We sold lots of studs.”

Essex MP Jeff Watson and a group from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) were volunteering at the site Thursday. Watson joked he was loosely calling it “Federal Government Day” at the site.

Noting that National Bank representatives were on hand as well as Paquette family members, Watson said he wanted to put in “sweat equity” hours on site in addition to providing his assistance  on the administrative side of the project. He believed it was “very important to put in a personal investment” and help get a family on the right track.

“I came with more enthusiasm than skill,” he admitted, “but I’m picking up skills along the way.”

Watson was helping install siding on the exterior of the home.

Melissa Paquette was pleased to see the progress on the home she will be sharing with husband Justin and children Noah, Nash and Ethan.

“I like it,” she said. “It’s exciting, very exciting. I’ve already mapped out how everything is going to look.”

Paquette said the build has gone by smoothly and is progressing quickly and is looking forward to moving in. Her mother-in-law Kim Paquette said when she has approached people in town for donations and support, people are well aware of the project and willing to give.

“The town’s been fantastic,” said Kim. “They’re very well aware of it. They even know where it is. There have been very good results.”

Kim added that six-year-old Noah watches the progress of the home daily as he rides to and from school on the bus.

“He waves to everyone working on it,” said Kim. “The bus driver stops and lets him wave.”

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