TORONTO, May 25, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- At Habitat Canada’s annual general meeting, held virtually on May 22, Habitat Canada celebrated the achievements of local Habitats during its national award announcements. Ten local Habitats were recognized for their 2019 accomplishments as was Habitat Regina board member Gail Lefebvre, who received the prestigious Kenneth J. Meinert Leadership Award.

“I’d like to congratulate all the winners of this year’s awards,” said Julia Deans, President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Canada. “These awards showcase the exceptional work of local Habitats across Canada to further our mission by providing families with a decent and affordable place to call home.”

This year’s awards and award winners were the following:

- One Habitat award for integrating of all the things Habitat does – communications, operations, governance – to serve more families in Canada and around the world.

  Winner: Habitat for Humanity Heartland Ontario, which helped to craft a Housing Stability Action Plan for London, Ontario, and encourages change globally by highlighting global builds in their monthly newsletters, supporting their local university’s Global Village builds and holding international fundraising events.

- Kenneth J. Meinert Leadership Award, honouring individuals who, through exceptional leadership, have significantly advanced the mission of Habitat for Humanity in Canada.

  Winner: Gail Lefebvre. A strong and committed leader, Gail first began volunteering by helping build with Habitat for Humanity Regina. Since then, she has become a Global Village team leader, volunteering on builds around the world. A board member with Habitat Regina since 2018, she became vice-chair in 2019 and continues volunteering her time building Habitat homes. Gail is a champion and leader of Habitat for Humanity locally, nationally and internationally.

- Housing Innovation award for serving more families by employing new, improved and innovative cost-effective construction technologies, adapting mortgage models and creating fundraising avenues.

  Winners:
  • Habitat for Humanity Québec, for collaborating on designing and building an energy-efficient ecological home.
  • Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North built 400% more homes than in 2018, improving energy efficiency in the homes they built and increasing volunteer capacity for builds.
- Optimizing Performance award for finding new ways to move Habitat’s mission forward to serve more families.

  Winners:
  • Habitat for Humanity Waterloo Region scaled up its corporate procurement program, resulting in new product donations locally and nationally.
  • Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North improved sales tracking and reporting with a new point of sale system, as well as a new website and donor management system.
- Mobilized Leadership award for going above and beyond to foster a culture of leadership, inspiring leaders at every level of their organization.

  Winners:
  • Habitat for Humanity Fredericton supported the on-boarding of new leaders in Atlantic Canada, hosted seven Habitat Global Village builds and tied for largest percentage sales growth in 2019 among Habitat ReStores in Canada.
  • Habitat for Humanity Greater Ottawa doubled its build capacity and contributions to international builds and also engaged local Global Village volunteers to raise over $650,000.
- Epic Engagement award for inspiring their community to support Habitat’s mission while significantly raising awareness of Habitat for Humanity.

  Winners:
  • Habitat for Humanity Greater Ottawa reinvigorated its Women Build Program to celebrate their 25th anniversary, exceeding their fundraising goals and increasing community and volunteer engagement.
  • Habitat for Humanity Victoria’s holiday-themed event, the Gingerbread Showcase, attracted 50,000 visitors and raised over $102,000.
- Sustainable Funding award for successfully pursuing new revenue streams and innovating to ensure growth in this vital area.

  Winners:
  • Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex partnered with local organizations to bring back to life a sustainable furniture bank to benefit two under-served populations – refugees and people experiencing homelessness.
  • Habitat for Humanity Newfoundland and Labrador moved their Habitat ReStore to a new location and implemented new technology including a point of sale system and online booking system for volunteers, increasing sales which help fund operations and homebuilding efforts.

For a full description of each award and award winner, please visit habitat.ca/national-awards.

About Habitat for Humanity Canada

Founded in 1985, Habitat for Humanity Canada is a national charitable organization working toward a world where everyone has a decent and affordable place to call home. Habitat for Humanity brings communities together to help families build strength, stability and independence through affordable homeownership. With the help of volunteers, Habitat homeowners and 53 local Habitats working in every province and territory, we provide a solid foundation for better, healthier lives in Canada and around the world. Habitat for Humanity Canada is a member of Habitat for Humanity International, which was established in 1976 and has grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in more than 70 countries. For more information, please visit www.habitat.ca.

For more information:

Sarah Austin
Director, Communications
Habitat for Humanity Canada
E: saustin@habitat.ca
C: (437) 241-6974