This past spring CLC Tree Services was pleased to help out the folks at Habitat for Humanity Heartland, by donating trees and sod to complete one of their local builds. While CLC hopes this local connection will be one which grows with time, Curt McCallum is taking his own personal volunteerism one step further, again by the side of Habitat for Humanity. This time though, he is headed to Paraguay with other volunteers from the Forest City Community Church (FCCC) to help build houses for those in need.
Curt has always dreamed of participating in a working holiday—a trip where you give back to a community in need by offering whatever services you might have. Two of his three sisters have gone on mission trips and come home with stories which only served to fuel Curt’s desire to one day do something similar. This year, that dream is becoming a reality.
Back in the early spring, Curt sat in on an information session at his church about their home building humanitarian missions in Paraguay. More than fifty people listened to Kirk Harper, the Assistant Pastor, talk about the needs that exist in places where many people do not have basic necessities, like shelter and the comforts of home. This November 4 – 14th, Kirk plans on making his eighth trip to Central America to change that and he was looking for 16 people to join him. Of the many people who were at the initial information session, Curt was one of the lucky ones chosen to participate.
That participation comes with a cost. The trip to Paraguay is not a sightseers’ dream of taking in local sights and sounds. Volunteers will be picked up in London, Ontario in the middle of the night and taken to Toronto. From there they will fly to Panama, then transfer to a flight to Asunción. Once volunteers have checked into their hotel, the work of home building starts immediately.
Before they even signed up for the trip, Kirk asked whether anyone had any previous skills in the construction industry. A few people raised their hands, but Kirk quickly painted a different picture of the reality of this trip—it would be far more rustic than what they were used to. His words of advice;
“Forget all that.”
To build a home in Paraguay, participants need only a shovel, pickaxe, or trowel. Volunteers will bust up rocks to use for the foundation, mix cement on spare plywood, and use plenty of sweat equity to complete the homes they are working on. As part of the build, they are also expected to dig a cistern for each house as well. Hard labour, but much-needed by the families in need.
It will be a learning experience for all those involved, from Londoners to Paraguayans. And as much as there is lots to do before he leaves—paperwork to complete, shots to get, a new language to learn, bags to pack—Curt is itching to go.
There is another task that Curt needs to complete before he goes though; fundraising. For all his business acumen, this task seems to be the most daunting. Curt is volunteering his time, but has to pay for the trip. He anticipates that before everything is said and done, it will cost him upwards of $3500 to go to Paraguay. And while he is happy to pay the cost, donations are gladly appreciated.
So while many people may applaud Curt’s zeal and humanitarian goodwill, what he would really like to see is you reach into your pockets. Every donation of $20 or more is eligible for a charitable tax receipt. You could donate personally, in the name of your business—or both! The money raised goes to help build not only the houses that Curt is working on, but any future builds that Habitat for Humanity and FCCC are involved with. Not only does Curt personally appreciate all the help he can get, but for the families who receive the gift of a new home, you are making all the difference in the world. Ultimately, that is why Curt is doing this in the first place.
So reach into your heart and dig into your wallets. Curt is happy to discuss his plans with anyone interested in learning more about his home building mission trip to Asunción. Click on the link below to read Curt’s personal message to you about his upcoming trip, then click the Donate Now button to help fund his dream. Gracias!