March 2010

Ontario Locals Pitch in for Volunteer Work
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Nearly 20 needy families in Kitchener, Ontario, have new homes, thanks in part to retirees and members of Local 804.

Over the past six years, the retirees have volunteered their expertise, time and skills to help build homes for Habitat for Humanity. They plan to do the electrical work for another 16 homes over the next three years.

"This has been a tremendous effort," said Local 804 President Corina Hicks.

Hicks was one of several members who took part in a women's-only build for Habitat last year. Some of the Local 804 members gave up a double-time day to be a part of the volunteer effort. Retired members also volunteer for Habitat in Wiarton, Ontario.

Families who will move into the homes also help with the construction. "They are so appreciative," Hicks said. "They almost can't believe that we're there working for them, and doing it for free."

The retirees have been so successful at their building efforts, they have managed to transform the job sites from mixed union and nonunion volunteers to an all-union effort.

"After two years, they've managed to scoop up all the work," Hicks said. "It's great to be on a union jobsite, even when we're volunteers doing it for a great cause."

Local 804 retirees Doug Richards, left, Wayne Stevens, Ron Kutazinski, Bob Hutchinson, Thomas Gardner, Harry Holloway and Bob Kaufman helped build a Habitat for Humanity home last fall.