Habitat gets help from Canadian visitors


Members of Kanata United Church from Kanata, a suburb of Ottawa, Ontario, recently made another trek to the Northern Neck to help Lancaster Northumberland Habitat for Humanity construct a house.

Susan Maslin, who has assisted in organizing the trip for many years, organized the week-long visit, but was unable to make it herself.

“This year is the first trip for many of this year’s participants and our ninth trip to Kilmarnock representing our congregation,” said Bev Buckingham, who led the group this year and is traveling with her teenage grandchildren.

“Our visits coincide with our winter school break allowing families to come to the Northern Neck and enjoy its comparatively warm weather,” said Buckingham. “We especially value meeting and working with the future owners of the homes we help to build and over the past ten years we have visited so many of the local churches, who have extended their hospitality to us and made us feel most welcome.

“We represent our entire congregation who support us with prayer, letters of encouragement, funds and a handmade quilt. The quilt has become a tradition—it is made by our congregation’s quilters and presented to the homeowners whose home we work on during our visit,” she said.

The group arrived in Kilmarnock March 12 and attended services at Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Wicomico Church. The group of 12 youth and 6 adults stayed at the Kilmarnock Hotel and Suites. Local churches, including Mount Olive Baptist and Habitat Board members hosted lunches and dinners for the volunteers who worked during the week at the Wiggins Avenue worksite alongside Habitat’s regular work crews under the direction of construction supervisor Robert Kammerer.

The work performed by the group from Kanata is vital to meeting the local Habitat affiliate’s goal of building at least one home each year in Lancaster or Northumberland, said board president Kathleen Conroy.

“During the week the folks from Kanata have helped us near completion of house number 18 in Kilmarnock which is the first one in our area to be constructed compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act standards,” said Conroy. “They also helped begin renovation of a home in Northumberland which we hope will be purchased by another deserving family.”

Team leaders are at the Wiggins Avenue building site from 8 .m. to noon Tuesdays and Thursdays. Individual volunteers and organizations wishing to sponsor a day of construction or donate to Habitat, are urged to call 435-3461.