Seven Year 11 and 12 Upper Canada College students — and director of community service, clubs and creativity, action and service (CAS) Tom Babits — spent a frigid eight hours helping to build townhouses with Habitat for Humanity on Feb. 1.
“It’s something that the school had done in the past,” says Babits, who replaced Deirdre Timusk and took over his new role in September.
“Last year some of the boys went with Deirdre, so the person who organizes it contacted me and asked if we wanted to do it again this year. The date worked out because it was parent-teacher interview day, so the boys didn’t miss class.”
There were more volunteers than spots available to take part in the Habitat for Humanity project, and the enthusiasm to sign up carried over to the work site in the Malvern neighbourhood in Scarborough, Ont.
Jordan Weiss, Brian Tu, Bernard Ordiz, Luka Pusic, Shaan Hooey, Harry Jiang, Bill Chan and Babits were joined by two Seneca College construction management students and two crew leaders who told them what to do and oversaw their work.
The students cut drywall into specific shapes to fit into spaces as a fire retardant in the morning, while their afternoon was spent building walls.
“The boys were amazing,” says Babits, who noted that the crew leaders also praised their attitudes and work ethic.
“There wasn’t a single complaint all day and they worked hard all day long while having a good time with lots of laughs and joking around.”
The experience was so positive that Babits says he’ll schedule another one for the next school year.
Habitat for Humanity Canada was founded in 1985. The national non-profit organization enlists volunteers and Habitat homeowners to help build and rehabilitate safe, decent and affordable homes, including single-family and multi-unit houses, for low-income families.