Glenn Winter has been contributing to Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta’s mission to help family’s build strength, stability and independence for the past 15 years. From volunteering his time on the Habitat board, construction site here in Calgary and internationally, and contributing as a monetary donor.
Glenn’s journey with Habitat began like many others, he needed a project, a way to stay busy, and what better way to do that then by swinging a hammer. Before retirement he worked as an engineer for Shell Canada.
Since 2012, as far as our records go back, Glenn has volunteered with Habitat on the construction site for over 2,500 hours
While Glenn expected his volunteer hours to feel productive, he was surprised by how much fun he had on site and how much he enjoyed meeting other volunteers and homeowners who worked along side him.
“The whole purpose for coming here changed. It was the camaraderie and commitment of the other volunteers and the stories of the homeowners,” says Glenn.
Passionate about helping local families, Glenn looked for additional way to give back to Habitat for Humanity. He has been a monetary donor to Habitat for several years now and even held a seat on the Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta board from 2011 until 2014!
Glenn reflects on one of his early memories that has stuck with him and keeps bringing him to the Habitat construction site week after week.
He was volunteering on site which was nearing completion when one of the Habitat families was moving into a completed unit. “You could hear the pitter patter or their feet on the floor and on the stairs” Glenn pauses.
“And they were running up the stairs going, mommy, mommy, you need to come look at this. You need to come look at that. Oh mommy, come look at my room."
And I was hooked.” He smiles and nods his head. “I was hooked from that point.”
After volunteering on the construction site for some time, Glenn transitioned to a crew leader. He still gets to be hands on, but now he leads a team of volunteers with the guidance of the site supervisors to build homes for Habitat families to purchase.
“It’s life changing, for them, but it’s also been life changing for me."
Glenn winter, habitat volunteer of 15 years
Glenn says its common for volunteers to have a variety of different skill levels on site and that each individual makes an impact. “It takes a lot of steps to get a house done and all the steps are done by volunteers."
While Glenn enjoys the construction aspect, what he loves most is getting to know all the new volunteers who show up every day. “It's the heartbeat of the city that you're learning about”.
Last year Glenn took his passion for Habitat for Humanity overseas for his second international build. He went to Myanmar, Burma where he built a bamboo house which was completed in one week. The house they built was smaller than an average room at a local Calgary build.
Glenn says he will continue to volunteer with Habitat for as long as he can. “It’s life changing, for them, but it’s also been life changing for me." We couldn’t agree more.
Thank you to all our dedicated and passionate volunteers, and donors like Glenn who are helping change the lives of families and our communities in southern Alberta.