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Fundraiser helps Habitat build home for West Kelowna single mother
Habitat for Humanity Kelowna has given Star a shining smile.
On Saturday, Habitat hosted a family event to raise funds and educate the community on the organization's newest project: Building a modular home for Star and her two children.
Over the years, Star has struggled to find appropriate housing for her two special needs children, Keelan and Kiara.
"When (Keelan) was 10-months-old we found out he had Duchenne muscular dystrophy," said Star.
"At one point we had to move to Peachland because we couldn't find anything wheelchair accessible here. Whenever we find a place, it's very expensive."
Star said that most of her money has gone into putting a roof over her children's heads. She's also suffered other setbacks such as a divorce and a serious car accident.
Needless to say, when Habitat offered a helping hand, Star was very appreciative.
"It means everything. We've had some bad breaks in our life, this just wipes them out."
Habitat's "hand up, not handout" policy means that Star will still be required to make mortgage payments; however, there is no interest and the payments go into a revolving fund to build the next Habitat home.
"It keeps your pride in tact; you're paying for your mortgage and you're also helping for another home for someone else later. That's very important for us."
Star said that her kids have seen the designs for the house and are very excited.
"Keelan calls it his "forever home." He's excited because we won't have to pick up and move again. My daughter's very excited that she can paint her room whatever colour she wants instead of renting."
Despite Saturday's rainy weather, Jacki Wlodarczyk, resource development officer with Habitat for Humanity Kelowna, said that the fundraiser was a success.
"The one thing I can't control is Mother Nature. It was rainy, and that definitely dwindled our numbers, but we were pretty busy before the rain started," said Wlodarczyk.
She said that the community response was positive and several West Kelowna councillors came out to show their support as well.
Wlodarczyk said that there is still a long way to go to reach the fundraising goal of $125,000. Those interested in helping the cause can visit www.payitforwardkelowna.ca.