Sometimes, the littlest things can make a big difference.
For the Lieskovsky family, that takes the shape of small Christmas ornaments in the shape of houses.
“I paint a lot of houses in a day,” jokes Heather Lieskovsky, who along with her mom Viv and father Dave, build the tiny homes out of recycled materials, which are then sold — at Banks Travel on Main Street — for a minimum $5 donation.
|Dave Liesvosky carefully puts a “doorknob” on a Christmas ornament under his wife’s watchful eye. The Liesvosky family is creating the house-shaped V2A ornaments to raise funds to help the homeless. (Steve Kidd/Western News)|
“They’re for gift tags or ornaments or stocking stuffers, things that will remind people that there is a lot of homeless folks out there right now that are struggling and just gives people an opportunity to help people out,” said Viv, adding that they have already sold out their first batch of 65, and are making more.
“We raised $1,400 dollars last year. We made 25 to begin with, hoping we’d make $100,” said Viv. “It kind of took off and we are finding the same level of generosity this year.
“One person came in and gave us $100 for two of them this year. People have been very generous.”
The money raised from the sale of the V2A ornaments is donated to the Salvation Army for their homeless shelter.
“I work on Main Street and I walk to school, so first thing in the morning and the middle of the afternoon I am always seeing homeless folks,” said Heather, adding that it’s tough to see, knowing you are coming home to a warm house at the end of the day.
Dave said he has glimpsed the extent of the problem of poverty while volunteering with KidSport Penticton.
“It is quite often hidden; that is something we have realized over the years with the hamper distribution and with KidSport,” said Dave. “There are a lot of people in the community that are low income and quite honestly, a lot of them are invisible to a lot of people. We’ve seen that and we wanted to do something.”
Producing the tiny homes is a family operation, with each of them contributing to each ornament.
“The three of us just started in the housing construction business. This is Dave, the carpenter, and Heather and I do a lot of the painting and then I am the roofer,” jokes Viv, explaining that they chose to call the project V2A in reference to the Penticton postal code.
“If you have a postal code, then you have a home. If you don’t have one, then you have nowhere to live,” she said.