The gift that keeps on giving

Tyler Clarke
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When selecting a charitable cause to support, Affinity Insurance Services manager Keith Izsak said that Habitat for Humanity Prince Albert was a no-brainer.

SMI and Affinity Insurance staff hand Habitat for Humanity Prince Albert present Morris Sawchuk, right, with a $5,000 cheque -- a donation that will continue in perpetuity for generations. 

“Any monies given to Habitat seem to be perpetual -- not a one-time deal, it’s something that can continue on,” he summarized. “It’s a community builder”

Accepting a $5,000 donation from Affinity Insurance Services’ staff on Tuesday, Habitat for Humanity Prince Albert president Morris Sawchuk noted that 100 per cent of the donated money would go toward funding future builds.

“Any money that’s devoted to builds, such as this money, is dedicated toward a build. We cannot use it for administration or anything,” he said, noting that the organization has a separate bank account to ensure this rings true.

Profits from the Habitat for Humanity Prince Albert Re-Store fund the hiring of trades people, administration, or any other costs unrelated to building materials, he explained.

The perpetuity comes as a result of mortgage payments, Sawchuk said.

“It’s not a handout, it’s a hand up -- I’ve used that term lots,” Sawchuk explained of the organization.

Habitat for Humanity currently has 22 homes either finished or under construction in the city and area, with homeowners paying the organization an average of about $500 per month in interest-free mortgage.

 “When families commit or get selected, the minute they start paying on a house … they’ve actually established a saving account,” Sawchuk said.

“If they sell the house 10 years down the road, we’re obligated to buy that house back from them.”

The family that purchases the outgoing family’s Habitat for Humanity house begins paying the organization a monthly mortgage, Sawchuk said, noting, “That’s where the perpetuity comes into play.”

Habitat for Humanity Prince Albert plans on building at least five to six homes next year, including three in Prince Albert and two to three in surrounding communities.

“The need is so great” Sawchuk said. “If you look at Prince Albert, 50 per cent of Prince Albert is low income. If you look at it more realistically, maybe even higher.”

Filling this housing crunch betters the community as a whole, Sawchuk said.

“If we’re going to correct this problem with crime and these other issues and drug issues, one is with safe housing,” he said.

“We put kids into safe housing, they then become better citizens and their grades go up in school … It’s proven that it works”

Organizations: Habitat for Humanity, Affinity Insurance Services

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