Team builder

Don Gray helps vol­un­teers de­velop con­fi­dence, skills on builds over the past five years for Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity P.E.I.

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - THE GUARDIAN

Don Gray helps vol­un­teers de­velop con­fi­dence, skills on builds over the past five years for Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity P.E.I.

Don Gray knows how to build houses.

He also knows how to bring out the best in peo­ple.

In the past five years,the con­struc­tion man­ager with Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity P.E.I. (HFHPEI) has matched thou­sands of vol­un­teers with jobs and watched them spring into ac­tion dur­ing 22 builds for the not-for-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion.

“It’s some­thing that I re­ally en­joy do­ing. Of the 22 fam­i­lies that I have built for, I re­ally like them all,” Gray says with a broad smile.

The se­cret to his suc­cess is peo­ple show­ing up.

“Ev­ery­body who comes to work on a build day is usu­ally mo­ti­vated and wants to help and we will find some­thing for them to do.”

Even begin­ners get as­signed es­sen­tial tasks.

“If some­one can’t swing a ham­mer, they can move ply­wood or frame the walls. They can also move trusses and build stag­ing.”

For vol­un­teers who re­ally want to learn more, it can be an ed­u­ca­tional ex­pe­ri­ence of a life­time.

In the past, he has in­structed begin­ners in the art of driv­ing nails, rough fram­ing a house, in­stalling ply­wood, stand­ing up wall frames and build­ing roofs.

“If we have 35 peo­ple and 32 don’t have any skills, I will teach them how to build. If peo­ple want to learn, I’ll teach them.”

For in­stance, Gray tells the story of a mother and daugh­ter vol­un­teer team who showed up at a build three years ago with no ex­pe­ri­ence.

“Af­ter in­tro­duc­ing them­selves they said, ‘Don, we’re here for three weeks. We want you to teach us how to build. We want to learn.’”

At the time, HFHPEI was build­ing three houses on the same road and many work­ers were re­quired. So he taught


Satur­day, Jan. 23, 8:30-10:30 a.m., for a pan­cake break­fast to be held at Park Royal Church gym­na­sium. The menu in­cludes pan­cakes, scram­bled eggs, River­side Mar­ket fresh sausages, tea, coffee, ap­ple juice and or­ange juice. The price is $8 for adults, $4 chil­dren un­der 12 or $20 per fam­ily. Tick­ets are avail­able af­ter church on Sun­days or by call­ing the church of­fice at 902-894-9656.


Fit­ness classes for those 50 and over are Mon­days and Fri­days, 9 a.m., at the Mil­ton Com­mu­nity Hall. Ad­mis­sion is $3 or two peo­ple for $5. The fo­cus is on bal­ance and flex­i­bil­ity. Coffee Club (by do­na­tion) fol­lows at 10 a.m. For more in­for­ma­tion, call 902-368-3090.

An in­tro­duc­tion to Bud­dhism is in Mon­tague, Mon­days, 7 p.m. For in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing lo­ca­tion, con­tact Michele, 902-838-3308, or email search­forhap­pi­ m.

Yoga classes are at Tra­cadie Com­mu­nity Cen­tre, Tues­days, 9:30 a.m. Call Frances Dougan, 902-6762060.

Yoga classes are Tues­days, Wed­nes­days and Thurs­days at Trin­ity United Church, Char­lot­te­town. Con­tact Ju­dith Mer­rill, www.spir­it­, jmer­rill@is­landt­ele­ or 902-892-3147.

Yoga classes are at noon on Tues­days at Strat­ford Recre­ation Cen­tre, 234 Shake­speare Dr. New stu­dents are wel­come. Con­tact Joan,


T.O.P.S. #PE660 meets Mon­days in the com­mu­nity room of the Sobeys just past the Char­lot­te­town Mall, with weigh-in 6-6:30 p.m. and the meet­ing 6:30-7:30 p.m. (el­e­va­tor avail­able). Call Kari, 902892-1100.

The P.E.I. So­cia­ble Sin­gles mee­tand-greet is Mon­days, 7 p.m., in the West Roy­alty Com­mu­nity Cen­tre, Room No. 6, cor­ner of Lower Malpeque Road and Kirk­dale Road for those over 40 years. Google P.E.I. so­cia­ble sin­gles or call Edith, 902-892-3970, or Na­dine, 902-5665899.

Is­land Trea­sures Nee­dle Art Guild meets Mon­days at the St. Eleanor’s Com­mu­nity Cen­tre, 7 p.m. Call Shel­ley, 902-436-8795. Hamp­shire Friend­ship Club for Weight Loss and Healthy Liv­ing meets Tues­days, 8:45 a.m., at Hamp­shire Hall. Call Jean, 902621-0398.

T.O.P.S. PE #5051 Char­lot­te­town meets Tues­days, 6-8 p.m., at the Sher­wood Rec Hall. Call Mar­garet at 902-566-9991.

Cardi­gan T.O.P.S. meets Tues­days, 6 p.m., at the Cardi­gan vil­lage of­fice. New mem­bers are wel­come to call Karen Wood, 902-676-2978. T.O.P.S. PE 3715, North River, meets Tues­days at the North River Fire Hall (back door en­trance). Weigh-in is at 5:45 p.m. with the meet­ing at 6:30 p.m. All are wel­come. Call Cyn­thia, 902-566-4680. T.O.P.S. PE809, Hunter River, meets Tues­days in the mu­sic room, Cen­tral Queens El­e­men­tary School, Hunter River. Weigh-in be­gins at 6:30 p.m., and the meet­ing is at 7 p.m. New mem­bers are wel­come. Call Cathy, 902-628-2069, or Carolyn, 902-964-2417.

The Lady’s Slip­per Nee­dle Arts Guild meets the se­cond and fourth Tues­day of the month, 7 p.m., at Winsloe United Church, 121 Winsloe Rd. (Route 223), South Winsloe. Any­one with a pas­sion for needle­work of any kind or who wishes to learn is in­vited to take part. New mem­bers and vis­i­tors are wel­come. Call Heather, 902621-0248.


Chris­tian med­i­ta­tion is Tues­days at the Martha Spirituality Cen­tre, SDU Place, Great Ge­orge Street, Char­lot­te­town (en­ter off King Street), 9:30-10:15 a.m. and 7:15-8 p.m. Join this sim­ple and an­cient form of prayer. All de­nom­i­na­tions are wel­come. Call 902-367-3103 or email Do­na­tions are ac­cepted. Lec­tio Divina (sa­cred read­ing and re­flec­tion) on Mark’s Gospel is ev­ery Wed­nes­day at the Martha Spirituality Cen­tre at SDU Place on Great Ge­orge Street, 11 a.m. un­til noon, led by Sr. Gemma Dunn and Sr. Della Gaudet. To in­quire or reg­is­ter, call 902-367-3103 or mes­sage . Do­na­tions are ac­cepted.


Coffee club is Mon­days and Fri­days, 10 a.m., at the Mil­ton Com­mu­nity Hall. En­joy coffee and con­ver­sa­tion. Ad­mis­sion is a do­na­tion of coin or sweets.

Bridge is at the Se­niors Ac­tive Liv­ing Cen­tre, CARI com­plex, UPEI, Mon­days, 1 p.m.

Pro­gres­sive 45s are at the Souris Sil­ver Threads Club, Mon­days, 7:30 p.m.

Afton’s weekly card par­ties (Auc­tion 45s) are Mon­days, 7:30 p.m., at the Afton Com­mu­nity Cen­tre in New Do­min­ion. Lunch will be pro­vided.

Card play sin­gles is at the Mount Ste­wart Fire Hall, Mon­days, 7:30 p.m.

Card par­ties are at the Kellys Cross Com­mu­nity Cen­tre, Mon­days at 7:30 p.m.

Mayflower Se­niors Club cards is Mon­days, 7:30 p.m., at the Cot­ton Cen­tre, Bun­bury Road, Strat­ford.

Cash bingo is at the Kingston Le­gion Branch 30, New Haven, Mon­day and Fri­day, 7:30 p.m., with a 50/50 draw, pro­gres­sive jack­pot and can­teen.

Weekly cards and croki­nole are at the Spring Val­ley Com­mu­nity Hall, Mon­days, 7:30 p.m. There will be a 50/50 and door prize.

Croki­nole is played weekly at War­ren Grove Com­mu­nity Cen­tre on Mon­days, 7:30 p.m. There will be lunch and a 50/50 draw. All are wel­come.

The Se­niors Ac­tive Liv­ing Cen­tre, CARI com­plex UPEI will be hav­ing a pub­lic Eu­chre tour­na­ment on Tues­day, Jan 12. Reg­is­tra­tion is at 12:45 p.m., with the tour­na­ment start­ing at 1 p.m. Ad­mis­sion is $5 per per­son. There will be a 50/50 draw as well as prizes for first, se­cond and third.

The Corn­wall and Area 50+ Club

meets weekly at the Corn­wall Civic Cen­tre on Tues­days at 1:30 pm for auc­tion and crib­bage. Skip Bo is played on Thurs­days at 1:30 p.m. Ad­mis­sion is $2.

Mayflower Se­niors Club cards is Tues­days, 1:30 p.m., at the Cot­ton Cen­tre, Bun­bury Road, Strat­ford.

Bridge is played at the Sil­ver Threads Club in Souris on Tues­days at 7 p.m.

Novice Bridge is at the Char­lot­te­town Du­pli­cate Bridge Club (161 St. Peter’s Rd.) on Tues­days, 7 p.m. All be­gin­ning bridge play­ers are wel­come. Ex­pe­ri­enced bridge play­ers will be on hand to help with bid­ding and play. Con­tact Ray Malone at 902-368-8416 or rp­

ACBL sanc­tioned du­pli­cate

game is Tues­days, 7-10 p.m., at the Hav­i­land Club, Char­lot­te­town, with a guar­an­teed part­ner and fun re­laxed play, as well as a mini les­son at 6:30 p.m. Con­tact irene.macarthur@pei.sym­pa­, 902-569-3180 or www.over­the­bridge­

Crib cards are played at the Kens­ing­ton Lions Club on Tues­days at 7:30 p.m.

Ver­non River Cards are Tues­days, 7:30 p.m., at St. Joachim’s Parish Hall.

Auc­tion 45s is played at the Star of the Sea Se­niors Club, North Rus­tico, Tues­days, 7:30 p.m. There is also a 50/50 draw and lunch.

Weekly card par­ties (45s) are at Tra­cadie Com­mu­nity Cen­tre, Tues­days, 7:30 p.m. The game is sin­gles, and there is a toonie pot. A light lunch will be served.


Don Gray, con­struc­tion man­ager for Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity P.E.I., stands out­side Bethany and Michael Robin­son’s home in Har­ring­ton. It’s one of sev­eral built in the area by Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity P.E.I.


Don Gray and ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Becky Mullen visit home­owner Bethany Robin­son and her chil­dren, Gray­sen, 3, left, and Brynnlee, 1, in Har­ring­ton. Miss­ing from the photo is Bethany’s hus­band, Michael Robin­son.


Work­ing with other vol­un­teers, home­own­ers Bethany and Michael Robin­son stand up the wall frame of their house.


Vol­un­teers are at work dur­ing a Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity build day at one of the projects.


Bethany and Michael Robin­son show the front door to their fu­ture home. Af­ter putting the walls up on May 9, the fam­ily moved in on July 4.

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