Un­for­get­table birth­day

Mother Amy Mar­a­cle gets the keys to her Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity home in Tyen­d­i­naga

The Intelligencer (Belleville) - - NEWS - DAVE VA­CHON

It was a 35th birth­day Amy Mar­a­cle will never for­get.

The mother of Kay­lynn, 8, and Cameron, 4, moved into her new Habi­tat For Hu­man­ity home at 1222 Ridge Road in Tyen­d­i­naga Mo­hawk Ter­ri­tory Thursday morn­ing.

It was a home she has put 500 hours of “sweat eq­uity” into and will be the first home for her young son. The three have been liv­ing across the street with her par­ents, Terry and Linda Bern­hardt.

Habi­tat For Hu­man­ity held a spe­cial event for the fam­ily with around 100 peo­ple in at­ten­dance in front of the new home where a makeshift tent was erected for the crowd to cut cold winds on a blus­tery day on the re­serve.

The crowd in­cluded 16 Grade 3 Quinte Mo­hawk School stu­dents from Kay­lynn’s class. Their ap­pear­ance sur­prised the fam­ily.

“Kay­lynn said all the kids got a trip form, but she didn’t,” said Mar­a­cle. When her class­mates ar­rived, Mar­a­cle ad­mit­ted she and her daugh­ter cried.

When in­ter­viewed by The Intelligencer last Oc­to­ber, Mar­a­cle was a per­sonal sup­port worker stu­dent at Kingston Learn­ing Cen­tre. Since that time she has grad­u­ated from the course and when asked what has changed since her ini­tial interview, while in a bed­room of the new fam­ily home, she put out her arms and ex­claimed “this!”

Like her neigh­bour, April Green, who moved into her new Habi­tat home at 1215 Ridge Road in De­cem­ber, Mar­a­cle’s home is un­fur­nished. Mar­a­cle said she and her fam­ily will be slowly mov­ing their fur­nish­ings into the beau­ti­ful home over the week­end.

Mar­a­cle was ef­fu­sive in her praise of the com­mu­nity in Tyen­d­i­naga for its con­tin­ued sup­port for the Habi­tat homes and said, in Oc­to­ber: “That’s what the re­serve is good for – peo­ple help­ing oth­ers.”

Be­fore of­fi­cially mov­ing in, the home was “smudged” by Pauline Mar­a­cle, a cer­e­mony that pu­ri­fies and cleanses the home for its new oc­cu­pants.

Habi­tat is more than just about the builds. Habi­tat ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Bob Clute pointed to the num­ber of vol­un­teers at the Re­Store in Belleville and the dif­fer­ence that work makes in their lives. “They ( the vol­un­teers) look for­ward to com­ing be­cause that’s where their friends are,” said Clute, dur­ing an interview in Oc­to­ber.

Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity of­fi­cials are hop­ing for a lit­tle more cash to sup­port what’s planned to be a very am­bi­tious year.

“We’re go­ing to be build­ing four homes in Quinte West on Leopold Street,” Clute said Wednesday.

“It’s our most ag­gres­sive build plan that we’ve done to date.”

Clute spoke in Belleville be­fore Hast­ings County’s com­mu­nity and hu­man ser­vices com­mit­tee say­ing it’s a big step for an or­ga­ni­za­tion which has his­tor­i­cally built about one house per year for a fam­ily in need. It’s built 19 homes in the last 20 years.

This year the char­ity will spend $ 150,000 on the projects, he said. Of that, $ 117,000 has been se­cured.

Habi­tat has five groups of peo­ple tar­geted when choos­ing new home­own­ers: sin­gle moms ( by far, the largest group); In­dige­nous and Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple; mil­i­tary vet­er­ans; new Cana­di­ans ( Clute said about 35,000 new­com­ers ar­rive to the coun­try ev­ery year with noth­ing); and fam­i­lies with dis­abil­i­ties.

The need has never been greater, said Clute, and the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s big­gest chal­lenge is fi­nan­cial – rais­ing funds to buy ma­te­ri­als.

We’re go­ing to be build­ing four homes in Quinte West on Leopold Street.”

Habi­tat ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Bob Clute

DAVE VA­CHON PHO­TOS/ THE INTELLIGENCER

Kay­lynn Mar­a­cle's Grade 3 class­mates at Quinte Mo­hawk School showed up Thursday to wel­come the Mar­a­cle fam­ily to their new home on 1222 Ridge Road in Tyen­d­i­naga Mo­hawk Ter­ri­tory.

Amy Mar­a­cle, with her son, Cameron, 4, was emo­tional as she re­ceived the keys to her new home.

Amy Mar­a­cle and her daugh­ter, Kay­lynn, with Habi­tat ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Bob Clute.

Many Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity of­fi­cials were at the Mar­a­cle home cer­e­mony in­clud­ing Tyen­d­i­naga Mo­hawk Ter­ri­tory Chief R. Don­ald Mar­a­cle and Habi­tat ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Bob Clute.

Habi­tat ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Bob Clute with one of Kay­lynn Mar­a­cle's Grade 3 class­mates who spoke to the crowd at the home cer­e­mony.

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