TORONTO—Renos for Heroes (RH) – a not-for-profit foundation that provides building services for Canadian military veterans and their families — has an additional $70,000 in its coffers thanks to a 10-kilometre fundraising walk in Vaughan, Ont. recently.
"I’m very happy. It goes to a great cause," says Durval Terceira, business agent, Carpenters’ Local 1030 who led the fundraising walk for the second year in a row. Last year, Terceira raised $40,000 in a 120-km walk.
Most of the money goes towards barrier-free construction at the homes of military veterans who have sustained physical injuries or post-traumatic stress disorder on the job, says Deryl Caruk, RH executive director.
RH prides itself on careful budgeting, doing one project at a time, ensuring that each recipient veteran gets the renovation they were promised, he says. The Ontario program has plans on expanding across Canada. Many of the donations are from Carpenters’ union locals across Canada — including the Carpenters District Council of Ontario — and affiliated construction associations. The Interior Systems Contractors Association of Ontario, for example, contributed $10,000.
"I recently got a cheque for $10,000 from Alberta (the Alberta Regional Council of Carpenters)," says Terceira, adding it is "giving back" to soldiers who have "given us so much."
"I’m hoping in the next four or five years we raise $100,000 to $150,000 through this kind of walk," says Terceira.
Caruk, says the foundation’s partnership with the Carpenters’ union has solidified since RH was set up in 2010.
"We’re just starting our seventh project (for veterans) now."
Jim Caruk, who founded RH four years ago, says he never thought it would take off as quickly as it has.
"I look at it this way: they (soldiers) were out there serving us, the least we can do when they get back and need our help is to serve them."
Visit www.renosforheroes.org for more info.