Habitat for Humanity is about to receive a $15,000 donation from a Prince George business.
Western Financial Group will present the organization with a cheque for that amount on Tuesday and most of the money will go towards a $13,000 upgrade of the waterlines into Habitat for Humanity's current project at 1938 Juniper St. in the South Fort George area.
"It comes as quite a blessing," said Habitat for Humanity executive director Jo-Ann Pickering.
The non-profit group builds houses for deserving families who otherwise cannot afford one and its current project is progressing, Pickering said, and the hope is to have the the family in the home by mid-October.
Cassandra Houston and her teenage son and daughter have been chosen for the home on the basis of need for adequate housing, the ability to repay a zero interest, long-term loan and a willingness to partner with the organization.
Each family must contribute 500 hours of sweat equity, working alongside volunteers to build their home as well as helping out at the Habitat ReStore.
Western Financial Group financial service representative Tricia Gagnon said the money comes out of an annual "support the cause" day, held each June. Employees take pledges and go on a five-kilometre walk while partner companies also donate.
"Our company operates in four different provinces and they pick one Habitat for Humanity project from each province and I had noticed that no one from B.C. had been picked yet, so I took an application down to Habitat and sent it in and we were approved I think the very next day," Gagnon said.
Western Financial Group has also provided a $500 bursary to a graduating Prince George high school student since 2005. The local office has secured six $500 matching grants from headquarters for local projects, and in 2007, purchased a defibrillator for CN Centre.
Habitat for Humanity has purchased a site at 1725 Fourth Ave. for next year's project.
"That's an awesome nice lot so we won't be having to upgrade any waterlines or anything," Pickering said.
Meanwhile, the first house Habitat for Humanity built in Prince George is up for sale.
Pickering said the owner, Beverly Dimmick, who moved into the 1,000-square-foot home at 1808-13th Avenue in July 2002, paid out her mortgage to Habitat for Humanity on the home so that she could take a job in the northwest.
"This is kind of like our first success story," Pickering said. "She was able to go back to school and she got a job in Terrace and one of the things on the mortgage is that you have to live in the home for 12 years, you cannot rent it out. So, she went to the bank and got her own mortgage and paid us out."