Meet Brian Vella.
He is currently volunteering with Habitat for Humanity in the Milton ReStore. Brian has worked over 2,000 hours with Habitat since his retirement five years ago. Before retiring, Brian worked for Ontario Hydro. “I was the last tradesman in my group, it was the end of the line for that trade there,” he says. “It was sad but you have to change with the times. The people at Habitat respect me so much, which is one of the many reasons I keep coming back.”
When asked what he thought the most redeeming part of volunteering in the ReStore, Brian said, “I like that I’m giving back to the community and helping people less fortunate than I have been.”
Brian says he enjoys making an impact close to home. “It’s a rewarding experience to give back to the community and helping people less fortunate than yourself,” he says.
Brian likes to keep a low profile, but is often acknowledged for his contribution. “It’s great to be a tradesman, they really seem to appreciate my help and knowledge,” he says.
Not only does Brian spend a lot of time helping with the ReStore, he also helped build Habitat’s work spaces. “I started at the Burlington branch, and helped build the offices in Milton,” he says. “I helped turn the Milton ReStore into what it is now as well.”
“The people at Habitat respect me so much, which is one of the many reasons I keep coming back.”
While helping people is important to Brian, his favourite part about volunteering is being social. “I started with a friend from my old work and it was very nice to have things to do with my hands and tools,” he says. “Lots of people need advice on things they are repairing or fixing around the house and I love knowing I can help them.”
Brian found out about Habitat for Humanity when it was first being advertised in the US.
“I knew there was volunteer work I wanted to do. I’m a carpenter by trade so that helps with building houses for the less fortunate.”
When he was asked about his favourite memory during his time with Habitat, he became sentimental. “In my first year I won two awards, one was an in-house award, the second was through the city of Burlington” he said. “I went down to city hall and I was given an award by the mayor, it was amazing to be recognized for what I did even though that was not my goal.”
We hope that Brian will continue volunteering for many years to come. It is amazing seeing volunteers care so much about helping the world become a better place.
If you are interested in becoming a part of our extended Habitat family, we are always in need of volunteers. Click here for more details on how you can make a difference in your community.