Saanichton church group off to Haiti to help build a home

Raising money to help a family and to support micro-loans.

This family in Haiti will be helped by a group of Saanich Peninsula residents going to that country in the new year.

A group of 10 people from the Saanich Peninsula are going to help build a new home for a single mom in Haiti.

In March, the group from the Saanichton Bible Fellowship Church on Mt Newton X Road will travel to a Haitian village called Bassin-Bleu. The family was left homeless following an earthquake on Jan. 12, 2010.

Josh McCulloch, one of the people going to the Caribbean Island nation next year, says Haiti has yet to recover from the quake and many people there are still without homes. McCulloch said one of the church’s congregation, Dave Hilderman, went to Haiti with his kids approximately two years ago and provided the spark for a larger contingent to join Project Help Haiti.

“This is about helping a family in that country,” he said. “A lot of the economy and the infrastructure was destroyed in what was already one of the poorest countries in the world.”

A carpenter by trade, McCulloch said he’s going to have to learn a little masonry as homes there are built of cinder blocks on stone and mortar foundations.

To get there, the church group is hoping to raise $40,000 before they leave in March. McCulloch said they are at $5,000 as of this week and will hold a fundraiser next month.

On Jan. 30, the Saanichton Bible Fellowship Church will be the site of a talent show and silent auction. The show is open to the entire community and starts at 7 p.m. Admission is by donation.

When they reach their goal, McCulloch said the money will not only help buy the materials for the house, but employ some local Haitian workers as well. With any extra money, he said it will be invested into a micro-loans program.

“Those loans provide an opportunity for someone to start a small business, grow and help in the rebuilding.”

Anyone interested in donating to the local effort can visit sbfchurch.com/haiti2016. Details about the charity can be found at projecthelphaiti.com.