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Home for the holidays

A family of five is expected to have a place to call home by the holidays, thanks in large part to the generosity of more than 100 Yellowknife women.

Dave Hurley, president of Habitat for Humanity NWT, left, and Dave Brothers, building committee chair, stopped by the home currently under progress in Old Town on Monday. The non-profit organization received a donation of approximately $11,000, which will help them complete the home in time for Christmas. Kirsten Fenn/NNSL photo

Habitat for Humanity NWT is receiving a donation of around $11,000, which will help the group complete the finishing touches on a home currently under construction off of Franklin Avenue in Old Town.

“We get a lot of things donated, but there are things that you can’t – that you’ve always got to buy,” said Dave Hurley, president of the non-profit organization. “The hardest thing in the world is to get cash … so this helps us with the cash component that we need to finish the house.”

The money comes from 100 Women Who Give a Damn, a group that meets four times a year to nominate a local charity or non-profit for a donation.

Once the nominations are in, the group narrows their choice down to three finalist organizations who give a quick speech about how they would use the money.

Then the women cast their vote for the winner.

The goal is to have 100 people donate $100 each, for a grand total of $10,000 to be handed out to the chosen organization.

“Habitat for Humanity, they were saying that they’re so close for the family to move in,” said Sarah Erasmus, organizer of the local 100 Women Who Give a Damn chapter. “And they’re really hoping they can get in there before Christmas.”

She added every organization nominated was more than deserving of a donation, but luck of the draw helped Habitat for Humanity this time around.

Hurley said it will be “quite a Christmas present” for the family to take over the house in December if it can be completed by then.

It’s something he’s done before when the non-profit built a duplex in Niven and turned it over to its new owners a few weeks before the holidays.

“What I do remember about that day is it was freezing,” said Hurley. “It’s an emotional thing for us who have done it, and it’s very emotional for the family.”

He said he’s glad the group will be able to accomplish what it set out to do, providing affordable housing for a family.

Erasmus is also pleased with the turnout of the latest 100 Women Who Give a Damn meeting.

Just under 100 people showed up to donate at their event at the Top Knight last week, but Erasmus said she was continuing to collect donations until Tuesday.

The group’s previous meeting in July – their first ever – drew more than 130 people. At the time, approximately $19,000 was raised in total for the YWCA’s GirlSpace program after donations continued to flood in from people who were absent.

“But it was still a great turnout and we were able to get the $10,000, which is always the goal,” said Erasmus of the latest event. “It’s one of those things that’s so easy for people to come out and attend to and help out in a small way, but at the end of the day it’s a huge impact.”

The next meeting is expected to take place in April. Erasmus said all are welcome.