Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North is feeling the financial burden of COVID-19. Both their
Comox Valley and Campbell River ReStore shut down for over two months, resulting in an estimated
loss of over $350,000 in revenue. Habitat’s construction projects were also delayed due to the virus,
and their fundraising plans cancelled. In spite of these setbacks, the organization still plans to build five
more safe and affordable homes for local families by the end of the year. Luckily for them, the local
business community has stepped up to help in a big way.

Habitat will be hosting #BidtoBuild, an online auction. The auction items include a range of unique
experiences, special gifts, and one-of-a-kind treasures donated by local businesses. Bidding opens on
July 23rd at 10:00 am and closes August 6th at 10:00 pm.

Understanding that this is a difficult time for all businesses, Habitat first connected with the local
Chambers of Commerce and BIAs. After gaining the support of the Comox Valley Chamber, Campbell
River Chamber, Downtown Courtenay BIA, Comox BIA, and the Downtown Campbell RIver BIA, they
decided to move forward.

“Truthfully, we were nervous about asking our community to help, as we know many businesses are
facing similar challenges to us, and that had to be respected. However, we also know that recovering
from Covid, for this community, also means taking care of others,” said Karen McKinnon, Habitat’s
Family Services Manager.

McKinnon describes the overwhelming support of the business community as heartening, but not
surprising. In addition to the many businesses who donated gift cards or goods to the auction, Cloutier
Matthews and Temprite Climate Solutions both came on as presenting sponsors, and the Comox Valley
Record and 97.3 The Eagle as media sponsors.

The online auction has something for everyone. From gift cards at varied price points, to ReStore
treasures, and high quality items from local stores. You can also find special experiences, such as the
opportunity to design a flavour with Blue Spruce Ice Cream, eat lunch at the Mill Cafe once a week
courtesy of donor Daryl Robbins, or soar above the glacier in a helicopter courtesy of Pacific Marine.

Individuals or businesses who want to make a donation to the auction can contact McKinnon at
bidtobuild@habitatnorthisland.com. Those interested in supporting Habitat for Humanity’s affordable
housing projects can register in advance for the auction by visiting habitatnorthisland.com/bidtobuild.

Cady Corman

Marketing and Communications Manager, Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North