Media Advisory - 16 Toronto families living in need come Home for the

TORONTO, Dec. 15 /CNW/ -

    What:     The Castillos and Mathews, along with 14 other families, will
              have a home for the holidays when they receive the keys to
              their new semi-detached homes in a Habitat for Humanity Toronto
              Dedication Ceremony. This development was the site of Habitat
              for Humanity Toronto's historic Women Build Blitz held in May,
              2009. This event brought over 1,500 women together to raise
              over $2 million and to gather over nine days at the Scarborough
              build site to build homes and hope for families living in need.
              The Dedication Ceremony is a Habitat tradition that gives
              donors, volunteers, Partner Families and Habitat for Humanity
              Toronto staff the opportunity to come together to celebrate the
              completion of Habitat homes.

    Who:      - Mag Ruffman, Master of Ceremonies and Tool Girl
              - Neil Hetherington, CEO Habitat for Humanity Toronto
              - Monika Schnarre, Habitat for Humanity Toronto Women Build
                Ambassador and Former Canadian supermodel
              - Mathews/Hope Family - Deserei Matthews lives every day with
              hope of leaving the dangerous neighbourhood she lives in as a
              single parent with her four children. When she realized that
              gang-related crime was on the rise and her apartment was filled
              with mould, she did not feel safe raising her four children
              alone in this negative environment. Deserei learned about
              Habitat for Humanity Toronto through her daughter's friend and
              is thrilled to have been accepted as a partner family. The
              whole Mathews/Hope family has pitched in to complete the sweat
              equity hours together and reach their goal of escaping a
              neighbourhood filled with drugs and gang violence. When asked
              what she will do first in her new Habitat home Deserei said, "I
              will ask for God to bless the home, to bless Habitat for
              Humanity Toronto, and to bless everyone that have made it
              possible for us to have a safe place to call home."

              The Castillo-James Family - For Sonia James and Luis Orellano
              Castillo, the concept of family is one that holds special
              meaning for them. In their current home, the family's living
              conditions are cramped and unfavourable. Sonia, Luis, and their
              son Daniel all share one room while Sonia's mother sleeps in a
              small space off of the kitchen. The Castillo-James family
              helped build their new Habitat home with hundreds of fellow
              build volunteers during the Women Build Blitz on the Hainford
              build site. For this family with a zest and passion for life,
              moving into their new Habitat house will mean leaving the
              confines of their small one bedroom apartment and being granted
              the opportunity to enjoy life to its fullest. In Luis's words,
              when asked what the term "home" meant to him, he replied
              simply, "family".

    When:     Sunday, December 20, 2009
              Opening Remarks, Key Ceremony & Procession
              - Neil Hetherington & TPS                            1:30 p.m.
              Formal Welcome and Partner Family Remarks
              - Mag Ruffman & Deserei Mathews                      2:20 p.m.
              Thank You & Group "Oyeh" - Monika Schnarre           3:00 p.m.

    Where:    71 Hainford Street (near Kingston Road and Lawrence
              Avenue East)
              Scarborough, Ontario
              Street parking will be available.

    Photo/Interview opportunities:
    -   1:30 p.m. - Home Sponsors present keys to Partner Families in front
        of their new Habitat homes and tour the Partner Families' homes.
    -   1:50 p.m. - Toronto Police Service horse-led procession to Joseph
        Brant P.S. for formal proceedings
    -   2:20 p.m. - Welcome remarks by Mag Ruffman and Neil Hetherington
    -   2:45 p.m. (approx.) - Key Note Address by Deserei Mathews, Habitat
        Partner Family and Hainford development homeowner
    -   3:00 p.m. (approx.) - Thank You and traditional Habitat for Humanity
        "Oyeh" led by Monika Schnarre

SOURCE Habitat for Humanity GTA

For further information: For further information: Neil Hetherington, Chief Executive Officer, Habitat for Humanity Toronto, office: (416) 755-7353 ext 223, cell: (416) 436-4190,,; Joanna M. Dwyer, Marketing and Communications Associate, Habitat for Humanity Toronto, office: (416) 755-7353, ext. 228, cell: (416) 277-3064,; On Sunday call Neil Hetherington at (416) 436-4190 or Joanna M. Dwyer at (416) 277-3064

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