The Home Depot Team from Cambridge

Our amazing volunteers from Home Depot, Hespeler Road

Written by Katherine McDevitt, Human Resources Manager

On Wednesday, June 12, we were blessed to have Home Depot begin to repaint our Haven House Shelter. This “Extreme Home Make Over” as you might call it, was designed to rejuvenate our space for the women and children who come through our doors. This space, as you can imagine with 35 beds, was a space that truly was in need of a makeover.

As anyone who has repainted can tell you, a fresh coat can make all the difference to a house and to those who dwell in it. Finally, gone are the dingy brown walls with purple doors, lightened up with a blend of ivory, soft blue and terra cotta walls. This change in wall colour has been a much anticipated change and residents and staff were very excited to see the transformation occur before their eyes.

I will confess that at first, it seemed a little daunting. When the idea of this generous donation first began to take shape, we realized how big of a project it really was. Simply coordinating 35 residents, numerous staff and re-arranging office space to paint, seemed like a feat of its own.  By the time bucket after bucket of paint arrived on our front door step, before most of us had even finished our morning coffee, an overwhelming feeling in the pit of my stomach took over – it was a lot of paint and we have a lot of walls! However, as the day progressed and our volunteers got into the groove of things, repainting our shelter didn’t seem quite as daunting.

Our volunteers and their abundance of energy made what could have been a very long day (after all, who really likes to paint) fly by.  I was most impressed by their desire to help us, commitment to the project and painting abilities, so much so that I was hoping to hire them all to repaint my house next!

Lunch provided by HARVEY's!

Our hard working volunteers were provided with a delicious lunch by HARVEY’s, it’s a beatiful thing! Thank you Harvey’s.

We tood a break for lunch as the alluring smell of Harvey’s was waiting for us. THANK YOU Harvey’s for making sure our volunteers all had a full belly to continue working hard on our “Home Makeover”.

As the day came to a close, our residents, many who had been out began to return to the shelter. When they walked in, you could see how such a small change, like wall colour could have a big impact on them. Everything seemed lighter and all of the challenges they faced, whether it be those day to day challenges or something more serious, it seemed just a little less for a moment. It was then, amidst all of those buckets of paint that you realize how important the change was and that all of the challenges in coordinating such a project, is truly worth it.

Our gracious volunteers, managed to get almost our whole main floor painted and we are eagerly anticipating their return in early July to help us finish our basement as well.

On behalf of all of WCSWR, I know that Home Depot of Cambridge has our many thanks for coordinating this as well as the generous donors who helped us out, including CIL who donated paint, Tim Horton’s for their coffee, tea and donuts and Harvey’s for their lunch.

If you or anyone you know is interested in helping our Home Depot volunteers finish painting the shelter, please contact Kourtney Beckman, Fund Development Manager at


Volunteer painters from Home Depot

Wprking hard to paint our dining room, Home Depot volunteers smiled and were energized by listening to DAVE FM all day!