An anonymous donor has pledged $50,000 to build the Hrycyshyn family of Thunder Bay, Ont., a new, wheelchair-accessible house, but only if the donation is matched by the community by June 30th.
Habitat for Humanity Thunder Bay CEO Diane Mitchell said the anonymous challenge was made through the Thunder Bay Community Foundation, and it is a first of its kind for the organization.

The Hrycyshyn family needs an accessible home for their 14-year-old son who has severe cerebral palsy and requires 24-hour care.

Taisha Hrycyshyn

Habitat for Humanity and the Hrycyshyn family hopes that Thunder Bay, Ont., can match an anonymous donation of $50,000.
The opportunity to have her son included in family events with her other children would "mean the world for us," said Taisha Hrycyshyn..

"At this point, our son is unable to join us for family dinners," she said, "[because] our kitchen is too small to accommodate his wheelchair."

"Family is family right, and when you don't have one person with your family, your family's not whole," said Hrycyshyn, who has three other children, all under the age of five.

Her four-year-old daughter, Sydney, is the sibling most excited by the chance to spend more time with her older brother.

"She's the caring one, the oldest one," said Hrycyshyn, "she's always upstairs in his bedroom with him."

Habitat for Humanity Thunder Bay CEO Diane Mitchell said she had tears in her eyes when she received the phone call about the anonymous donor.

"I'm happy because I can see the end, and I know we're going to be able to do this," she said, "and scared because it's 42 days and $50,000 is a lot of money."

As soon as the community reaches the goal of $50,000, the "shovels can go in the ground," on the property on Finlayson Street on the city's south side, said Mitchell.

"We want to make sure that this is the first time the family can eat a Christmas dinner together."

Habitat for Humanity Thunder Bay is a community-based, non-profit organization working for a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to live. Our mission is to mobilize volunteers and community partners in building affordable housing and promoting homeownership as a means to breaking the cycle of poverty.
Since 1994, Habitat for Humanity Thunder Bay has constructed 27 homes, giving 79 children in our community homes of their own and hope for the future.