Dave and Viv Lieskovsky, along with their daughter Heather, craft their V2A home ornaments by hand as a Christmas fundraiser to help the homeless. This year, they’ve switched to making them out clay. Steve Kidd/Western News

Homes for the Homeless ornaments return

Annual Penticton fundraiser lends a helping hand through the holidays

For the third year, a local family is building homes for the homeless.

These particular homes are in the shape of ornaments for your tree, but none the less, they are helping out Penticton’s homeless population. Over the first two years of the V2A Homes for the Homeless project, the family generated about $3,600 by selling the ornaments for a $5 donation.

The proceeds from the fundraiser go to the Salvation Army to help those who live on the street, particularly with the beginning of the cold winter months.

“We really rely on people to be generous with their donations,” said Viv Lieskovsky, who creates the ornaments along with her husband Dave and daughter Heather.

“People were really good about it. We had a couple of people walk in and just drop $100 and take one house,” said Lieskovsky.

The name of the project comes from the Penticton postal code — Lieskovsky notes that if you don’t have a postal code, you probably don’t have a home.

“The problem (homelessness) isn’t going away. If anything, I think it is getting worse. I think we could all agree with that,” she said. “It is a complicated problem with no simple solution. If there was one, someone would have found it by now.

“I wish there was a solution. This is just a small way of providing some comfort items for them while they are out there in the cold.”

In previous years, the ornaments were made out of wood, using recycled building materials, but this year, they’ve switched to clay.

“We’d run the gamut on all the leftover building materials we had, and we wanted to keep to this recycling theme. I used to teach a lot of workshops and I had some clay and glazes left over from workshops,” said Lieskovsky.

And though her daughter Heather is away attending UBC Okanagan, she is still part of the project.

“We started this in August before she left, then she came home at Thanksgiving and we made some more. And then she came home for Remembrance Day weekend and we made some more,” said Lieskovsky. “We snagged her every time she was in the house. She’s so good about it though.

“I think everybody just wants to pull together at this time of year and help.”

The little homes can be used as holiday decorations, stocking stuffers, teacher gifts, wine bottle tags or gift tags as great reminders that Penticton cares for those less fortunate in our community.

Banks Travel owner Allayne Clark is once again providing a place to sell the little homes at 206 Main St., Penticton. They are available now for a minimum $5 cash donation until Dec. 22, or while supplies last. Banks Travel is open Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m, and Saturdays

Related: Letter: V2A Homes for the Homeless

Related: Penticton’s little houses with big returns

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