BUILD LOVE Transforms the Gorski Family Home
Top lead photo credit Angela Bailey - The Strategy Lab
On October 23, the non-profit organization Build Love unveiled this year's home renovation for the Gorski family in Regina. Bonnie Gorski has multiple sclerosis (MS) and her home was completely gutted and renovated to accommodate her critical illness and to increase her quality of life. Her husband Stuart and son Jack also live in the home.
With its annual home renovation project, Build Love aims to improve lives and strengthen community through meaningful acts of empathy, compassion and collaboration. “The stars aligned, and this renovation opened up a lot of freedom for me. We are so blessed. I hope that somebody else with MS will feel comfortable reaching out,” says Bonnie Gorski.
The Gorskis were nominated for Build Love by Bonnie’s sister-in-law Shelly. Specific issues with the existing home’s split-level layout included narrow hallways, a sunken living room and a bathroom that didn’t meet the specifications of home care providers. Before Build Love, with her declining mobility, the next step for Bonnie could have been a move to an assisted living facility. “About a year ago, I lost the ability to walk at all and I had to be carried to the bathroom or the bedroom,” explains Bonnie. Since Stuart works full-time, this left Bonnie sitting in one “little hub” at her kitchen island for multiple hours at a time and unable to navigate the home on her own.
Contractor Brandon Fuchs of YQR Built (formerly Superior FD Contracting) co-founded Build Love with fellow contractors Trevor Anderson and Derek Wu of Collaborative Construction. “By 2019, we recognized the momentum Build Love was creating and that we could increase the scope of work involved in our next renovation project. After meeting them, we immediately realized that Bonnie and Stuart could be anyone’s aunt and uncle or friends. The Gorski project incorporated building an indoor elevator for Bonnie to use with an electric wheelchair and complete re-structural changes. We changed the home’s footprint,” says Brandon.
An experienced architectural technologist, Amanda Brady is also part of the Build Love team and the owner of Clear Space Design Co. (online at clearspacedesignco.com). “Bonnie and Stuart Gorski are kind, relatable and humble. Unfortunately, MS is so real and so prevalent in Saskatchewan. The Gorskis have a reputation of giving back to their community, especially through sports and coaching hockey. It was easy to want to help them,” says Amanda.
The Gorski home project was achievable thanks to major support from Regina’s builders and trades community, hundreds of volunteers and fundraising partnerships — and it was noticed! On November 8 — in celebration of World Kindness Day — a television segment aired on The Marilyn Dennis Show featuring Build Love and the Gorski family.
In 2020, Build Love will again improve the quality of life for a family that lives with non-typical challenges in the Regina area. Saskatchewan residents are encouraged to join their volunteer team, make a cash contribution or choose Build Love as a recipient for their company’s community investment program. Go to the website buildlove.ca or email email@example.com to find out more.
One Year Later… Catching up with the Kennedys
On November 7, 2018, Build Love unveiled its first major project in Regina — a home renovation for Jared and Liana Kennedy home to improve accessibility for their young daughter Vienna who lives with complex mobility challenges. Refined caught up with the Kennedys to find out how their lives changed this past year.
How is your family settling in one year after Build Love?
Settling in didn’t take long; a lot of thought and care went into making this home appropriate and wonderful for our family. We’re so grateful for all the work and care that was given by so many. Vienna has flourished this past year, experiencing the privilege of being able to move around more freely and learn new skills.
What would you like to say to the Gorskis and to Build Love’s donors and volunteers?
We rejoice with the Gorski family because we understand the impact this will have on their daily lives and planning for the future. It was a privilege to be able to serve alongside so many who worked to make their home renovation a reality. A tremendous thank you to all who gave and helped in so many ways; making our home accessible took a huge load off our shoulders. Then to make it beautiful was an incredible gift that demonstrated real love. We have been so blessed.