Brampton Mother Fundraising to Build Homes in Vietnam

Published January 13, 2018 at 2:18 am

It’s true that Bramptonians do some pretty incredible work both inside our community and far outside of it.

It’s true that Bramptonians do some pretty incredible work both inside our community and far outside of it. Some volunteer their time to community impact agencies here, while some go halfway across the world to spread impact and joy! And then there are some that do both.

Lifelong Brampton resident Carolyn Sheehan is gearing up to pack her bags and head to Vietnam for a Global Village (an effort to build decent, affordable homes for people in need around the world) trip with Habitat for Humanity (HFH) for two weeks at the end of March 2018, and before she goes, she hopes to raise the funds to get there. 

Sheehan is a nurse at SickKids hospital, a mother to three teens, and a passionate volunteer.

“I use my vacation time to do these mission and service trips and uncovered expenses come out of my pocket,” Sheehan told “It’s a two-week trip of hard work in difficult situations both physically and emotionally.”

Sheehan is holding a fundraising event called “Shake off the Winter Blues” on Sunday, January 14, 2018 at the Bramalea Lions Hall (45 Avondale Blvd) from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. — that’s right, it’s happening tomorrow! Shake off the Winter Blues is a shopping fundraiser and ultimately an artisan market that will host over 35 vendors to support Sheehan’s trip to Vietnam with HFH.

Sheehan is no stranger to impactful community service both in Brampton and far beyond it. 

She has done builds with HFH in Brampton at the Torbram build, and up north in the Yukon. Also in Brampton, she worked at the HFH ReStore on Glidden (which sells lightly-used home items), and is a member of the Brampton Zonta service club. She has also travelled to Zambia on a medical mission.

In 2016, Sheehan built water filters with the organization Samaritan’s Purse in Cambodia, where she “saw the poverty and devastation in southeast Asia, so was inspired to return to do more work, this time building with HFH.”

“I admire the HFH philosophy of “sweat equity” where the recipients of homes must dedicate their own time to working as well, it’s a hand up not a hand out,” said Sheehan.

“Sweat equity” is a common term at HFH, where your sweat (or, your hard work and dedication) literally contributes to a project — HFH’s volunteer builders put in the work to build a home for someone else, be it a family with children, a couple, or someone who needs help getting off their feet.

You might be wondering — why build in Vietnam? 

Well, according to HFH, the need is great — one in every 10 people in Vietnam live in extreme poverty, on less than $1.25 (U.S.) per day. 

“Vietnam is also one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world with around 70 per cent of its population at risk of typhoons, torrential storms and flooding,” says HFH.

Here in Brampton, Sheehan’s Shake off the Winter Blues has a suggested donation of $5 per entry. It’s also relevant to note that anyone who donates $20 or more to Sheehan’s cause will get a tax receipt. Sheehan hopes to raise up to $3,000 through her fundraising efforts to empower her to build in Vietnam.

It’s uncertain whether Sheehan will run another event, and artisan markets pop up only so frequently in Brampton during the winter, so if you’re looking for something fun and impactful to do on a Sunday morning, it might be nice to stop by and browse. 

If you’d like to donate to Sheehan’s cause, click here

To check out the event, click here.

(Cover photo courtesy of HFH on Facebook)

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