“We’re starting it,” said Trevor Botkin, his last words at 6:00 a.m. Friday morning before assenting sixty-five feet above ground in a lift.
Botkin is the executive director of Herowork Victoria, a volunteer-run charity that renovates the homes and offices of other charities.
“It’s like a modern-day barn raising if you will, or, if you want to imagine Extreme Home Makeover but for charity,” said the 46-year-old journeyman carpenter.
For the work to begin, however, donations for supplies are needed.
So today, Botkin and his Hero work team launched a fundraiser in which Botkin will spend thirty-six straight hours in a small lift in the sky, located adjacent to Dodd’s Furniture and Mattress on Finlayson St.
He packed light — bringing only a small backpack, a bucket which transports food and water to and from ground level, an air horn and a giant cardboard hand to waive at the many cars driving by. Botkin made a rule to only decent for one bathroom break every four hours.
The purpose of the event is to raise funds for Herowork’s latest project, renovating downtown Victoria’s Salvation Army Addiction and Rehabilitation Centre (ARC).
Botkin and his team plan to transform much of the facility including the nearly 40-year-old kitchen.
“We are looking to increase the capacity of that kitchen by twenty-five percent, as we all know the needs of that community has increased exponentially,” said Botkin.
ARC has seen a major surge in demand, recently announcing a new drug and alcohol recovery program.
Botkin says the fundraiser was largely inspired by Gordy Dodd, a prominent Victoria businessman and philanthropist who’s coordinated similar events in years past.
“This is real hero work,” said Dodd, a major supporter of Herowork Victoria. “When you spend your time when you spend your energy…Inside, you know it gives happiness for the people who need it.”
So strapped in nearly five stories in the sky, Botkin is spreading the word and enjoying the view with a goal of raising $36,000 in 36 hours.
Construction on ARC is set to begin next month. Every donation includes an entry into a raffle with the top prize being a two hundred and fifty dollar gift card to Dodd’s Furniture and Mattress.
To donate, click here.