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'Sending out an SOS': Squamish Rebuild looking for new leadership

Founder says not-for-profit eco-home renovation shop may have to close unless folks step in.

Many folks in Squamish are accustomed to heading to Squamish Rebuild to find hardware or building supplies for a home reno or unique project. 

But now, the folks behind the not-for-profit are hoping for a rebuild of another sort. 

Its founder says she is "sending out an SOS" to the community to save the eco-organization. 

Its board hopes a local organization, business, or group of individuals will step forward to take over the beleaguered but beloved shop.

"We need strong, new leadership with fresh energy, passion and ideas, to take over the reins by Dec. 31,” said founder and board member Inis LeBlanc in a news release.

The Squamish ReBuild Society was first established in 2011.

LeBlanc launched the social enterprise business after learning about a similar organization in Portland, Oregon.

The goal of the business is to divert usable building products and the like from the landfill, while saving consumers money. 

According to Leblanc, almost 455 tonnes (more than 1,000,000 pounds) have been diverted from Squamish's landfill since 2011. This during a time when the local dump has had to undergo expansions as it neared capacity. 

According to the release, several challenges have brought Squamish Rebuild to this rather desperate position. Named challenges include a board of directors without future capacity, difficulty finding qualified staff, site-drainage issues and a post-COVID shift in spending.

"We are devastated at the thought of closing our doors after 11 amazing years, but we’ve reached a point where someone else needs to step in,” said LeBlanc, adding an injection of cash would also be required to pay off some debt and help in the transition to new leadership. “Without those two pieces, we won’t have any other choice but to fold.”

Those interested in helping to save the business are asked to contact LeBlanc at [email protected].

“Squamish has always been full of tremendously passionate, community-oriented individuals who work hard and are keen to give back and help make the world a better place, and we’re hopeful that Squamish will once again come through," she said.

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