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Insider Insights: Articles

Gina and Jason Hastie give Calgary home to deserving family

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By Deb Matejicka
Calgary bureau reporter
Thursday, February 27, 2014, 3:09 PM

All Verna Roberts has wanted for the last eight months is to go home, and now she can -- thanks to Gina and Jason Hastie.

You may recall, The Hasties are the Calgary couple who posted an online ad to give away their house, free of charge, to anyone who needed the home and who was able to come up with moving costs.

Applicants also needed land upon which the house could be placed.

The Roberts family fit the bill and then some.

With over 350,000 views of the ad and more than 2,000 emails, mostly from people like the Roberts who lost their High River home in last year's flood, the Hasties narrowed their search down to 100 deserving families, then down to 20, down to five and finally down to just the Roberts.

Verna and Dave set themselves apart from the other applicants by going above and beyond the two references the Hasties had requested they supply.

Friends and family pulled together and the Roberts were able to present the Hasties with more than 100 reference letters.

RELATED: Alberta couple donates home to family of flood victims

There was more to their story, however, that helped them not only win the Hasties house, but their hearts as well.

Some six months before the flood waters took their home, something else was taken from the couple, something that can never and will never be replaced.

In January 2013, the Roberts' only son, 31 year old Kyle, was killed in a car crash.

Losing Kyle was just the beginning of a series of heartbreaks for the couple who also have a daughter in High River and three grandchildren.

Verna's father also passed away and then of course, the flood hit, taking away their home of 27 years. Through it all though, the Roberts have put on a brave face and it was their positivity, perseverance, and gratitude for all they still had that won the Hasties over. The Roberts now, however, have something to really smile about and something to look forward to.

The Hasties former home is now theirs and the $30,000 tab to move the 62 year old impeccably maintained bungalow from Calgary to High River has been picked up by Holmes Building Movers. 

Today, there is a light at the end of what has been a very dark tunnel – the Roberts are hoping to move into their "new" home this summer and finally, Verna can "just go home".

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