Monday, February 20, 2017

Happy Family Day!

Introducing our Huntsville Partner Families! 

(Left to Right) Joel Rhiness and Aly Guildford with newborn son Oliver. Alyssa Foran and James Speicher with son Ethan. Both families will partner with Habitat and purchase a side of the duplex in Huntsville at Irene and Walter Streets. Welcome to the Habitat family!

“I think I’m most excited to be giving my little guy the freedom to be a kid.”

Alyssa Foran, 30, and her husband James Speicher, 35, will purchase one side of the Habitat for Humanity duplex currently under construction in Huntsville. The young couple is excited for their son Ethan, nearly six-years-old, to grow up in his own home on Irene Street – right beside the local park.

“He’s so excited. He is over the moon,” said Foran. “It will be amazing having more space. If he builds a tower he won’t have to put it away because it’s also in the space where the dining room is. He can keep it built and come back to it. He can be excited, he can run and jump around. He will have the freedom to be a kid,” she says again.

Foran and Speicher have rented in Huntsville for nearly six years. The couple has been trying to buy a home for three years, but saving for a down-payment proved to be an arduous task. One day, Alyssa’s mother gave her Habitat for Humanity’s contact information from a poster in their church.

“I am excited to host Christmas dinner, Thanksgiving dinner, my grandparents on my side have been hosting since I was a kid. To be able to take that burden off of them and to give the family another gathering place – I’m looking forward to that.”

“She said ‘Just try it, what have you got to lose?’” Months later, Foran and Speicher received notice they would be able to purchase the home, once it’s completed, with no down-payment and with an interest-free mortgage. The family will provide “sweat equity” through volunteering on the build-site, the ReStore and local events. “We got the news and have been dying to tell everyone since. I like how Habitat works with the families and provides the flexibility. I like how the property tax is included in the monthly payment. We’re so excited to get started.”

For nearly six years, the young family has lived in a two-bedroom apartment rental. The windows are small, Foran is constantly worried about Ethan making too much noise for their neighbours below, and the heat is unbearable in both the winter and summer months. But, when asked what comes to mind when she envisions herself and the family in their own home she mentions gathering.

“I am excited to host Christmas dinner, Thanksgiving dinner, my grandparents on my side have been hosting since I was a kid. To be able to take that burden off of them and to give the family another gathering place – I’m looking forward to that.”

Another young, local family, will purchase the home next door. Aly Guildford, 21, and her partner Joel Rhiness, 22, will move from their rental in Dwight with their newborn-son, Oliver.

“We’re so excited to purchase our own home so young, it’s a blessing,” said Guildford. “It’s right in town, it is going to be so accessible for us to get to different programs and to volunteer.”

Guildford and Rhiness have had to drive into Huntsville to complete household tasks like laundry and shopping. With a new son they were quickly growing out of their tiny apartment.
“It’s a small place. Obviously our son is not able to walk yet, but when he does he wouldn’t be able to go very far.”

While a student at Georgian College, Rhiness volunteered on the Habitat for Humanity build in Gravenhurst in 2015. He knew about the program, and the young couple applied online and filled out an application with Habitat volunteer Sarah Patchett. The new homeowners look forward to the stability of a life in Huntsville.

“Our son will get to grow up in one home instead of moving from rental to rental like how I grew up,” said Guildford. “It’s going to be his base and he won’t have to be scared of moving all of the time . . . For us, it will set a foundation to grow.”

The two partner families will pay a monthly mortgage into Habitat’s “Fund for Humanity.” Those funds are used to build more local and affordable homes. Habitat families are constantly and continually funding additional Habitat builds.

“It’s a revolving door,” said Guildford. “It’s amazing to think about. We pay for our house and with that we’re helping to build other homes.”

Both families mentioned how important the businesses and volunteers in Muskoka are to the construction of local affordable homes, and now, the growth of their families.

“To allow these people to come together just out of the generosity of their hearts is overwhelming. You just want to find out who all these people are and say thank you, but it’s almost like thank you is not enough . . . there is no true expression to really explain how we feel . . . all of these businesses and people helping . . . wow, thank you, thank you thank you!”
 
Strength, stability and self-reliance through homeownership

Thursday, February 16, 2017

HFH Gateway North News 02.13.17


Serving Orillia Lake Country, North Simcoe, District of Muskoka, Parry Sound District, North Bay and Blue Sky Region and Sudbury District


With two families officially moved into their new homes in Espanola, the Habitat OGN "families served" count has climbed to 41.

With a build currently underway in Huntsville, and additional builds kicking off in South Almaguin, Parry Sound and Orillia - we're on our way to 50! Thanks to all of our volunteers and sponsors throughout the years who've helped build homes, hope and communities! 
In This Issue:
* Families Served

* Celebrity Night
* Video of the Week
* A Feel Good Story
* Health & Safety
* Doors & Windows
* Epic ReStore Find
* Event Posters
* Save the Dates
* Quote of the Week
The Newsreel: Quick Facts to Keep You Informed!
* Support our 2017 build projects across the region by donating online at canadahelps.com.
* Our Espanola Build rolls on! Stay up to date with photos and more at the Habitat for Humanity - Espanola Build Facebook Page.
* 1 in 5 Canadian families are living in unstable homes. But little by little, a brick for brick, you can help bring stability to the lives of many children from low income families. Because you're not just helping us put a roof over their head, you're helping us put the ground beneath their feet. For full details on the Brick for Brick campaign visithabitat.ca/brickforbrick
Know someone who'd like to be involved with Habitat? Share the newsletter with them! Anyone who is interested in staying in touch can sign up for the weekly newsletter here!
You are invited to attend the Boston Pizza Celebrity Server Event!

This Wednesday, February 15, volunteers from Habitat for Humanity OGN, North Bay and Blue Sky Region Chapter will be pairing up with servers at Boston Pizza to serve you and your friends hot, delicious meals between 5:00 and 8:00 p.m.

We are so excited about this fundraising event because it allows us to meet more members of our community. Part of the proceeds from the food sales will be used to help with the next Habitat build in North Bay.

So, come eat some pizza and meet your local Habitat volunteer team while raising money to build affordable housing for local families. Name a better way to spend a Wednesday evening?!
Building homes for Yukon First Nations families
Habitat for Humanity Canada video:
Building homes for First Nations families in the Yukon. 
Feel good story . . .
Barbara had all but lost hope after Hurricane Sandy hit her beachfront town in central New Jersey in 2012, destroying her home and the family business and upending almost every aspect of life.
Barbara’s house, the one she grew up in, had survived other storms, but this time was different. She remembers watching “pieces of homes and things which once helped define our lives floating by.” A sidewall was ripped from the outside of the house, letting in the rain and snow.
“We were left with a lot of mold. You could actually taste it,” Barbara says. Her daughter, Harlea, began having serious health problems — her asthma flared up, as did skin and eye conditions, and she had to drop out of college. “It was just devastating to me as a parent, not being able to protect my child,” says Barbara. “I was at the breaking point.”
Then Barbara saw Habitat for Humanity in Monmouth County offering its services to hurricane-affected families. “I called the number, and they actually called back,” Barbara says. “I said, ‘I have an extremely little amount of hope left. If you can’t help me, it is kinder to tell me that.’ And they said, ‘We are going to be with you through this.’”
“We have a beautiful and safe place to rest our heads at night. Habitat rebuilt our home and healed our hearts.”
— Barbara, Habitat homeowner
Barbara partnered with Habitat Monmouth to raze and rebuild her home. Harlea is now back in college, and Barbara has actually joined the Habitat Monmouth team, serving as an AmeriCorps member.
“We have a beautiful and safe place to rest our heads at night,” Barbara says. “Habitat rebuilt our home and healed our hearts.”
Health & Safety tip of the week: Slips, slides and falls. 

Falls in the workplace result in a significant number of workplace injuries in Ontario every year, and in some cases even death. Falls from heights, and same-level falls, can happen anywhere, anyplace, and anytime. Of course, these injuries and deaths from workplace falls are preventable.

When using a ladder always have a spotter nearby to help you in the event of ladder failure or a loss of balance. Furthermore, you should never do anything while standing on a ladder which will risk you losing your balance. Such common faults are reaching too far instead of moving the ladder or moving a heavy item. People often forget while standing on a ladder their level of mobility and support are greatly reduced.

Workers and volunteers don't need to be on a ladder or platform to suffer a serious fall. Slips and trips can be every bit as dangerous. To prevent these potentially dangerous follies make sure to clean up spills, clear clutter, and avoid running or sprinting.

With these simple tips and reminders the vast majority of workplace falls can be avoided. Watch your step.

Stay safe everyone.

- Brian Ingram, Health & Safety Coordinator 
Windows & Doors in Huntsville

Now that's a house! The duplex in Huntsville got a face-lift this past week when our friends at Muskoka Windows and Doors dropped by and shared with us their skill and expertise in installing the doors and windows. 
ReStore Find of the Year Already?
The Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Midland sent out this photo to its Facebook followers last week showing a recently donated piece of eccentric furniture.

The chair, in the shape of a rather ambitious piece of women's footwear, is being displaying prominently in the store until the right buyer comes along and purchases the piece for their martini bar.

You never know what you'll find at the ReStore! 
Save the Dates

We have several events already scheduled for this year, run by our Chapter Committees and third party groups. So mark your calendars or contact us to get involved!

Currently underway: 
  • Huntsville Build at 11 Irene St
                                        
February 13th - Emsdale Community Conversation - Community Center 7:00 p.m.

February 15th - Boston Pizza Celebrity Server Night - North Bay | 5-8 p.m.

February 23rd - Dockside Publishing Adopt-a-Build Day in Huntsville

February 25th - HFHOGN Gravenhurst Winter Carnival Info Booth & Bed Race

March 17th - Wine Tasting in Espanola

May 27th - South Almaguin Music Jamboree - Katrine

July 29th - South Almanguin - Garage Sale 
POSTERS
It's the season of love and you're racking up optimum points like nobody's business, but you just don't know how to use them? Well now you can donate them to Habitat for Humanity. You're welcome! And thanks!

The Shoppers Optimum Points Donation Program offers a unique and easy way to help support the construction of local affordable housing.

By donating some (or all) of your Shoppers Optimum Points to our organization, you are making it possible for Habitat to use your points toward products and supplies we need for our ongoing activities. We could use the points to buy snacks for our volunteers on the build site, or materials for our fundraising and key ceremonies. The options to help are numerous.

Here's how to donate:

Visit this website and login with your Shoppers Optimum Card before donating your points to a great cause.

With your support, we can "optimize" our fundraising and construction efforts and provide even more affordable homes in the community.

Building Homes. Building Hope. 
BONUS PHOTO
Quote of the Week

"Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you."

-Walt Whitman
Attention! Next Newsletter out February 27!
Wonder Women

Ginger Barkey
Lori Beecroft
Tanya Blain
Marian Burdsall
Kelly Haywood
Carol MacLellan

Super Men

Brian Ternoway
Find us on Facebook

Thursday, February 9, 2017

HFH Gateway North News 02.06.2017

Serving Orillia Lake Country, North Simcoe, District of Muskoka, Parry Sound District, North Bay and Blue Sky Region and Sudbury District
ESPANOLA - On Sunday, Feb. 5, Habitat OGN welcomed two new homeowners and partner families into the fold with an official key-turning ceremony. Volunteers, sponsors, staff, friends and extended families braved the cold weather and gathered outside the newly constructed homes on Adelaide Street to celebrate.

Read the "Espanola | This is Home" story here
click here to get involved
In This Issue:
* Welcome Home!
* Youth and their Elders
* Citation

* ED wins Award
* Thank you Sponsors!
* Community Conversation
* Event Posters
* Save the Dates
* Quote of the Week
The Newsreel: Quick Facts to Keep You Informed!
* Support our 2017 build projects across the region by donating online at canadahelps.com.
* Our Espanola Build rolls on! Stay up to date with photos and more at the Habitat for Humanity - Espanola Build Facebook Page.
* 1 in 5 Canadian families are living in unstable homes. But little by little, a brick for brick, you can help bring stability to the lives of many children from low income families. Because you're not just helping us put a roof over their head, you're helping us put the ground beneath their feet. For full details on the Brick for Brick campaign visithabitat.ca/brickforbrick
Know someone who'd like to be involved with Habitat? Share the newsletter with them! Anyone who is interested in staying in touch can sign up for the weekly newsletter here!
Hi Team Habitat Gateway North!

The administrative staff spent most of the day Sundayon the road to Espanola. We encountered some snowy road conditions, but we persevered, knowing we were heading through the storm to attend an incredible celebration. We were certainly not disappointed.

Despite the chilly temperatures, the sun was shining when we reached Espanola and the community had come out to welcome the Scheel family and the Lacasse-Leonard family to their new homes. The crowd was full of Chapter members, build team members, volunteers, family, friends, neighbours and donors. It was a wonderful opportunity to see the project to completion and to see the community embrace the families.

There’s a piece of our Habitat Homeowner Education that speaks to being a good neighbor and what it means to be a homeowner in the community. Homeownership is more than the physical house. It’s introducing yourself to your immediate neighbours and getting to know your new neighbourhood. It’s maintaining your home and keeping your yard tidy. It’s pitching in and helping when needed. It’s about multiple levels of respect – for your property, your neighbours’ property and your community as a whole.

Being a good neighbor is about treating others the way you wish to be treated. Being an engaged community member takes the same level of dedication to a cause bigger than you. Every person in the crowd couldn’t help but smile and clap as the homeowners said their thanks. The homes they’re moving into are a product of hours of work by individuals for a cause bigger than themselves. Thank you to the community of Espanola and every individual for every minute of work you put into these homes.

In the end, we spent about 8 hours on the road for a 1.5 hour ceremony and celebration. Standing in the cold as the families cut the ribbons as official homeowners was worth every minute on the road. It’s why we do what we do. To the Scheels and the Lacasse-Leonards; welcome to the Habitat family.

Be well, do good deeds, and keep in touch,

Meghan
 
Students and their Elders both show support for Habitat!
Both youths and their elders are stepping up in support of Habitat for Humanity reaching their goal of building more affordable homes in the region.
This week, Habitat’s Director of Development & Communications - Britta Gerwin was presented with a cheque for $220 raised for Habitat by the Grade 4 and 5 classes of Una Pape, teacher at the Bracebridge Public School. The students donated the proceeds of their Christmas bazaar. The $220 will be used to help fund the upcoming build in Bracebridge.
“The donation is a wonderful surprise,” said Gerwin. “The students organized the event and donated the money all on their own initiative. It’s heartwarming to see children so engaged in the community. We’re simply honoured and proud to receive their thoughtful donation.”
A little further south, the Manor Retirement Residence in Gravenhurst kicked off its year-long fundraising effort with a presentation from Habitat. Residents, some of whom have helped build local Habitat homes in the past, were eager to learn about the organization’s plans for 2017.
The Manor’s residents and their families will be able to purchase Habitat Home cards to display throughout the building. The Manor will also hold a number of fundraising events throughout the year including their popular setup as part of the annual Gravenhurst Street Festival and Sidewalk Sale.
“This week we’ve been shown an incredible amount of support from the students in Bracebridge as well as the residents and staff of the Manor,” said Gerwin. “We hope to have both groups together and represented when we break ground in Bracebridge.”
Habitat Volunteer Kathy Yusko Receives Citation
Kathy Yusko became involved with Habitat when her employer, Genworth Canada, began another year of the Meaning of Home contest. Kathy worked with the Sudbury District Chapter and recruited teachers and students to help share their stories of home.

Now, years later, Kathy has been instrumental in growing both the Sudbury District Chapter and building a home in Espanola for two local families.

On Sunday, Feb. 5, following the key-turning ceremony, Kathy was presented with an official volunteer citation from Habitat OGN CEO David Morris and Sudbury District Chapter Chair Claudette Strom.

Thank you, Kathy! 
Habitat Northhumberland ED wins Business Achievement Award
Note: Meaghan Macdonald (pictured) recently invited Habitat OGN CEO David Morris and COO Meghan Smith to facilitate a strategic planning session for the Northhumberland Affiliate. We are One Habitat.

Story Here

COBOURG — Habitat for Humanity Northumberland executive director Meaghan Macdonald won this year’s William Crossen Young Professional Award.
The Town of Cobourg and the Northumberland Central Chamber of Commerce’s Business Achievement Awards (BAA) Committee announced Macdonald as the winner at a news conference on Feb. 1. The award, sponsored by the Cobourg Orthopedic and Sports Injury Clinic, will be presented at the 2016 Business Achievement Awards on Friday, Feb. 24. Macdonald, who has a role in the Northumberland Players Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat opening on the same night, will attend the opening of awards night and then head off to perform in the show at the Capitol Theatre, she said.
First introduced to Habitat for Humanity while away at university, Macdonald’s interest in Habitat for Humanity grew as she volunteered at local build sites and in the office. She was hired as an intern, and moved on to fill roles of recruiter, trainer, co-ordinator and construction manager. She was appointed executive director of Habitat for Humanity Northumberland in 2011 when she was just 25 years old — making her the youngest ever executive director within Habitat Canada. She has travelled to Ghana, El Salvador and Haiti to build houses as part of Habitat for Humanity Canada’s Global Village program.
“There were many deserving individuals nominated for this year’s William Crossen Award," said Rick Riley, past chair of the Chamber of Commerce and co-chair of the BAA Committee, “but even in that list of the best of the best, Meaghan Macdonald stood out.”
Surprised by the announcement, Macdonald said the award is an honour.
Although Habitat is nonprofit organization, it operates with a complex business model and Macdonald welcomed the award’s recognition of that fact.
Macdonald grew up in Northumberland but thought of moving to a big city for more opportunities. She is now committed to the goals of Habitat as it continues to thrive in Northumberland. This year, there are plans to build five new homes and help five families in the home renovation program, she said.
“I really love the direction of Habitat,” she said. “I am really committed to that.”
In addition to the demands of a full-time career, Macdonald currently serves on several volunteer boards and foundations, and, along with husband Joe, is parent to two-year-old Levon.
In 2012, the Business Achievement Awards Committee introduced The William Crossen Young Professional Award as a counterpart to the James Crossen Lifetime Achievement Award. Named after the founder of the historic Cobourg Car Works and his eldest son and successor, the awards are presented in alternate years in recognition of the founding fathers of the local business community.