Friday, September 23, 2016

HFH Gateway North News 09.23.2016

Serving Orillia Lake Country, North Simcoe, District of Muskoka, Parry Sound District, North Bay and Blue Sky Region and Sudbury District
Musician Glen Reid to play at South Almaguin Fundraiser
SOUTH RIVER, ON – On October 15, Habitat for Humanity and friends will bring the house down at the Highlander Brew Co. in an effort to build a new, safe, and decent home for a hardworking local family.

The South Almaguin Adopt-a-Home project is hosting a dinner, provided by popular Sundridge eatery Michael’s on Main, as part of their fundraising effort to build an affordable home for a local hardworking family. The dinner will feature live music from local artist Glen Reid, a live auction, and much more.

The multi-talented Glen Reid (musician, craftsman, and luthier) will perform his unique brand of locally inspired songs, many of which he wrote at his ancestral farm in Burk’s Falls, and have been featured on the albumsHeritage RiverWildcats Howlin’, and Dusty ol’ Denim.

At its core, Habitat for Humanity has always been a grassroots community initiative to help re-engage families out of the isolation which is so often the unintended cost of poverty. Habitat also aims to connect with neighbours in a meaningful, lasting and impactful community project.

“I believe it’s a basic human right,” said Habitat homeowner Wendy Martin. “It’s our right as humans to have that safety, and that place where you come home at the end of the day.”

Since becoming a Habitat Homeowner in 2013, Martin has become a successful business owner, and been active in the community with her husband. Two of her children have moved on to post-secondary school.

“I’m thriving, my family is thriving,” Martin said. “This has been the most pivotal opportunity I’ve had in my life to succeed.”

Habitat homeowners pay fair-market value for their homes through a geared-to-income and interest-free mortgage. Those mortgage payments become the partner family’s contribution to the Fund for Humanity which is used to help build more affordable local homes for area families. To date, Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North has partnered with Region communities to provide affordable homeownership for 42 families.

Tickets to the dinner are a $100 donation to Habitat with a $75 tax receipt available. Contact Britta Gerwin, Director of Development and Communications at (705) 646-0106 ext. 205, or email at bgerwin@habitatgatewaynorth.com.
In This Issue:
* Glen Reid!
* Safety Tip
* Volunteers Needed
* ReStore Round-Up
* Two Doors Down
* Meaning of Home
* Salvage Crew Members Wanted
* SA Fundraising Dinner
* Amazing Race
* Bonus Photo
* Save the Dates
* Quote of the Week
The Newsreel: Quick Facts to Keep You Informed!
* Support our 2016 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 newsletterhere!
Hi Habitat Gateway North Team!
 
I am truly amazed at the difference a year can make.

This week I had the pleasure of joining our ReStore Managers on their regular conference call. Geographically, our managers have the disadvantage of being miles apart. It’s not easy to just drop by another location and see what’s new. It’s the same challenge we face with our Chapters: how do you build a supportive team environment, with everyone reaching for the same goal, while covering over 200,000 square-kilometres?

This past winter, most of our managers were either new to Habitat ReStores or new to the title of manager. As happens when you’re new, you look for a way to share experiences and build on wisdom, without having to make every mistake yourself. So, our managers began regular conference calls.

These calls are a chance for the five managers to share what’s new, what’s working, what definitely isn’t and ask questions of each other. It’s a forum that connects them, in spite of the distance between them. It would be incredibly easy for each of them to say “it’s my store and I know what’s best”. However, after joining the call this week, I know that isn’t how they operate.

“Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.” – Albus Dumbledore

After a year of these chats, the managers have prudent questions, innovative ideas and thoughtful discussion. They want to be kept informed and want to keep their team informed. They share their best practices and have unified, on a number of fronts, the basic operations of a Habitat Gateway North ReStore. It’s incredible to see the development of each individual manager, learning to play to their strengths, as well as the development of the ReStore management team.

While we’re still on the learning curve it’s gratifying to look back and see how far we’ve come. There will always be new challenges to face. To me, that’s the exciting part. Exploring a new challenge, having our team find a way to navigate through it and keeping our eyes on the goal: serving more families.

As HFH Canada President & CEO Mark Rodgers repeats like a mantra: Always Thinking Families First!

Meghan
Health & Safety tip of the week: What to do when you break down

One of the more potentially dangerous operations at Habitat for Humanity is the role of the truck driver. Aside from driving safely and staying healthy while lifting heavy and loading the truck, sometimes things just go wrong. So, here's what to do if/when the truck breaks down, to make sure the driver and passenger get home safe. 

Do not get out! If the engine breaks down and the driver can not safely maneuver the truck to the side of the roadway, do not get out of the vehicle! Sitting in a dead vehicle with traffic moving around may be uncomfortable, but catastrophic injuries can occur when trying to exit a broken down vehicle. Put the four-way lights on and wait for help.

Stop the vehicle immediately if the tire has blown, or for any other scenario where safe operation of the vehicle is no longer possible. However, if the vehicle can be driven safely, try to bring it to a stop on a straight section of road with a wide shoulder. 


If you manage to get the vehicle to the side of the road, place your safety markers on the roadway to indicate you've broken down and for passing motorists to give a wide berth. Never work on the vehicle from the side of oncoming traffic. If it's not an easy fix, it's best to wait for the roadside-service from inside the vehicle with your seat belt on.

Call roadside assistance, notify your supervisor, and sit tight! 

Most importantly, before any of this happens it's important to have a plan. Plan for the break-down. Who are you going to call? Where can you get the vehicle towed? Is the safety equipment fully-stocked in the vehicle? Is your phone charged? Will you be travelling somewhere out of cell-range? Be prepared for all of the outcomes. Be prepared to get home safely.

- Brian Ingram, Health & Safety Coordinator 
Fund Development with Britta

It is hard to imagine that fall is officially here. I have always looked forward to the changing of the season in Muskoka. Each year the canopy of the wilderness around us turns incredible colours that bring tourists from around the world to see them. The leaves turn from their summer green due to the changes in the length of daylight and temperature. Light, water supply and crisp evenings all are factors that affect the intensity of the fall colours. Fall for Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North promises to be brilliant with many key events and campaigns carrying us into the season.

The Genworth Meaning of Home campaign is a incredible opportunity for our various regions and Chapters to become involved. The contest is a great way to encourage independent and critical thought while promoting creative writing, and increasing awareness around social issues while supporting our communities. For each essay that is submitted Genworth Canada will generously donate $10 per essay. We are seeking volunteers to assist with follow up calls and in classroom presentations throughout Ontario Gateway North. If even 80% of the schools participate the children will have raised enough money to build a home for one of our partner families.

Our Sudbury ReStore will be relocating as we require a larger space. We are taking to the online community to help launch our Aviva Community Fund submission for a new location. Voting will begin on October the 11th through to October 28th. People may vote once a day throughout the contest. Please help spread the word and vote daily so that we can make this relocation a reality.

North Bay will be hosting its Amazing Race Fundraiser on Saturday October 1st to help support a future build. There are some spots still available to take part in this fun filled day. Please email funddevelopment@habitatnorthbay.com to register. We hope to see you there!

The South Almaguin’s Adopt-A-Home Fundraiser will be held on Saturday October 15thwith a gourmet dinner and fabulous entertainment by Glen Reid. The event is only $100 per person and will be an elegant evening out. Attendees will receive a $75 tax receipt. Please contact Val Scheekey to secure your ticket at sheekey@bell.net

With so many events and activities fall promises to be brilliant throughout Ontario Gateway North!

Britta Gerwin
Director of Development and Communications
ReStore Round Up
Julie Briggs is a DIYer and interior-decorating blogger from New York State. She recently started her ReStore Round-Up series where she "up-cycles" great finds at her local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Check out some of Julie's inspiring creations! 
Come Volunteer at a Habitat for Humanity ReStore
Are you looking for a fun way to get some community involvement hours? The Habitat for Humanity ReStores are open six or seven days-a-week and offer flexible shifts. 
  • Get valuable work experience that can lead to written recommendations and references for work elsewhere and for post-secondary education.
  • Learn skills in fundraising or event planning.
  • Gain valuable customer service skills at the ReStore.
  • Help build affordable homes for hardworking families! 
Students must be at least 16 years of age. A parent or legal guardian must sign a release for students under 18 years old.
Student-volunteers will need to bring safety footwear approved by the Canadian Standards Association. CSA-approved footwear has a solid green triangular patch on the upper of the boot or shoe. Some extra CSA-Approved footwear is available in-store. 
Two doors down . . .

Homeownership is unrealistic. That's a reality for so many young families today. Even families who have two working parents. Saving a down payment while paying for rent, utilities, medicine, child-care costs, and the day-to-day necessities is often a non-starter.

Families have resigned to renting, or living with family members. The cost of homeownership is deterring families and delaying their economic progress. So why should we care?

There are many economic benefits to owning a home. Families begin to build equity and plan for the future. Stability is provided. Money is being used to earn rather than buy. But, perhaps even more importantly, there are genuine social benefits provided to homeowners. These benefits include, increased employment quality and income, improved health behaviours, greater engagement in the community and society, and a better educational outlook. The bottom-line is homeowners create stronger communities.

A family buying their first home is a big transition. Habitat partner families move from the rental market to the traditional real estate market once they move into their homes. Rarely, will homeowners return to renting.

Unfortunately, young families are unqualified to enter this market on their own. Or, it's simply a bad investment. Living paycheque-to-paycheque means the money is going towards food, shelter, and bills. The savings account is for emergencies. These families are forced to think day-to-day. So we, their community, neighbours, friends, and government should be looking out for their tomorrow.

Greg
 
Help Us Spread the Word!
We just need 80% of the eligible students to enter and we'll build a home!
By now, hopefully you will have heard about Genworth Canada's 2016 Meaning of Home contest. This toolkit will ensure that's the case for your surrounding communities. Please help spread the word. Remember, even if 80% of the eligible students in the Habitat OGN Region enter this contest we will have raised enough money to build a house. 

Reach out to us on twitter @HFHGatewayNorth to start the conversation! #MeaningofHome
EVENT POSTERS
BONUS PASSAGE | Thanks for reading! 
When we hit our forties, Marian and I decided we should periodically take deliberate steps to shake off life's accumulated dust. Beginning on October 2, the day before our 35th wedding anniversary, we're going to take the first of what will be innumerable steps along the ancient pilgrimage of Camino Frances in northern Spain. We're allowing five weeks to make the 800km trek from St. Jean Pied de Port on the French side of the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela. If all goes to plan, we'll end the walk on Marian's birthday onNovember 3rd, a little less dusty, at least figuratively, a little lighter above the boots, and however physically spent, re-energized above the shoulders.

An HFH Canada training program next week makes this my final week in the office. I leave with the comfort that we have a good team in place, headed by Acting CEO Meghan Smith. Meghan will be working with our ReStore management team and our chapters on some preliminary budgeting and planning activity for 2017. I'll be in touch with Meghan along "The Way," and the annual planning cycle will become a primary focus of activity when I return the second week of November. Until then, buen otoño, todo el mundo,

David
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.

October 1st - Amazing Race, North Bay and Blue Sky Region Chapter

October 3rd - Genworth Meaning of Home contest officially opens

October 11th - Voting for the Aviva Community Fund opens

Weekend of October 14th - Oktoberfest with the Muskoka Brewery!

October 15th - South Almaguin Fundraising Dinner @ Highlander Brew Co. | South River

November 29th - Giving Tuesday

Friday, September 16, 2016

HFH Gateway North News 09.16.2016

Serving Orillia Lake Country, North Simcoe, District of Muskoka, Parry Sound District, North Bay and Blue Sky Region and Sudbury District
Meaning of Home Contest Video
(click on the image below to view video)
Genworth Canada's The Meaning of Home Contest
Genworth Canada offers this short video to highlight the Meaning of Home contest. If you know a student in Grades 4, 5, or 6 or a teacher, encourage them to submit a contest entry at www.meaningofhome.ca.

Each contest entry will result in a $10 donation to Habitat. This means, if 80% of the eligible students in the Habitat OGN region participate we will raise enough money to build a house from the contest entries alone. 

This year, the Grand-Prize winner will direct a $50,000 donation to the Habitat for Humanity Affiliate of their choice, as well as, an iPad and pizza party for their class. Genworth Canada has also pledged to reward 10 runner-up prizes totaling $5,000 each.

Mark October 3 in your calendars as the opening day for contest entries. Closing date isNovember 30
In This Issue:
* Meaning of Home
* Safety Tip
* Photos from Espanola
* Building Hope
* Two Doors Down
* Hods & Sods
* Salvage Crew Members Wanted
* SA Fundraising Dinner
* Amazing Race
* Bonus Photo
* Save the Dates
* Quote of the Week
The Newsreel: Quick Facts to Keep You Informed!
* Support our 2016 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 newsletterhere!
Hi Habitat Gateway North Team!
 
Over the past week I’ve had a fairly heavy focus on our ReStores. Many affiliates have one or two ReStores in their service area, but not five. Streamlining our operating procedures means getting input from all of our locations; our ReStore managers, our staff and our volunteers. There are a lot of moving pieces (and not just in the ReStores!).

A big piece of procedure is creating accountability and transparency across the organization. In my experience, accountability isn’t about telling someone to do something and making sure it gets done and transparency isn’t about hoarding all of the information provided to you. At least, that’s not what accountability and transparency are about in a productive, team-oriented environment.

While my focus has been on ReStores this week, looking at accountability and transparency are key in everything we do. First, accountability is about being responsible. If I’m not responsible in my role, how can I expect staff or volunteers to be? Digging a little deeper, I don’t just want someone to be responsible; I want them to take ownership. Whether it’s tidying a section of a ReStore, planning a local fundraising event or building a house, I want you to take ownership. To feel like you’re part of the big picture at Habitat.

Transparency is based in trust. Ownership and accountability are all for nothing, if there’s no trust. People are inspired when they know their leaders believe in their capability to deliver. If you’re inspired, you’re more likely to take ownership and run with an idea or a project.

“Words may inspire but only action creates change.” – Simon Sinek

So how do we inspire? Habitat for Humanity helps families in need and for me, that’s pretty inspiring. So, let’s make a significant connection between Habitat for Humanity and our ReStores.

ReStores are a social enterprise; a retail business to cover the operational costs of Habitat for Humanity. That means all donated dollars and partner family contributions go directly to building homes. However, if we increase our profitability, our ReStores can fund home builds too. If each of our five ReStores can increase their profit margin by $20,000 that equals $100,000. That’s one side of a semi-detached unit. That means another family becomes a Habitat homeowner.

Now, my math above is basic, but if each of our ReStores owns that goal of increasing profitability, they are delivering on the Habitat mission of serving more families. It’s a relevant, significant goal. And it takes all of the moving pieces working together.

Be well, do good deeds and keep in touch,

Meghan
Health & Safety tip of the week: Report, Report, Report! 

Report your injuries and workplace accidents! Aside from the obvious and legal reasons, it's important to report all workplace accidents, injuries, and near-misses for the good of the organization and your fellow workers.

Recording and investigating incidents in the workplace could reduce or altogether eliminate similar accidents from happening again. And, in case you need further prompting . . . It is also a legal obligation— under the Canada Labour Code— to report accidents that cause harm.

When reports are filed, the organization has the opportunity to create an accident registrar. This registrar can be used as the most comprehensive and practical way to avoid injuries and accidents. By compiling the data, organizations can spot hazards, common faults, and areas needing improvement. Risks can be managed.

While it may be tempting to ignore small cuts, strains, and bruises, if these injuries resulted as the result of your job they must be reported. It's not about following the letter of the law just because someone said so, it's about making sure the organization is doing everything in its power to stay safe. We all learn best from our mistakes.

- Brian Ingram, Health & Safety Coordinator 
Home Sweet Home: Latest Photos from the Espanola Build
Habitat Builds Hope for Family
(IAN BURNS, Simcoe.com)
TAY TOWNSHIP – For the Ramsbottom family, Habitat for Humanity is a game changer.

Sarah and Dave Ramsbottom – along with sons Harrison, 7, and Cohen, 6 – moved into their new home in Port McNicoll this summer.

“I don’t know what we’d be doing without Habitat,” Sarah Ramsbottom said. “It just shows it really takes a village to raise a family.”

The family has moved around, renting and living with family members. But now they are going to have a home of their own.

“Plus my parents are building a house now on Triple Bay Road,” she said. “It’s going to be really nice to have everybody so close by.”

Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization that builds “simple, decent and affordable housing” for families in need.

Kate Arnold, family selection and partnering chair for Habitat for Humanity North Simcoe, said the organization has built six houses in this area so far.

In order to be considered for a Habitat house, an individual must have an income stream of approximately $32,000 and a willingness to complete 500 hours of “sweat equity,” which means working on a Habitat project.
Sarah Ramsbottom gave up her job when Cohen was diagnosed with autism, which greatly impacted the family’s bottom line.

And the Ontario government’s decision to stop funding intensive behavioural intervention (IBI) treatment for children over the age of four made the family’s life even more difficult.
“Cohen would be in his second month of IBI by now,” she said.

However, as the Ramsbottoms prepared to move into their new home, a silver lining was offered that may help Cohen get the treatment he needs. The Ontario government on Tuesday announced changes to its autism plan, offering $10,000 in funding for private IBI treatment.

“The funding they have created will be a huge help,” she said. “This whole event has proven the average person can fight city hall.”
Two Doors Down: Thank You Andrea!
 Andrea Brock joined Habitat OGN as a summer-student this year and was instrumental in orchestrating and completing a number of initiatives, projects and events. Having previously started a Habitat for Humanity student sub-Chapter at Queen's University, I asked Andrea to write a report detailing the process so we could replicate her successes at the many post-secondary schools in the Habitat OGN Region. Her report was informative, detailed, and will prove very helpful.

Andrea was based out of her hometown Sudbury ReStore during the summer with Habitat. ReStore Manager Stephanie Long had this to say:

"Andrea was such a great asset to the Sudbury ReStore this summer, and we were very sad to see her leave. We are of course happy to send her back to Queen's University where we believe she will go far with her education and become a great asset to any organization she decides to be part of. There are so few genuine people in this world it seems sometimes, but Andrea always gave me hope that we can make a difference with all the work she did for us. Andrea was able to get us involved with a couple of events this summer which helped get our name out in the community, we were a part of the  Earth Day Festival, Northern Lights Festival, and even a Yard-Sale Event. The biggest event this summer that she organized and volunteered for was our BBQ which was a great way to end the summer and to make connections with people in our community. I thank Andrea truly for everything she helped us with this summer and I have to thank Andrea's mom who also volunteered her time. We wish Andrea well in all her up coming adventures and hope that she will keep us updated with all her accomplishments."


Andrea has accepted an opportunity to study at the Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki, Finland for the Winter Semester of 2017 as part of the Queen's University exchange program. Good luck and thank you, Andrea!

- Greg
Espanola (159 & 163 Adelaide St.; semi-detached; underway): The siding is completed and the decking is complete around the structure of the building (photos above). The families have been working diligently toward their hours of sweat equity and are so excited to move in to their new homes. Items left to complete include landscaping and interior finishing.

Huntsville (11 Irene St.; semi-detached; underway): Work is continuing on the structure of the semi-detached home at Irene Street in Huntsville. We're currently recruiting volunteers for help in all areas of construction and with varying skills. If you're interested in volunteering as an individual or with a group please emailinfo@habitatgatewaynorth.com.

Orillia (499 Bay St.; semi-detached; permitting): Still in the early phase of permitting, we're excited to get back to building in Orillia. With a mid-September target for excavation, stay tuned for our official ground breaking ceremony announcement.

2017: The Carter Work Project comes to Canada next year, with a target of 150 home dedications in the week of July 9 – 15, in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday. Habitat Edmonton has committed 100 homes. Habitat Manitoba another 25. We’d like – okay, we'd love – to have HFHOGN contribute six to 12 of the remaining. How we do it is a matter of current brainstorming and planning.
COMING NEXT TUESDAY TO HABITAT STAFF & VOLUNTEERS
EVENT POSTERS
BONUS PHOTO | Thanks for reading! 
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.

October 1st - Amazing Race, North Bay and Blue Sky Region Chapter

October 3rd - Genworth Meaning of Home contest officially opens

October 11th - Voting for the Aviva Community Fund opens

Weekend of October 14th - Oktoberfest with the Muskoka Brewery!

October 15th - South Almaguin Fundraising Dinner @ Highlander Brew Co. | South River

November 29th - Giving Tuesday

Friday, September 9, 2016

HFH Gateway North News 09.09.2016

Serving Orillia Lake Country, North Simcoe, District of Muskoka, Parry Sound District, North Bay and Blue Sky Region and Sudbury District
Please Spread the Word: Genworth Canada's Meaning of Home Contest 2016

Back to School? Win a $50,000 Donation for Habitat!
 
What does “home” mean to you?  Students in Grade 4, 5 or 6 in Canada, can enter the Genworth Canada Meaning of Home contest to win a donation for your local Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North affiliate!  This year’s Grand Prize is $50,000 towards the build of a Habitat home, and every contest entry results in a $10 donation to Habitat. If every eligible student in the Habitat OGN region entered, we would raise enough money to build an entire home! Visit www.meaningofhome.ca to find out how to enter.

(For more about Habitat OGN's plans regarding the Meaning of Home contest continue below to Britta Gerwin's Fund Development Column.)
In This Issue:
* Meaning of Home
* Two Doors Down
* Fund Development with Britta
* Hods & Sods
* Carter Work Project
* Orillia Business Women
* Amazing Race
* Habitat on Cogeco!
* Salvage Crew Members Wanted
* SA Fundraising Dinner
* Health & Safety Tip
* VIDEO TEASER
* Save the Dates
* Quote of the Week
The Newsreel: Quick Facts to Keep You Informed!
* Support our 2016 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 newsletterhere!
Hi Habitat Gateway North Team!
 
Although it’s a short week and the kids have headed back to school, we’ve still been as busy in the office now as we were in June. The temperature hasn’t really dropped around here to make it feel like fall either!

While Mother Nature may be undecided on what season it is, we’re moving into our planning cycle for 2017. Planning for 2017 derives from our Strategic Plan set by our Board of Directors. Planning is taking goals from strategic to operational; taking a dream from concept through to achievement.

With regionalization in 2014, the planning cycle for HFH Ontario Gateway North had to change from the planning cycles used by the legacy affiliates. A necessary change, as each affiliate went from planning for approximately one build and one ReStore to Ontario Gateway North planning for five ReStores and builds across the region. Not an easy organizational jump to make!

Change out of necessity seems to be a difficult one to navigate. There’s less of an opportunity to choose and recognize the change as it comes and organically develop a new direction. However, making changes is crucial to the growth and prosperity of the organization. Status quo will keep things trundling along, but then the question becomes “are we really reaching for our dreams?”

“Adaptability is about the powerful difference between adapting to cope and adapting to win.”
- Max McKeown

Adapting to change is never easy, and we’re still refining the planning process as we go. We test and we find out what worked, what did not work, what we need to improve on and we try again. This Saturday, our Board of Directors convenes to discuss plans for 2017 and how we adapt our current operations to build more capacity.

I like change. I like the idea of finding a new way to make something work more efficiently, to do a task better, to learn something new and utilize that knowledge. I don’t have all the answers and I don’t think one person ever does. Engaging a group of individuals, invested in a cause, creates discussion on how best to adapt to change, and that’s something I truly enjoy.

While we take time to adapt to the summery fall we’re entering into, let’s also take the time to recognize the need for homes across our region. Is serving a few families a year really enough when the number of families on waitlists for social housing continues to increase drastically, year over year? I think we’re dreaming bigger than that.

Now, let’s make that dream a reality.

Be well, do good deeds and keep in touch,

Meghan
Two doors down . . . 

How cool is that Salvage Crew in the picture down below? Check out the guy with the long red beard and the woman in the back left. She's ready to tear down some kitchens.

It dawned on me a little after seeing that photo it really is a great representation of what you can expect when volunteering. Honestly, how many other social situations would you see Long-John RedBeard and somebody's grandmother willingly pose for a photo in the same group. Volunteering takes people out of their comfort zones and politely forces them to interact with people they otherwise - well - probably wouldn't.

For some people, this idea of meeting new and different people is exciting. They've done it all their lives and to them it's a breeze. To others, a situation where they're made to interact and work together with a group is a monumental and frightening task. Hopefully, for those people volunteering serves as a way to ease this transition in a safe and friendly environment.

One Christmas season I helped sort a warehouse of donated food into little balanced packages for families to enjoy over the holiday season. I was teamed up with my best friend and a couple of older gentlemen. The first few days my friend and I kept to ourselves, as did the older gentlemen. One day, in the early going, I made a comment while handling canned whole fish. Something along the lines of "who actually eats this?" One of the gentlemen laughed. I thought it was because I was hilarious, but learned at lunchtime it was because he'd brought two packs of the stuff and was going to make us try it. Like I said, "monumental and frightening."

For the rest of the two week period the four of us bonded and by the last day we were all sorting food together. We asked them about all the unique varieties of canned meats and digestive cookies while informing them about the wonders of Dunk-a-Roos. Good times. The fish was gross, very salty.

Greg
2017 Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project Coming to Canada
Story from Habitat.org

The location was announced during the closing ceremony for the 2016 Carter Work Project in Memphis, Tennessee. More information will be released on Oct. 3, 2016.
Last week, President and Mrs. Carter, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood helped build or improve 35 homes in partnership with Memphis families and 1,500 volunteers. New home construction and several beautification and aging in place projects that took place during the build week helped fulfill Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis’ commitment to build 50 new homes and revitalize 100 homes in the city’s Uptown area.
“We are excited to head to Canada in 2017 with President and Mrs. Carter,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “Their longstanding commitment to helping families build a better future for themselves has been a blessings to us and continues to inspire people everywhere to help us fulfill our mission.”
Since 1984, President and Mrs. Carter have traveled across the U.S. and the world with Habitat, donating their time and voices annually to build and improve homes, and raise awareness of the critical need for decent and affordable housing. Inspiring millions over the last three decades, President and Mrs. Carter have worked alongside nearly 100,000 volunteers in 14 countries to build, renovate and repair homes.
To learn more about Habitat’s Carter Work Project, visit habitat.org/cwp.
 
Donna Godfrey to Speak at Meeting of Orillia Business Women's Network
In Orillia the Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North operates the Orillia ReStore at 220 James Street.
Donna has over 20 years fundraising experience within a variety of non-profits organizations. Some notable organizations include, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), The Multiple Sclerosis Society (MS), North York General Hospital Foundation, ALS Society of Canada, Big Brothers Big Sisters Orillia, Show your Support Orillia aka Bras for a Cause and Telecare.  She then took a three-year sabbatical in New Brunswick where she bought and ran a lodge.
Donna began her career with Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North as the Director of Development and Communications, at the Regional office in Bracebridge. Six months later, she seized an opportunity to manage the Orillia ReStore and bring her expertise back to her own community.
The meeting will be held at the Mariposa Inn & Conference Centre, 400 Memorial Ave. Orillia, Ontario Wednesday, Sept. 14th, 2016
Fund Development with Britta

I had the pleasure of meeting the Orillia Chapter of Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North last evening and found the enthusiasm and drive of its committee members inspiring. I look forward to meeting with each Chapter over the coming weeks.The week has been filled with the works surrounding our direct mailing for the Genworth Campaign. Over 400 packages went out to principals,teachers and schools. We are seeking volunteers from each Chapter, who would be willing to make follow up calls in their area, and make presentations at the schools upon request.

A script, contact list, and support materials will be made available next week. When speaking to the teachers and principals at the schools, we will message that if even 80% of the classes in our territory participate then the children would have raised enough money to build a home for one of our Habitat families.  For every entry submitted Genworth will donate $10 to our region. Imagine the sense of pride and accomplishment the students would have to make this a reality!

Our office will write regional press releases regarding Genworth and what Habitat Gateway North is doing in each region to arrange media interviews. Additionally we are putting together a video challenge from a school in our territory to use on all social media platforms. If the students do raise the funds for the house, we will put together a video thank you from the selected family and list the participating schools at the build. This should create a solid base for future Genworth campaigns.

We have also been concentrating on different grant applications for each region. Thank you to Anita from the North Simcoe Chapter for calling us with the Ontario Realtors Grant Foundation information. A grant has been submitted for North Simcoe. We are seeking a letter from realtors from each Chapter to support regional grant applications. A gentle reminder that grants should be submitted on behalf of the Chapters from the head office. This will prevent multiple asks and will allow us to capture the information in our new database software.

If there are any events, corporate contacts or individuals that you would like us to get in touch with please call me at the office (705) 644-2849 or via emailbgerwin@habitatgatewaynorth.com

Thank you for all that you do on behalf of the families that we all serve. Together we are improving the lives of others, one family at a time.

Britta Gerwin
Director of Development & Communications
10 Questions: North Bay's Amazing Race
We recently asked Ellen Faulkner, Fund Development Chair for Habitat OGN North Bay & Blue Sky Region Chapter, to answer some questions about the Amazing Race schedule for October 1.

1.) Why the Amazing Race?  

We have tried other fundraising ideas in North Bay, and one constant is that people always like a challenge so the idea came forward and we decided to try it.

2.) Who can participate in the Race?

This year we decided to go with 19 and older. But, we are getting requests for families, we wanted to increase the turnout so we later decided to allow families to enter the race as well!

3.) What are some of the obstacles and challenges?

Without giving out too many details and ruining the surprise, as the race is not till Oct. 1, I will say there are two very challenging locations. But, don't let that discourage you, most of the locations are easy and all of them are great fun.

4.) Who are the supporters of the race?

Businesses are great supporters. The ten locations for the race are all businesses in the area. I won't give it all away, obviously, but one location is the Fire Hall!

5.) What will the money raised be used for?

Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North and its Chapters are always working to raise funds to build affordable homes for hard working families. Typically, we need to raise $100,000 to put shovels in the ground, so funds are always well needed and better used.

6.) What can racers expect? 

A fun filled day of challenges followed by prizes and a meal.

7.) How does Habitat for Humanity help people?

Habitat gives a Hand Up not a Hand Out. We select a local family who partners with Habitat and is able to give 500 sweat equity hours,  to pay back the mortgage that is interest free, and keep all upkeep needed for a home owner. Habitat helps to create affordable home ownership opportunities for hardworking families who otherwise wouldn't qualify for a bank mortgage.

8.) How much should I raise?

With each team member we hope for a minimum of $100. There is a prize for the individual who collects the most money in pledges. So, if we have 10 teams the minimum would be $400 x 10 = $4000. Our goal is 21 teams PLUS we are collecting advertising sponsors in the team booklet

9.) If I don't want to race, can I just give a donation or support in other ways?

We always need volunteers the day of, and yes you can donate by mail, online at habitatgatewaynorth.com Or you can drop off a donation at one of the Amazing Race checkpoint locations . . . if you can find one!

10.) Can I volunteer at the race instead? 

Same answer as No. 9. (Editor's note: Yeah, I guess that was kind of redundant.)

Thanks, Ellen!

*some answers have been edited for length and/or clarity. 
Cogeco TV: Plenty of Opportunities to Volunteer in Huntsville
(click on the image to play video)
Habitat Gateway North
Thank you to Amy Pritchard of Cogeco TV Muskoka for this spot featuring the Bracebridge Restore and the plenty of opportunities to get involved at the Huntsville build site! 
Espanola (159 & 163 Adelaide St.; semi-detached; underway): The siding is completed and the decking is nearing completion around the structure of the building. The families have been working diligently toward their hours of sweat equity and are so excited to move in to their new homes.

Huntsville (11 Irene St.; semi-detached; underway): Work is continuing on the structure of the semi-detached home at Irene Street in Huntsville, with wall sections arriving next week. We're currently recruiting volunteers for help in all areas of construction and with varying skills. If you're interested in volunteering as an individual or with a group please email info@habitatgatewaynorth.com.

Orillia (499 Bay St.; semi-detached; permitting): Still in the early phase of permitting, we're excited to get back to building in Orillia. With a mid-September target for excavation, stay tuned for our official ground breaking ceremony announcement.

2017: The Carter Work Project comes to Canada next year, with a target of 150 home dedications in the week of July 9 – 15, in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday. Habitat Edmonton has committed 100 homes. Habitat Manitoba another 25. We’d like – okay, we'd love – to have HFHOGN contribute six to 12 of the remaining. How we do it is a matter of current brainstorming and planning.