Monday, November 2, 2015

Habitat For Humanity Gateway North News 10.30.2015

On Tuesday of this week, HFHOGN Construction Director John McKee and Sudbury Chapter Build Chair Jeff Lapierre surveyed the site of our proposed duplex on the corner of Oscar and Adelaide Streets in Espanola. A hiccup with our zoning request delayed  a summer construction start, but we're hoping to be good to go by early November! The duplex will be two of our "6-in-'16."
In This Issue:
* From the CEO's Desk
* From the Community
* Tips from Back to the Future
* Quote of the Week
The Newsreel: Quick Facts to Keep You Informed!
* Our Bracebridge ReStore is hosting a Hallowe'en Celebration on Saturday, October 31st from 9am to 4pm. Stop by for candy, costume contests and prizes!
* Are you a Leafs fan? Want a chance to win tickets to a game? Purchase your raffle tickets and support Habitat for Humanity build projects! Contact Peter Herbert for more details at (705) 346-2480.
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!

Hello Habitat Gateway North!

The end of October, Hallowe'en, seems to really mark the change from fall to winter, although not officially. On Saturday, we "fall back" our clocks meaning its dark early and stays that way into the morning. There's a crispness in the air. And as a kid, I recall my parents always planning my Hallowe'en costume to fit over a snowsuit because you just never knew what Mother Nature felt like on Hallowe'en.

I also recall Hallowe'ens where collecting candy was not the priority. Whether it was a coin box for Unicef or collecting non-perishable canned goods for the Manna Food Bank, there was usually a greater purpose. Thinking beyond your own gains (hey, free candy!) to support your community was a message my parents have practiced just as much as they have preached. I work with Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North, however, I also recognize the importance of thriving communities and the work of other charities and nonprofits. If you can, support a local charity this Hallowe'en. Or rather, support the little ghouls knocking on your door looking for charitable donations!

As you're making last minute costume changes for your kids to trick-or-treat, or lighting candles in your freshly carved jack-o-lanterns, take a moment to be grateful for what you have and what you're sharing with friends and family.

Happy Hallowe'en and safe trick-or-treating!

Be well, do good deeds and keep in touch,


From the CEO's Desk

The summer I turned 10, my parents dragged my siblings and me across Canada for what my father described as a four-week geography lesson. My siblings and I describe it as a pitched-battle for the best places to lie prone in the family’s self-styled VW camper van, focused on our excruciating boredom rather than the passing geography.

Not quite 10 years later, I repeated that trip, in the dying days of Canadian young people hitch-hiking the country. Travelling alone over two summers, with a winter stint rough-necking in northern Alberta in between, had a “walk-about” feel to it. It would be an exaggeration to say I entirely grew up (we males never do that!), but I came home with a new-found sense of independence and capability.

Somewhere along the road – in the Rockies, the prairies, a Newfoundland fishing village – I fell in love not with my parents’ country, but with my impossibly vast, improbably diverse country, and with its warm and welcoming inhabitants. I can’t travel the country without falling in love with it more.

This has been a week of travel, between Gravenhurst, Bracebridge and Huntsville to be sure, but also to points on the perimeter of HFH Ontario Gateway North’s region.

Construction Director John McKee and I left Bracebridge pre-dawn on Tuesday to meet our Board Chairperson Jack Lanctot for breakfast in Sudbury. We then walked next door to the ReStore to welcome our new northern Community Development Officer Cora-Lee Ertler to her first day on the job. From there, it was up to Espanola to meet Sudbury Chapter Build Chair Jeff Lapierre on the site of the planned duplex we’re itching to turn ground on, then down the street to talk future opportunities with some very pro-Habitat staff in the municipal office.

It was getting on for late-afternoon when we caught up with Board Director and Chapter Chair John Humble in North Bay. John (H) very graciously took time from the far-too-many burdens he’s already carrying for Habitat to give John (M) and me a tour of the Chapter’s current build. We then took in a potentially exciting future North Bay build site before turning for home. I completed the sweep of the region yesterday, with visits to our Orillia and Midland ReStores.

There’s a rock cut on the highway in Parry Sound, a stone’s throw from where John and I topped up our coffee on Tuesday morning. Decades on, HFHOGN has now taken me back passed that spot a half-dozen times. Each time, I remember like it was yesterday the seemingly life-time ago when I stood there, a kid, consciously committing myself to the walk-about that had been, to that juncture, easy talk.

It’s been a long, but great week - one that leaves me wondering if our walk-abouts ever really end.

Have a great week.


From the Community

It has come to the time of year when the season’s change is very noticeable.  With Halloween almost gone and Christmas staring at us, the leaves have changed from orange to brown and blown off the trees and gone too are our “Snow Birds”.

Yesterday I had one of my volunteers (or as we call them “volemployees") say good bye for the winter. Lori Brown was my first volunteer here in Huntsville and was with me long before the store even opened.  She worked right beside me in the difficult task of setting up an entire store. We had such a lot of fun, we laughed, we moved the same thing numerous times until we thought we had it right, and we worked hard.

Although it makes me sad to see our volunteers go south for the winter, I would like to take the time to thank them all. I'd also like to let them know that while they are gone and missed, we continue to remember the fun we had while they were here with us all summer!  Be safe my friends, and we will see you in the spring!

Jane Bissonette
ReStore Manager, Huntsville

Tips from Back to the Future!

October 21, 2015 was Back to the Future Day - the day that Doc and Marty McFly go back to the future. There is a plethora of wisdom from the cult classic. But applying that wisdom to a nonprofit? Well, tips from Non-Profit Hub say you can! Read more below.

"Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads!" - Doc

This line happens in the film’s opening minutes as Doc unveils that wondrous flying Delorean.

While each nonprofit tries to find success, you must find your own road to take. You can look to other nonprofits for their examples or tips, but when it comes time to make decisions, you must make the ones that are in the best interests of your organization.

We can also apply this to fundraising. Use tips and advice to get an idea of how things work, but then make it your own. You are the one who is going to have to blaze a trail and talk to the donors to make the pitch.

Read the full article on Non-Profit Hub
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