Saturday, November 14, 2015

HFH Gateway North News 11.13.2015

Parry Sound Edition
Build Site Update

On Wednesday November 11th, volunteers were on the Seguin Township build site constructing a storage shed. The crew also added insulation to the attic, painted steps and a few other small finishing jobs. Pictured from left to right - Mike Bernas, Don Brisbane and site supervisor Doug MacDonald.
Affordable Housing Forum

Peter Daleman, board member and Parry Sound Chapter member, discussed Habitat for Humanity homeownership at the Parry Sound District Affordable Housing Forum on Monday, November 9th. 
In This Issue:
* From the CEO's Desk
* Espanola is a GO!
* Winter Wear Drive
* From the Community
* Watch Our Family Grow
* Quote of the Week
The Newsreel: Quick Facts to Keep You Informed!
* We have THREEupcoming home dedications!November 21st in Penetanguishene and Parry Sound andNovember 22nd in North Bay. By the end of 2015, HFH Ontario Gateway North will be serving 42 families across the region.
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Hello Habitat Gateway North!

It's likely no one will appreciate my mentioning this, however, in a conversation earlier this week I heard myself say "there are only 7 weeks left in the year...". I was quickly told not to talk like that! As people typically do, I immediately began to think "what have I accomplished this year?" We want to have something to show for the time passing.

Working with Habitat for Humanity, I find there are milestones that are quite easy to mark. Successful events like golf tournaments, walk-a-thons and Biking for Builds. Groundbreaking ceremonies. Partner family announcements. Key ceremonies and home dedications. Achievements are quite often visible and tangible, which in many lines of work, that is not the case.

What really strikes me, is the human element of these tangible milestones - the people involved in making these achievements possible. Listening to a family share their story at a key ceremony is moving. Hearing volunteers chat on a build site (particularly at lunch time!) is always filled with enthusiasm. ReStore staff expressing their optimism with customers and coworkers. Participating in meetings with Habitat Canada and other Habitat affiliates is enlightening.

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou

The opportunity to be a part of the Habitat for Humanity mission means I am regularly able to see people at their best - when they are helping others because they can. As I look back on the year, I can see those milestones. As I look forward, I know we have so many more success stories in our future.

Be well, do good deeds and keep in touch,

From the CEO's Desk

The musician in me has always wanted to experience the sort of rousing Afro-American gospel church service one sees on TV and in movies. Before heading off to the Big Easy last week on our Habitat Global Village trip, I contacted Jim Pate, executive director of the New Orleans affiliate, asking him to either dispel my media-fed mental image or recommend such a church near our lodgings in the French Quarter.

Jim’s response was immediate and enthusiastic. He offered a number of recommendations, but his first was Household of Faith Family Worship Church International, led by Pastor Antoine Barriere, a member of Jim’s Board of Directors. After making contact with the Pastor by email, on our first Sunday in New Orleans, a portion of our team opted to worship the Saints at the Superdome, the rest of us headed to church.

Our welcome was as warm as it was unreserved (one of our members commented afterwards he had never before been hugged by so many unfamiliar women). The music as we entered the main worship hall was heavenly and exactly as I hoped it would be. A young woman fronted the choir in an initial warm-up of the congregation before passing the mic to a young guy with an amazing John Legend-like voice. He continued the warm-up, while teaching the congregation the gospel tune that became the musical backdrop for the rest of the service.

Pastor Antoine Barriere (centre) with Global Village builders (L-R) Rob Crew, David Morris, Marian Burdsall and Cathy Borowec.

However amazing and soul-nourishing the music, it was outdone by Pastor Barriere. As it happens, his congregation and Trinity Episcopal Church, a church with a markedly different “complexion,” had joined together in early October to do an interracial blitz build (10 days) of a Habitat house.

After asking us to stand to be acknowledged by his congregation, Pastor Barriere spun – because he is truly a master communicator – his sermon around his experience of the organization and sequencing of the Habitat blitz build and Corinthians 2:9, the gospel lesson for the day - a passage that references “…the things that God has prepared for those who love him.”

It was a brilliant sermon and a brilliant reminder, whether we’re swinging a hammer on build site, near or afar, or working a ReStore, or shuffling paper behind a desk in Bracebridge, Habitat offers us the opportunity to connect with others at a deep-rooted, pragmatic level of spirituality. I can’t imagine a better kick-off to a Global Village build week.

On a staffing note, Jane Bissonette has left the HFHOGN organization. Jane was instrumental in opening our Huntsville ReStore location in 2012 and has been a mainstay in the store since, serving as Assistant Manager and more recently as Acting Manager. She is owed our thanks for her contribution to Habitat for Humanity.  

In addition, we wish Wayne Bennett, one of our Muskoka truck drivers, a happy retirement. Wayne has worked with Habitat for Humanity in Muskoka for over 7 years and has done more than his fair share of heavy lifting at the Bracebridge ReStore. We thank you for your hard work and dedication Wayne.

Have a great week.

Espanola is a GO!

As previously reported, in late October, Espanola Council reversed its original rejection of our Sudbury District Chapter’s application to build a duplex on Adelaide Street. Council’s rejection of the proposal prompted our appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). Thanks to the work of Chapter Build Chair Jeff Lapierre, we found a diplomatic alternative to the OMB that concluded with Council giving the project its blessing. This week, we cleared the statutory 20-day period in which Council’s approval could have been appealed. Jeff’s build committee met on Thursday evening of this week and the plan is to break ground before the snow flies. Congratulations to Jeff and the Sudbury District team!
Winter Wear Drive

With the holidays (and winter weather) quickly approaching, the Bracebridge ReStore has decided to connect with our community by hosting a Winter Wear Drive. From Monday November 9th to Monday December 7th, we will be accepting donations of gently used or new hats, coats, scarves and mitts. All of these donations will be given to Free Stuff 4 Daily Needs in Gravenhurst. Free Stuff 4 Daily Needs supplies less fortunate families with various clothing and household items to meet their daily needs. If you would like to donate items please visit the Bracebridge ReStore or if you have any questions, please contact Hilary at (705)-646-0106 Ext 205
From the Community

Larry Carter, Build Chair for our Orillia/Lake Country Chapter, attended a volunteer fair at Georgian College, Orillia Campus this past week. Larry, along with Fundraising Chair Carmen Agius, handed out lots of business cards and made some great local connections with Georgian College students.
From the Community

John McKee, Director of Construction and Alan VanClieaf, Project Coordinator attended an open house for prospective students at Georgian College, Muskoka Campus on Saturday, November 7th. 
Watch Our Family Grow

Keep your eyes open for signs across the region identifying our future build sites! We have signs, like the ones below, popping up in all of the communities we currently hold land in. If you think you might have land for us to build on, from North Simcoe to Sudbury, get in touch toll-free at 1-855-646-0106.
Quote of the Week

"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going." - Jim Rohn
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