Friday, November 27, 2015

HFH Gateway North News 11.27.2015

On Tuesday of this past week, Muskoka-area realtor Karen Acton dropped into the Bracebridge ReStore to deliver the final installment on her $85,000 pledge to Habitat for Humanity. It was a pledge Karen first made in 2008 and to which she has made a contribution every year since. Karen's generosity ensures a 2016 "Acton Build," which we expect will also be Gateway North's first "Women Build." Many thanks are extended to Karen for her financial generosity and for the generosity of spirit that kept her to her goal over the last seven years. Pictured (L-R) are Johanne Hills, David Morris, Karen Acton, Donna Godfrey, Linda Acton-Riddle and John McKee.
Sudbury District Edition
Sudbury ReStore Revamped!

Over the past few weeks, our Sudbury ReStore has been cleaned up, re-merchandised and  transformed into a top-notch ReStore. Congratulations to all Sudbury Staff and Volunteers who continue to demonstrate excellence on the sales and distribution floors! 
Meet the Sudbury ReStore Staff

Stephanie Long joined the Sudbury ReStore team in late summer and in mid-November was promoted to Acting ReStore Manager. Congratulations Stephanie!

Candace Anwhatin joined the Sudbury team on November 20th as a full-time Sales Associate. We are happy to have her aboard the Sudbury ReStore Team! 
In This Issue:
* From the CEO's Desk
* North Simcoe Home Dedication
* Parry Sound Home Dedication
* North Bay Home Dedication
* Quote of the Week
The Newsreel: Quick Facts to Keep You Informed!
* Winter Wear Drive continues at the Bracebridge ReStore. Until 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. 
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Hello Habitat Gateway North

As the cold weather sets in, snow falls and we begin to prepare for the holidays, many of us will take for granted that we can simply turn on the heat or throw another log on the fire. For many families throughout our region, that isn't reality.

Many families spend so much on housing alone, it becomes difficult to decide on the "extras" each month. Based on statistics from the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association, one in every five households in Ontario spends more than 50% of their income on housing costs. In 2014, the number of households using food banks for the first time, increased by 20%. If you were faced with the decision between groceries for the week or being able to turn up the heat, which would you choose?

"As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others." - Audrey Hepburn

I have always admired Audrey Hepburn's humanitarian work, and as I grow older, I discover just how correct she is. It does not necessarily matter how you help others, whether it's opening doors, spending time putting together food baskets or making monetary donations. What does matter, is that you help how you can.

As the holiday season approaches, there are as many charities looking to make a difference as there are ways to help others in your community. Much like thisTeam Generous video for Habitat for Humanity, our community benefits when we each bring something to the table. Alone, we can make do, but together we can do so much more.

No matter how you choose to make a difference, every helping hand counts.

Be well, do good deeds and keep in touch,

North Simcoe Home Dedication

This past Saturday, North Simcoe Chapter volunteers and supporters gathered with local officials to welcome Winter King and Josh Smith and their two children into their new home on Sheridan Street in Penetanguishene.
Parry Sound District Home Dedication

Saturday afternoon's second dedication service was on Lake Jospeph Road in Seguin Township. The Parry Sound Chapter and local dignitaries welcomed Jennifer and Ryan Bernas and their four children into their Habitat home.
North Bay and Blue Sky Region Home Dedication

Lucky number three! On Sundayafternoon, our North Bay & Blue Sky Chapter and guests welcomed Cyrstal Daly and her four children to their new home.
From the CEO's Desk

To quote Ecclesiastes, via King James or the Byrds: “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”

I wrote my note last week at the mid-point of Habitat’s annual national leadership retreat in Niagara-on-the-Lake – an opportunity to huddle with Habitat leaders from across the country and national office. The discussions, networking and collective noodling over strategic direction were invaluable, but after two days of sitting in a conference centre, there was kinesthetic relief in hitting the road late Friday afternoon.

I picked up Marian at our youngest son’s new apartment in downtown Toronto. It’s the most basic (i.e. illegal) of basement units, and yet I know there’ll forever more be a special place in his and his girlfriend’s hearts for their first home together, regardless of the jockeying they’ll do this winter around a space heater!

I’m not sure there could be a more perfect follow-on to the national leadership conference discussions and thoughts of young people and “home” than the three house dedication services that were held across our region over the weekend.

Early Saturday afternoon, we joined our North Simcoe Chapter in Penetanguishene as it welcomed Winter, Josh and their two boys to their new home. A quick dash across the snowy countryside landed us in Seguin Township, just in time to join our Parry Sound Chapter as it officially welcomed Jennifer, Ryan and their four children to theirs. On Sunday morning, we were back on the road, checking out a potential build site before joining our North Bay and Blue Sky Chapter as it welcomed Crystal and her four children to their new home.

On Tuesday of this week, we had the opportunity to take part in a different but equally moving ceremony. Muskoka-area realtor Karen Acton joined us in the Bracebridge ReStore to deliver the final installment on her remarkable donation of $85,000.

 In 2008, Karen came out of retirement to join the real estate world. Without initially recognizing the full magnitude of the commitment, she confessed, she committed herself to fund a Habitat house out of essentially a tithe on her commissions. At the time, $75,000 was the goal. Over the years, as her annual installments grew apace her success in the industry, she pushed the goal to $80,000 to allow for inflation, and finally to $85,000.

 This week has been a time of celebration: three families taking up residence in the save, decent – and attractive – housing that’s Habitat’s promise; money in the bank that promises another family the same in 2016.

But as moving as the celebrations were, and they truly were, what lingers for me is my awe and profound respect for people like Karen Acton and our Chapter leadership and volunteers. Only through their seasons of commitment are we able to celebrate.           
Have a great week.

Quote of the Week

"Progress is impossible without change and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything." - George Bernard Shaw
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