Friday, December 4, 2015

HFH Gateway North News 12.04.2015

On Saturday November 28th, our Sudbury District Chapter broke ground on Adelaide Street in Espanola. In fact, by the time the Ground Breaking Ceremony was complete, the entire foundation was excavated. We're excited to have such a great crew of volunteers on board and ready to get to work on this build project. Anyone interested in helping out on our Espanola Build, please contact us! Pictured above, Chapter committee members receive a donation of $15,000 from the Espanola Lions Club.

Pictured: HFHOGN Sudbury District Chapter members at the Ground Breaking Ceremony.
Muskoka Edition
Winter Wear Drive Continues in Bracebridge

On December 2nd, Theresa and Barry Buker (above centre and right), the founders of Free Stuff for Daily Needs were amazed to see our Bracebridge ReStore's Winter Wear Drive donation box, pictured with Hilary Kellam (left). The amount of coats, hats, scarves, mittens and other winter gear completely filled our huge donation box! With many winter wear requests coming in from families all across Muskoka, the Bukers were very thankful for all of the donations brought in by customers, volunteers and staff. The last day for the Winter Wear Drive is Monday December 7th, so if you have yet to bring in gently used or new winter wear to the Bracebridge ReStore, please do!
Major Donation Makes the News

Last week, Karen Acton donated $10,000 bringing her total donation to Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North to $85,000. TVCogeco Muskoka covered the event. Watch the news segment here:
The Huntsville Santa Claus Parade took place on the night of Friday November 27th and our ReStore team had so much fun decorating the float and participating in the parade! All of the items on the float can be found in your local ReStores. A huge thank you to Muskoka Stonescape Inc. for supplying their truck and trailer for the event. Thanks to Justin, Jessie, Hilary and everyone else who took part in bringing th parade float to life!
In This Issue:
* Espanola Ground Breaking
* Winter Wear Drive
* Major Donation Makes the News
* Huntsville Santa Claus Parade
* From the CEO's Desk
* Volunteering
* From the Community
* Habitat for Humanity Development Conference
* Quote of the Week
The Newsreel: Quick Facts to Keep You Informed!
* On Saturday December 12th, our Bracebridge ReStore is hosting pictures with Santa Claus from 12-3pm! A $5 donation is suggested.
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Hello Habitat Gateway North!

As some of you may know, I was on holiday last week, which means I spent a fair amount of time in several airports. As much as airports are a bustle of activity (one can feel a bit like sheep being herded through the channels), they are also a study in humanity.

A man picking up a dropped glove and ensuring it gets back to its' owner. A woman stepping aside at the washroom so a mother and small child can go first. A young man helping an older man lift luggage into the overhead compartments. Waking up a weary traveller so he doesn't miss his flight.

As cheesy as it may to be quote Hugh Grant in the movie Love Actually, he makes a convincing point:
"Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinions starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around."

While we can all get stuck in our own little world, sometimes, it's good to have a reminder that there's more to life. Whether it's the airport, the grocery store or being involved in ground breaking ceremonies and home dedications, I'm happy to see the small moments of kindness and love in every day. Small acts of kindness can mulitply to transform the world.

Be well, do good deeds and keep in touch,

From the CEO's Desk

A sad note to begin: This week, our hearts and thoughts have been with Bobby Allard, our Bracebridge Distribution Centre Manager, after news of his brother’s sudden death. Bobby’s distance from home and family no doubt makes the circumstances that much more difficult. Our sympathies, Bobby.

A note of congratulations and thanks to Build Chair Jeff Lapierre and our entire Sudbury Chapter who welcomed Construction Director John McKee and Marian and me to last Saturday’s groundbreaking for a semi-detached on Adelaide Street in Espanola. I anticipated a ceremonial sort of ceremony, which it was, but by the time the ceremony was over, the high-hoe laboring in the background had the foundation all but excavated. At last word, Jeff had the footings in…but my last word is probably now out-dated.

A note of farewell and thanks to our long-time Orillia ReStore Manager Ivan McArthur. Ivan opened the Orillia outlet and, as is too often the case in the not-for-profit world, essentially carried it single-handedly for stretches of time. Some down-time is on the immediate horizon, Ivan says, while he contemplates life’s next adventure. We wish him the very best for the future.

A final note of thanks: Between Friday evening and Sunday afternoon of this weekend, our after-hours staff and volunteer Christmas party will take place in the Bracebridge ReStore, Habitat Edmonton CEO Alfred Nikolai will be welcomed as HFHOGN’s very special guest, our Board of Directors will hold its bi-monthly face-to-face meeting, this month in Orillia, with the agenda including a luncheon reception at which volunteers, staff and Board members will have a chance to meet Alfred, and on Sunday, the HFH Christmas parade float, first debut last weekend in Huntsville, will do an encore in the Bracebridge parade.

None of this would be possible if it weren’t for some amazing people with whom I get to spend my work days: Donna, Meghan, Jessie, and Hilary. And I won’t pretend to know everyone on the contributing team in Orillia, but I do know thanks is due to Murray, Julia, Carmen and Ivan. It’ll be a terrific weekend.

Have a great week,

From the Community

Denise Stowman of the Perry Township Volunteer Firefighters presents a cheque to Joe Swiniarski, Treasurer for the South Almaguin Adopt-A-Home Project. The funds will help build a home in South Almaguin in 2016.  
Habitat for Humanity Development Conference

“Learn from the past, plan for the future, and live in the present”

A close friend of mine shared these words with me when we first met.  I never forgot them and I try to live by them. They ran through my head last week as I had the pleasure to join other Habitat fundraisers in Niagara Falls where we all attended a one-day development conference.

Over the past few months and having several conversations and/or email chats with Habitat colleagues, it was wonderful to be able to put a face to a name. And, isn’t it funny how you sometimes get a vision of what a person will look like. Then when you meet them, it’s often quite different!

Sure enough, we did discuss our past fundraising endeavours; what worked and what didn’t, our plans and ideas for future projects, and what we were currently working on day-to-day.  It was truly uplifting to look around the room and know that the support of any one of the participants was only a phone call away and that we all spoke the same language.  They are a very awesome group of individuals whose  team spirit was very evident and it was very clear the passion they all had for Habitat for Humanity!

If you’ve got any “words of wisdom” that you live by, let me know!  Love to hear from you.

Donna Godfrey
Director of Development & Communications
donna @ 
(705) 646-0106 x209
Quote of the Week

"Before you act, listen. Before you react, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you criticize, wait. Before you pray, forgive. Before you quit, try." - Ernest Hemingway
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