Sunday, January 31, 2016

HFH Gateway North News 29.01.2016

Serving Orillia Lake Country, North Simcoe, District of Muskoka, Parry Sound District, North Bay and Blue Sky Region and Sudbury District
The opening ceremony for Bracebridge's Winter Village on January 23, 2016 was a huge success. Our ReStore was there giving good skates out for a donation. Skates will also be available from 12-4 p.m. on Saturday January 30, for the Fire and Ice Festival. From left, Kalleen Turchet, Kim Ball from the Town of Bracebridge and Meghan Smith from HFHOGN set up the skates at Memorial Park. (Photo by Bev McMullen,

Habitat in the News

It’s been an exciting week!

On Tuesday morning (January 26) we issued a release to the media in the Orillia area. Within the next few hours David had been interviewed by the two local newspapers. By the end of Wednesday, our story was featured on the front page of The Orillia Packet & Times, the City of Orillia’s website, and two local radio stations. On Facebook the story “reach” was 2,414 users.

The quick uptake and sharing of this one story spoke to a few truths, and displayed some great work from our Chapter members. The truth: Habitat Gateway North’s story is worth telling and people want to hear more. When the story broke, Orillia Lake Country Chapter members went into action. As a result, HFHOGN was featured heavily on the Jack & Carey morning radio show (thanks, Carmen!).

Stories are ongoing in Espanola as well thanks to some great work from the Sudbury District Chapter. The Espanola build is consistently featured in Around & About, and Chapter members produced a release to announce the $30,000 gift-in-kind donation from Home Hardware.

As always, keep checking our website for more storiesevents, and the newsletter archive (in case you missed an issue). Add us on Facebook and Twitter to really tune in (links at the bottom of the newsletter). And never stop storytelling.

It takes a thousand voices to tell a single story. 

Greg Cowan
Communications Officer
In This Issue:
* Habitat in the News
* From the CEO's Desk
* Habitat Heroes
* Taking the Plunge!
* Keeping the “Fun” in Fundraising with Donna
* Brick for Brick Mega Blocks Build
* Putting the Fun in Finance
* NEW DATE: HFHOGN Golf Classic
* Quote of the Week
The Newsreel: Quick Facts to Keep You Informed!
* Habitat Canada has launched the Brick for Brick Campaign. 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 campaign
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 newsletter here!
Hello Team Habitat!

About mid-week Bobby, ReStore Distribution Centre Manager, was in the office and said "It's January, and people keep saying 'January is when it's slow'. Well it isn't slow here! We're busy every day!" I more than appreciate Bobby's enthusiasm, but it's a fantastic problem to have to be busy in the "off-season". I can also sympathize with being busy at a time of year when many feel its time to hibernate.

Growing up with a newspaper and magazine being designed and distributed from your home gives you a different perspective on work/life balance. Although there was always a general buzz of activity, you also saw the passion of those who loved the work they did. My parents have always worked hard - personally and professionally. My one brother, while recently lamenting his inability to turn-down work shifts to help other employees, said "Thanks for the genes, mom and dad". We all laughed thoroughly, because it was true. Consistently watching how hard our parents were, and still are, willing to work stands as a guidepost for us.

Although I'm not the lead for many of the projects currently underway, as EA I work to stay informed of all activities and goings-on in each aspect of the organization. It's not a matter of keeping busy but of being busy because of the organization's activity. In my role, I think it's necessary to see the whole picture and the details (forests AND trees). It may keep me on my toes but every day is something new. And as Bobby said this week, "we're busy every day"!

As has been the case for the last few months, we finish the week and can see we've covered significant ground in our plans. This weekend our ReStore management team is headed for a retreat. We've announced some big plans for Orillia, and there will be more announcements in the near future. The build rolls on in Espanola with great engagement from the community and the local chapter. And so much more...

So, thanks for the genes, Mom and Dad.

Be well, do good deeds and keep in touch,

From the CEO's Desk

Years ago, I taught my first continuing education night class. It was in the early days of desktop computers and I was teaching basic computer literacy. The course was a nightmare. For 14 weeks, three hours per week, I was the “expert” in the room and the sole target for 16 confused computing newbies.

My second outing as an instructor, and every outing since, I opened with an ice-breaker exercise that paired classmates, had them interview each other, and then had them introduce their partner to the class. Not only did everyone have at least one person to turn to other than me, the act of turning to each other made for a wonderful atmosphere of mutual support and shared learning.

As odd as it sounds, I end this week excitedly looking forward to a working weekend. Thanks to the planning efforts of the always amazing Meghan Smith, our ReStore management team, including our store managers, distribution centre manager, our two procurement officers, and our communications officer will gather at Deerhurst Resort this evening for a weekend-long planning and development program themed “Building a Million-Dollar ReStore.”

Of course an ice-breaker is planned for this evening, the first occasion when our team will be collected in one place. Saturday morning will be dedicated to discussion of HFHOGN’s overall direction, virtual tours of each ReStore, and sharing of experiences and challenges. Saturday afternoon, Emma Platts-Boyle, our former volunteer coordinator, will present an intensive training session on managing an in-store volunteer program.

On Sunday, Rob Voisin, Senior VP of ReStores and Product Support with Habitat Canada, and Marty Robinson, Rob’s Manager of ReStore Distribution Services will spend the day with the team, walking the group through “Ten Keys to a Successful ReStore.”

I’m excited by the learning I know every team member will take away from the weekend. But I’m even more excited by the thought that, come Monday, every one of our ReStore managers will have access to not only the substantial expertise Rob, Marty, and their fellow managers bring to the table, but also the benefits that inevitably flow from an atmosphere of mutual support and shared learning.

I wouldn’t feel right concluding this without mentioning that, thanks to our amazing team, and even before this weekend’s retreat, our January ReStore sales are already up 30 percent over last January. It’s going to be a fabulous weekend with a fabulous group of people!

Have a great week.

Habitat Heroes

Volunteers make Habitat for Humanity Gateway North great! So we wanted an opportuntiy to highlight some of the great volunteers in our ReStores across the region. Each month, we'll feature an exceptional volunteer, selected by peers, in our newsletter. Check out January 2016's Habitat Heroesbelow.

Bracebridge - George
What can I say about George - he is funny, outspoken, a great volunteer and a friend to everyone. We can rely on George to make the store look amazing with his great ideas (bags for the hardware!) and keeping the flooring section neat and tidy. George will always be our bag it and tag it guy and Flooring Master.
- Jessie Kozack
ReStore Manager, Bracebridge
Huntsville - Randy
Randy (right) is great volunteer that has put in many hours helping out the store and our wonderful customers. He is a wealth of knowledge and has a great understanding on how all things work, especially electrical equipment and appliances.  Randy is a great asset to the Huntsville ReStore and I know we are just as pleased as the customers to have him in our store.
- Justin Pritchard
ReStore Manager, Huntsville
Midland - Margaret
Cookie Margaret (our Midland ReStore Baker) has been a volunteer for over 2 years. Margaret has a warm smile, is very positive and is always quick to lend a hand.  We always look forward to her “do I have a story for you” statement. Margaret is open minded but not without a cheeky spirit and opinion of her own.
We are so grateful of Margaret’s time, energy and, of course, her cookies. Thank you Margaret, for your many volunteer hours, sense of humour and high spirit.
- Marg Hamelin
ReStore Manager, Midland
Orillia - Kirk
Kirk has been an Orillia ReStore volunteer for several years.  Each week he dedicates roughly 20 hours in store, assisting in all aspects of operations. Kirk is a valuable asset to the Orillia ReStore and Habitat for Humanity. Thanks for all your hard work Kirk!
-Randy Pauk and Christina Micallef
ReStore Manager, Orillia and Sales Associate
Sudbury - Aaron
Aaron always went above and beyond what was asked of him. He made sure customers were taken care of and brought a smile to everyone as soon as he walked through the doors. Aaron recently finished his volunteer term and we will miss him dearly at the Sudbury ReStore.
- Stephanie Long
ReStore Manager, Sudbury
Taking the Plunge!

David is taking the plunge!  That is… the Polar Bear plunge into Lake Couchiching during the Orillia Winter Carnival. All proceeds raised through the Polar Bear Dip will be directed to the Habitat Gateway North, Orillia Lake Country Chapter. You can witness this spectacle for yourself on Sunday, February 14 at 2:00 pm. For more information and directions, check the website: If you would like to see David jump in the lake, pledge forms are available through Donna ( note: cheques should be made payable to “The Orillia Winter Carnival”
Keeping the “Fun” in Fundraising with Donna

Another first for us all! Yesterday, several of those who wear the fundraising hat within our Chapters, chatted via conference call. This was the first time we had been in one conversation all together! It was truly inspiring to hear what each of the Chapters has up their fundraising sleeve.

From golf tournaments to poker rides to yard sales, some events are planned, and several other ideas were discussed. The conversation reminded me how lucky we are to have such a spirited group of fundraising volunteers. I was happy to be able to share the fundraising programs and events we are working on at our regional office and the one’s we will roll out to each Chapter.

Fundraising is not easy… especially these days. Let’s give each of them credit for the role they have taken on.  We will continue to have scheduled monthly chats. But, please know my fundraising door is open any time. You can reach me or 705-646-0106 x209.
Brick for Brick Mega Blocks Build

Mark Rodgers (above right), President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Canada, welcomes Donna Godfrey, Director of Development and Communications for Habitat Gateway North, to the Interior Design Show in Toronto on Friday January 22 to kick off the Brick for Brick Campaign. It took 35,000 mega blocks and 40 volunteers over 12 hours to build the house.
Putting the Fun in Finance

Sometimes, financial problems are easy to solve. And sometimes, they end up sounding like the photo on the right - complicated and non-sensical.

How can you make sense of your non-profit financial statements? Here are a few of the basics from Charity Village.

Lori Beecroft
Chief Financial Officer
N  E  W      D  A  T  E !

Thursday, June 16, 2016

F   O   R    E

The Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North Golf Classic
Presented by
North Granite Ridge Golf Club

For more information, contact:
 Hilary Kellam at: 705-646-0106x205 or OR
Graham Polmateer (North Granite Ridge)
Quote of the Week

"You can't plough a field simply by turning it over in your mind." - Gordon B. Hinckley

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