Sunday, February 7, 2016

HFH Gateway North News 05.02.2016

Serving Orillia Lake Country, North Simcoe, District of Muskoka, Parry Sound District, North Bay and Blue Sky Region and Sudbury District
ReStore Management Retreat

Our management team had a weekend full of team building, volunteer management training and so much more. A thank you to the staff who kept the ReStores running while our managers were otherwise occupied.

A huge thank you to Emma Platts-Boyle for providing some wonderfully engaging volunteer management ideas, tips and activities and for leaving our managers with an effective plan for volunteer recruitment, training and management.

Special thanks to Rob Voisin and Marty Robinson for trekking up to Muskoka and sharing their wisdom with our team. As a relatively new group of managers, having an opportunity to discuss ReStore successes and challenges with members of the national team was invaluable. Our team are ready to be game changers!

Back Row: Kevin Manley, Community Development Officer; Stephanie Long, ReStore Manager - Sudbury; Cora-Lee Ertler, Community Development Officer; Marg Hamelin, ReStore Manager - Midland; Bobby Allard, Distribution Centre Mananger; Paul Jones, ReStore Manager; Meghan Smith, Executive Assistant; Randy Pauk, ReStore Manager - Orillia.
Front Row: Justin Pritchard, ReStore Manager - Huntsville; Rob Voisin, VP ReStore and Product Support for HFHC; Marty Robinson, Director of ReStore Support for HFHC; Jessie Kozack, ReStore Manager - Bracebridge; David Morris, CEO.
In This Issue:
* Hearts for Homes
* ReStore Management Retreat
* From the CEO's Desk
* North Bay Poker Ride
* Save the Dates
* Volunteer Spotlight
* Quote of the Week
The Newsreel: Quick Facts to Keep You Informed!
* Habitat Canada has launched the Brick for Brick Campaign. Watch for details on Habitat Gateway North's involvement next week. For full details on the campaign
* Stay up to date on our Espanola 2016 Build and follow the latest on Facebook: Habitat for Humanity - Espanola Build
* Check out the most recent news stories on our website to stay in the know!
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 Habitat Gateway North!

At the close of our retreat last weekend, our final exercise was each individual sharing their top three takeaways - what they had learned and how they would apply it in their role. I always find it fascinating to hear so many different perspectives. We all sat through the same sessions, participated in the same discussions and had the same amount of time to process all of the information. The range of answers is enlightening, for showcasing snippets you may have missed or for offering an alternative viewpoint on a challenge.

The weekend focussed heavily on ReStores - procurement, volunteer management, staff training and development and use of available resources. While some of the ideas were new to me, with the focus being on ReStores, I had a chance to view the weekend with a different lense. To be perfectly honest, a lot of my weekend was people watching.

The interactions I witnessed over the weekend, in addition to all of the scheduled learning, led me to three takeaways from the retreat. It may have taken me the week to process them, but here they are:

1. When people come together, amazing things happen.
2. Sometimes, the simplest answer is the best.
3. Building relationships (and partnerships) is priceless.

I feel, based on my takeaways alone, this was a weekend well spent. I know each member of our team walked away with a different set of takeaways, just as valuable. The ReStores walk a unique line of supporting Habitat for Humanity's mission while not being directly involved in building homes. However, "mobilizing volunteers and community partners"... on that part of the mission our ReStores aim to overachieve.

Be well, do good deeds and keep in touch,

From the CEO's Desk

Our friend Alfred Nikolai of Habitat Edmonton offers the observation that sleepovers are one of the most important benefits a Habitat home offers our partner family children – the ability to welcome friends as overnight guests.

Thanks to a seemingly endless sleepover, interrupted only by school nights, Marian and I acquired two additional sons over the years. Marian refers to Callum and Alex as our two extra boys. They, in turn, refer to me as “Shank the Overseer,” a term not necessarily originating in endearment, concocted in their early teens, at the mid-point of a week-long boys’ canoe trip from Kingston to Ottawa.

It might have been my necessarily incessant, “Paddle, boys. Okay, paddle again, boys.” Or, for boys who grew up without a father at home, it might have been the dawning recognition I was dead serious when I said, “I’m not your mommy. If ya’ don’t cook, ya’ don’t eat.”

The boys are in their mid-twenties now, busy forging their adult lives. Our contact is sporadic, but I had a message from Alex last weekend. He and his betrothed are about to put their Hamilton East starter home on the market. Before it’s sold, he’d like us to see his achievements in home renovations.

There was another message at mid-week, our youngest son letting us know Callum’s somewhat estranged father had died suddenly. The boys will gather around Callum in Toronto this weekend, and we’ll gather around our boys, biological and extra, as they deal for the first time with the harshest of life’s facts.

At week’s end, I find myself contemplating the astuteness of Alfred’s observation and the richness that childhood sleepovers brought into our home and lives. “Habitat for Humanity: Building Homes, Building Hope, Building Sleepovers.” It might be worth considering.

Have a great week.

North Bay and Blue Sky Region Chapter Poker Ride 2016

Join the North Bay and Blue Sky Region Chapter Poker Ride 29016 on February 27th for a great day of fun on the trails! The ride starts are The Portage, Peninsula Rd., North Bay and OFSC Trail Permit required to participate.

12:00 p.m. Registration & Chili Lunch
1:00 p.m. Ride start
5:00 p.m. Post-ride Dinner - Spaghetti with meat sauce and garlic toast
*Silent auction throughout the evening.

$40 per person (includes lunch and dinner)

Contact us for more details or call (705) 495-6244.
Save the Dates

We have several events already scheduled for this year, run by our Chapter Committees and third party groups. So mark your calendars or contact us to get involved!
February 27th - North Bay Poker Ride 2016

June 11th - Band on the Run in support of Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North

June 16th - Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North Golf Classic presented by North Granite Ridge Golf Club

June 23rd - North Bay and Blue Sky Region Chapter Golf Tournament

September 12th - Parry Sound Chapter Golf Tournament at Rocky Crest Golf Club
Volunteer Spotlight

Allan McLeod is a retired school superintendent and skilled craftsman who makes beautiful hand crafted cutting boards for the Bracebridge ReStore to sell on a regular basis. He uses Muskoka wood to create all of his cutting boards. Allan generously donates his time and  finished products to the Bracebridge ReStore at no cost. The cutting boards are priced  between $40 and $60 depending on their size. They definitely make wonderful gifts! Allan encourages any skilled craftspeople to donate their time and finished products to any of our Habitat for  Humanity Ontario Gateway North ReStores as customers appreciate hand made gifts and ReStore employees are always thrilled to receive donations.
Quote of the Week

"If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary." - Jim Rohn

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