Friday, February 12, 2016

HFH Gateway North News 12.02.2016

Serving Orillia Lake Country, North Simcoe, District of Muskoka, Parry Sound District, North Bay and Blue Sky Region and Sudbury District
Bracebridge ReStore employees were thrilled to achieve their Hearts for Homes Campaign goal of $2,000 to support the 2016 Women Build in Bracebridge and share their success with the 2016 Women Build Team. From left: Darlene Cushman, Jessica Kozack, Aura Devy, Julie Bissonette, Melanie Marshall, Christine Brewer, Katrina Scarlett and Donna Godfrey.

Hearts for Homes 2016

The Hearts for Homes Campaign in Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North ReStores began on February 1st and will end tomorrow (February 13th) at 4pm. We have received tremendous support from customers, volunteers and employees and have raised approximately $3,200 collectively in the last 12 days. We would like to extend a sincere thank you to everyone who has contributed to the Hearts for Homes Campaign which will help us serve families in need across our region. Don't forget to give a hearttomorrow if you haven't yet. Happy Valentine's Day!
In This Issue:
* Hearts for Homes 2016
* From the CEO's Desk
* Habitat Homeowner Testimonial
* Make Home Ownership a Reality Brick for Brick
* ReStore Kitchen Donated to Syrian Refugee Group
* Parry Sound Chapter Update
* From the Community
* Save the Dates
* Quote of the Week
The Newsreel: Quick Facts to Keep You Informed!
* Our Espanola Build rolls on! Stay up to date with photos and more at the Habitat for Humanity - Espanola Build Facebook Page.
* 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 Habitat Gateway North!

This week, as the temperature dropped and the snow started to fly, I cleaned my apartment. Now I know what you're thinking...  "that sounds thrilling. Who likes cleaning?" The act of cleaning is by no means a favourite hobby of mine. However, the organization that comes from cleaning and being able to step back and say "ah, look at that" is beyond rewarding.

As I began to go through clothes and search through the depths of closets, I created three piles of goods: trash, keepsakes and giveaways (I was being organized with my organizing). Sorting pieces of your past life into piles can feel both disheartening and exciting. There are activities that never panned out (knitting that headband) and cherished momentos from trips and events (the summer of concerts was a great one). Categorizing items as I cleaned became both a trip down memory lane and an exercise in possibility.

Items started to pile up but only really in two of the piles - keepsakes and giveaway. Maybe it's a result of working with Habitat for Humanity and the ReStore, but I found myself finding possibility in items. Possibility because the items still held value or there was life left in the them and possibility of what could be created from them (a scrapbook of the summer of concerts is underway).

Whether you love organizing or not, there are times when it's necessary to clean house. When all was said and done, I had a large box of great items to donate, a smaller box of keepsakes and a small bag with just a few items for the trash. Just because I can't use something (or possess the skills to reinvent something) doesn't mean someone else can't see the possibility.

Oh, and if you're full of possibility but are in search of a new project, our ReStores are a treasure trove just waiting to be explored.

Be well, do good deeds and keep in touch,

From the CEO's Desk

A number of years ago, I came to one of those forks in life’s road: sign-on for the longer-term as CEO of Habitat Kamloops or run for nomination as a provincial candidate in my home riding of Kingston and the Islands. Perhaps I should have chosen the former, but I chose the latter, lost, and came away with nothing more than an amazing year-long education.

Prior to my nomination bid, I’d managed campaign communications at all three levels of our political system, but as I discovered, there’s a universe of difference in putting words in a candidate’s mouth and having those words spill forth from your own. The themes I found difficult to articulate in the early days of the eight-month campaign coalesced with each outing. By nomination day, my “stump speech” and the thinking behind it were second-nature.

My week was highlighted by two political outings: a presentation to Tay Township Council on Wednesday and a meeting with Orillia’s mayor and economic development officer on Thursday. These meetings come on the heels of a similar discussion last week with District of Muskoka community service officials.

My sense is that the world is changing. I suspect few, if any, municipal governments would, at this juncture, claim indifference to the issue of affordable housing and the economic disparity that is at very least a characteristic if not a root cause of the housing issue. I’m finding with each discussion, my sense of the nuanced nature of the partnership HFHOGN can and must form with municipal government coalesces and is more readily articulated.

We don’t need the donation of municipal land to Habitat and/or the waiver of development fees, per se. We need partnerships in which we put affordable housing on surplus municipal lands – housing that will forever more remain in the community’s affordable housing inventory; housing that generates property tax revenue for the municipality; housing that breaks the cycle of poverty, potentially lessening the demand for geared-to-income municipal housing for generations to come; housing that generates mortgage proceeds, every penny of which is invested in more housing.

I’m conscious that my thinking around this partnership hasn’t fully coalesced, so my stump speech is still rough. And yet, the last week of meetings suggests this subtle shift in partnering could present an opportunity that’s every bit as exciting to area municipal governments as it is to HFHOGN. The thinking and stumping continues.

Have a great Family Day and week.

Habitat Homeowner Testimonial

“I've never been so excited to pay something because it's going towards our amazing house instead of someone's pocket. Thank you and the entire Habitat community sincerely for choosing us for this opportunity”.

Winter King
North Simcoe Habitat Homeowner since November 2015

Make Home Ownership A Reality Brick for Brick

The “Brick for Brick” campaign, a national fundraising program through Habitat Canada, officially kicked off in January. It is a year-long, national fundraiser that provides an ideal opportunity for you to take part. The campaign aims to drive traffic to our website, that in turn will result in donors choosing to buy bricks to help build houses, ie. 1 brick=$25, 2 bricks= $50, etc. You may have even seen the Brick for Brick ad on TV. It is very touching and worth sharing. Take a minute to watch it at or on our website at

Mega Bloks Canada, a Habitat sponsor, helped to kick off the campaign in Toronto at the Interior Design Show in January, where Habitat Canada was the partnering charity. As part of the event, the team created a 20’ x 13’ deep, life-sized mega blok house using 37,965 mega bloks in 11 colours, taking 12+ hours and 35+ volunteers. Donna Godfrey, HFHOGN's Director of Development and Communications, had the pleasure of attending the show, witnessing for herself this very intriguing spectacle and she was not disappointed!

How Can You Promote the Brick for Brick Campaign?
  • Add our website to the signature line in your emails by copying "Find out about Brick for Brick at"
  • Share the Brick for Brick Campaign video -
  • Add our website to any marketing materials such as posters, signage, or letters
  • Post on your social media - Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, wherever!
  • Ensure you share our website whenever you can!
For more information, please contact: Donna Godfrey, Director of Development and Communications at 705-646-0106 x209 or
ReStore Kitchen Donated to Syrian Refugee Group

Soon, a family of Syrian Refugees will start a new life in Huntsville.

Thanks to the work of the Syrian Refugee Sponsorship group (SRS Huntsville), the Huntsville community, and various generous donations, a family of seven will soon call the Trinity United Church Manse their home.

"We are in great shape to welcome the family. We have accommodation all ready and our fundraising goal of $60,000 has been reached. In fact, the $60,000 was raised without any active fundraising by the group and is the result of the generous support of the Huntsville community."

Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North is proud to have donated a full-kitchen (uppers, lowers, and cabinets) to SRS Huntsville as part of the Manse renovations. The kitchen came from the Bracebridge ReStore, and will now act as a gathering place and utility to serve families for the years to come.

"This has been a great example of people coming together and offering whatever they have to help those less fortunate. It has been a true community effort. We are so appreciative of each and every offer of support."

Two travel-weary parents and their five children will enter Canada as refugees, but they will enter the United Church Manse as neighbours.

Contact SRS Huntsville by at www.srshuntsville.comby email, or call 705-789-0997.
Parry Sound Chapter Update

On Friday, January 22, 2016 Habitat for Humanity’s annual “Hockey Hat Trick Raffle” winners were drawn at the Legion. The first-prize of platinum premium tickets was won by Christine Kendalpic of Newmarket. The second prize by Gord and Mary Gair of Gravenhurst and the third by Parry Sound’s very own, Shannon Lynn, who cannot wait to see these Leafs turn around their losing streak.

We are in the process of buying another property in Parry Sound with the plan to build two Habitat houses (duplexes) in the near future. A partnership has been established with Green Terra, a modular home manufacturer in Trenton, ON. This partnership will supply HFHOGN Chapters with homes that can be built within a very short time, and come ready for different levels of completion.

Our last project involved renovating a house on old Hwy # 69. This was completed in November of last year and the Holmes-Bernas family, with their four children (pictured above at the home dedication ceremony), are now living in their own home. They are looking forward to their first spring and summer in their new house.

In order to be able to build more houses we are looking for additional volunteers.We also want to increase awareness of Habitat in our community and urge anyone to become a member of our chapter. We are looking for members for our steering committee or any one of our sub-committees. Volunteers are the key to our success, not just at the building site but also in the roles of supplying lunches, purchasing and delivery of materials, participating in fundraising activities, media and communications, selection and guidance of families and much more.

Retired, semi-retired or just willing to contribute to our community? Come out and have some fun. Please contact our volunteer coordinator, Jo Ann Poglitsh at (705) 746-5570or or Hans de Vries at (705) 774-0994 or

Coming Events

Similar to the last three years, Habitat for Humanity will be part of the Dragon Boat Festival this summer by supplying volunteers, hopefully a dragon boat team, and an info-stand. Contact us if you want to join a winning dragon boat team or would like to volunteer at the event.

Looking for some great finds?  Join us for our annual Giant Yard Sale and Auction on June 24 and 25. Again, we need lots of volunteers for the days leading up to the event, during and after. The yard sale takes place at Dunn’s Storage parking lot and basement (next to the Beer Store) and will feature tools, building materials, appliances, a variety of household items, furniture and much more … something for everyone! If you would like to donate items to the yard sale, please contact our yard sale coordinator, Ab Fuller at705-346-2697. Please note that we do not accept clothing, mattresses or broken items.

SAVE THE DATE for our final and biggest event of 2016. Join us on the golf course at Rocky Crest on Monday, September 12 for dinner, silent auction and great fun with friends and colleagues.  Please contact Keith Mowling at 705-378-5215 for more information.

In closing, I would like to thank the many volunteers and businesses who have been donating time, effort, materials and money to our projects. We hope to see more of you joining us in our efforts to create more affordable housing in the Parry Sound district for deserving families who would otherwise not be able to afford owning their own home.

Hans de Vries
Chair, Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North Parry Sound Chapter.
From the Community

It's a pleasure to shop at the Bracebridge ReStore, with such a friendly and outgoing atmosphere. Making their customers feel so welcome and to see a team work so well together and provide such wonderful customer service. This is one of the most organized stores that we have visited and we have visited numerous stores. Out of all we have visited Bracebridge is our number one! It is clean, organized, decorated for the different holidays, advertises different events happening within the store and what Habitat for Humanity is doing in the community and events they are promoting for the community. Jessica keeps this place in tip top shape, always trying her best in ways to improve and make more efficient space and the place to move items. Her efforts and hard work shows and she should be proud of what she does. Bobby keeps the back hopping, the product coming and works well hand in hand with Jessica. This team works all round well together and it shows in this store. They should be proud of their accomplishments.

We are regulars in the Bracebridge ReStore and will continue to be. We are happy to be one of the valued customers of this store. See you this week, next week and the week after...

Carolyn & Angela Hockin
Satisfied Customers of the Bracebridge ReStore
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

June 24th/25th - Parry Sound Chapter's Annual Giant Yard Sale and Auction

September 12th - Parry Sound Chapter Golf Tournament at Rocky Crest Golf Club
Quote of the Week

"Compassionate people are geniuses in the art of living, more necessary to the dignity, security, and joy of humanity than the discoverers of knowledge." - Albert Einstein

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