Saturday, March 12, 2016

HFH Gateway North News 11.03.2016

From left to right: Branka Moore, Julie Bissonette, Donna Godfrey, Hilary Kellam, Katrina Scarlett, Melanie Marshall

International Women's Day

Little did we know that Habitat had its own Super Woman!  We found out on Tuesday March 8th as our Habitat for Humanity Women Build Team celebrated International Women's Day with the YWCA Muskoka crew and many other amazing women at the Rene Caisse Theatre in Bracebridge. YWCA Muskoka held their 6th Annual Women in Film Festival, which had a superhero theme. Our Habitat team enjoyed speaking to women, and a few men, before the festival began about our Bracebridge Women Build this summer. Many women eagerly signed up to volunteer and were excited by the idea of a female crew building a home for local families in need. A big thank you goes out to YWCA Muskoka for inviting our team to this wonderful and engaging event!
In This Issue:
* International Women's Day
* From the CEO's Desk
* Women Build Team
* Orillia ReStore Relocation
* ReStore Garden Dragonflies
* 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 newsletterhere!
Hello Habitat Gateway North Community!

This week has felt a bit like working on that giant 2500 piece puzzle which takes an entire summer to complete. A detailed scene with sky and trees and farmland and some pieces which you are certain should fit but just aren't quite right. It's a process to sift through and, slowly but surely, have the puzzle match the picture on the box.

It's a small victory to have two pieces fit together after many trials and hours of searching. Having that "aha!" moment is priceless when you've been staring at the same pieces for a few days. That's what was happening this week - small victories on the way to the bigger picture.

The Women Build Team that met this week was one piece fitted into place as team members discussed fundraising opportunities and plans for the process. Sitting at the table, I could feel the energy from such a dynamic and engaged group of local women. I cannot wait to see this group run with their Women Build project!

A personal victory was sorting out an IT solution for Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North which will include the ability to schedule meetings, share documents, work remotely and collaboratively, store photos and more. The implementation is another piece still finding it's way into the picture.

My tactic was always to work on the outline of the puzzle first, and then work my way in. I can see the outline for Habitat Gateway North's summer 2016 activities. It's an impressive looking picture so far...

Be well, do good deeds and keep in touch,

From the CEO's Desk

I find it interesting to reflect on how much story-telling has dominated activity in the affiliate office over the last couple of weeks.

On Monday evening of this week, we did a presentation to Orillia’s municipal council in support of a request we’ve made for the donation of a couple of lots in the city. We expect to have a response to that request in early April.

The presentation is the latest iteration of our “elevator speech,” as it’s come to be called of late in pop business writing (“bizspeak” as I less-than-affectionately call it!) – a presentation we had been formulating for the prior couple of weeks. I actually prefer to think of the presentation as a political stump speech, in that our objective is to continue distilling the key elements of the story that most clearly engage and resonate with our audience.

Siri Hustvedt, one of my favourite novelists and essayists, points out that great storytelling isn’t about spoon-feeding an audience, it’s about painting just enough of a scene that the listener fills in the blanks (Stuart McLean does this brilliantly on CBC’s Vinyl Café). I again sawon Monday evening that addressing Habitat’s benefit to our partner families isn’t nearly as powerful as simply mentioning the participation of our partner family children in extra-curricular arts and sports programs increases. Few caring adults have difficulty filling in the rest of the story.

This week, our story-telling has been focused on our planned July Women Build in Bracebridge. Habitat build projects have to also be fundraising events, and our target is $100,000 with the Women Build. A key element, then, is telling the Habitat story in such a way that it engages and resonates with women, and leaves them keen to contribute their time and dollars.

It struck me earlier in the week that the commitment to Habitat that I see in our remarkable volunteers and that I’ve seen in the remarkable volunteers with whom I’ve worked and built in other affiliates and geographical areas is a deeply personal one. It’s enticing to believe clever marketing will allow us to mobilize community as our mission statement demands of us. It’s a more noble challenge and a far richer reward to engage community at the level of our shared humanity.

We’ll keep working on the story-telling.

Have a great week,

Women Build Team

Our Women Build Team for our Bracebridge 2016 build met again this week to discuss project planning, fundraising and more.

Women Build is an opportunity for women of all ages and abilities to join Habitat for Humanity in building a safe, decent home for a hard-working local family. Women Build is not about excluding men, it's about engaging and empowering women in yet another form of community and personal development. No experience is necessary, just a commitment to having fun and making a difference.

Help us raise funds for our first ever Women Build in Bracebridge! Join for the friendships. Join for the fun. Join for the skill building. Join Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North's Women Build Bracebridge 2016!

Get involved now by donating online, calling Donna at (705) 646-0106 x209 or emailing us
David Morris, right, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North, is pictured with Will Zaraska, landlord of the future home of the local agency's ReStore on James Street West in Orillia.

Orillia ReStore Relocation

MEHREEN SHAHID, Orillia Packet & Times

Habitat for Humanity's local ReStore will move into a new home in Orillia this summer.

"It's a great location," David Morris, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North, said of the 9,200-square-foot warehouse at 220 James St. W. "It's a very affordable location for us. We've signed a long-term lease, which reflects our confidence in the landlord and location and, in turn, I think it reflects the landlord's confidence in us. We think it's absolutely perfect for a ReStore, because of the fast-food lane here along Memorial Avenue."

Read the full story from The Orillia Packet & Times here.

ReStore Garden Dragonflies

Often customers in the ReStore are looking for items for a project. It might be a home renovation, or it could be repurposing an item for something completely different. I'm always intrigued to hear what ideas people are working on!

I always ask our customers to share photos of their new creations and this week, Wayne did! Wayne purchased several sets of ceiling fan blades from our Sudbury ReStore to create dragonfly garden art. They're fun, quirky and not too difficult!

If you have a creation to share, send it to us via email. We love to see your creativity at work!

Stephanie Long
ReStore Manager - Sudbury
Quote of the Week

"You can do what I cannot do. I can do what you cannot do. Together we can do great things." - Mother Teresa

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