Saturday, April 16, 2016

HFH Gateway North News 15.04.2016

Serving Orillia Lake Country, North Simcoe, District of Muskoka, Parry Sound District, North Bay and Blue Sky Region and Sudbury District
“I never imagined myself doing what I’m doing now 20 years ago... it’s beyond us now, it’s about community. There is hope in our community.”

Lynn Martin volunteers with Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North as a member of the Parry Sound Chapter. Habitat volunteers come from all walks of life, and share their time for a variety of reasons. For Lynn, her inspiration came from seeing the desperation of a younger generation.

“I know a lot of young people are locked into the social housing scene,” Lynn said. “I know the effects of living in that scene. I see kids who don’t get the same opportunities. I thought there really is a need for Habitat. Everywhere.”

Lynn first heard about Habitat for Humanity in Parry Sound through friends who were involved in the local organization. She says she was encouraged by their dedication as they directed their skills, time and effort toward helping promote and create affordable homeownership.

“The people I’ve been involved with through Habitat are my friends now. We have a common goal and I think that makes a difference in friendships, and also I think there are other inspirations that come through that,” Martin said. “I’ve definitely grown as a person through my friendships.”

In helping others, we often help ourselves. Habitat for Humanity volunteers seek to develop within their community. The work does not exist inside a vacuum, and Habitat volunteers often walk away from their experiences noting personal development, growth and fulfillment.

“It’s another rung on the ladder I’ve climbed. It’s pride, there is a pride in homeownership, and there is a pride in helping a family to get there. I really feel good about it,” said Martin. “It’s about stepping outside of my comfort zone too. I’m really a shy person, but getting involved in activities like this it pushes me to be more vocal. It’s forcing me to grow as a person... I think that little push is important in development.”

For Lynn, the benefits of the Habitat model for local families really hit home during the key ceremony of the second Habitat house in Parry Sound. She watched on as a member of the first Parry Sound Habitat partner family presented a housewarming gift to the new homeowners.

“That really to me, was success. It was a touching and heartwarming moment. Talk about having a tear in your eye. I could see it was important to him, and it had made a difference in his life,” said Martin. “Their little girl, I think she’ll have a much more enriched life because they are Habitat homeowners.”
In This Issue:
* National Volunteer Week 2016
* Wonder Women
* From the CEO's Desk
* Port McNicoll Update
* Save the Dates
* Quote of the Week
The Newsreel: Quick Facts to Keep You Informed!
* Support our Bracebridge 2016 Women Build by donating online or joining our Women Build Team. Find out more by contacting usor calling (705) 646-0106 x205.
* 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!

Each year 13.5 million Canadians volunteer.  They volunteer not for recognition but because they believe better communities are built by sharing time, lending a hand, and actively participating in their community. That kind of commitment is worth celebrating!

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” – Aesop

This week is National Volunteer Week (April 10-16th); a week set aside for all of us to recognize the amazing contribution made daily by individuals in our community. This week we say a national, collective thank you, as volunteerism is something we all benefit from.  The theme for National Volunteer Week this year is "Volunteers are the roots of strong communities".

I discovered the theme for National Volunteer Week this year and smiled. At the heart of each and every non-profit, charity, community group and service club are individuals willing to work hard because they see the value in their effort. I see every day the benefits a community realizes from volunteers. Stocking shelves so people can eat, coaching a sport so a child builds self-esteem, planting a community garden so residents can enjoy the view, building a house so a family has somewhere safe and affordable to live.  The results are tangible, impactful and deeply felt. Much like a tree develops over time volunteerism resonates across generations.

The work performed by volunteers has such profound meaning. National Volunteer Week is one opportunity to truly share our appreciation for all volunteers but we should make a habit of thanking people more often. Every time a volunteer steps up, it's a chance for us to thank them. To be genuine. To be considerate. To be generous. To be appreciative. To say 'thank you' like we mean it and be specific about what we are thanking them for.

Thank you to everyone who volunteers with Habitat for Humanity, as builders, fundraisers, event organizers, ReStore associates, office assistants, Chapter members and Board Directors. You are inspiring! A thank you goes to all volunteers - YOUmake our communities strong. We are humbled and grateful for getting to know and work with a handful of the amazing individuals across Canada.

Be well, do good deeds and keep in touch,

Wonder Women

Ginger Barkey
Lori Beecroft
Tanya Blain
Marian Burdsall
Kelly Haywood
Carol MacLellan
From the CEO's Desk

I was very pleased earlier this week to announce our appointment of Randy Blain Construction Inc. of Huntsville as our 2016 build lead. Randy’s firm comes highly recommended and is the featured contractor on the Cottage Life TV show “Colin and Justin’s Cabin Pressure.”

While remaining at arm’s length, Randy will effectively act as our in-house project manager for this build season. Although our plans are naught but fluid, I’m anticipating Randy’s appointment is the first of what will become an annual and major appointment of a leading contractor in the regional construction industry. And while we’ll look to our appointee for project management skill, we’ll continue to directly employ a site supervisor to handle day-to-day management of our build sites, including working with our volunteers.  

I’m particularly conscious of the importance of project management in what will be a formative build season for HFHOGN. As I reported here several weeks ago, we are ratcheting up our game in terms of service to families. Eleven is our minimum target for the year. To accomplish this, and also previously reported, we’re moving to prefabricated framing panels through a partnership with Green Terra Homes of Trenton.

We have been working with Green Terra on preliminary plans for four-unit row housing. Half of the fourplex will be our “Model A” semi-detached and one-quarter will be our “Model A” single-family unit. The beauty is that, whether it’s a single, semi or fourplex, we’re building essentially the same unit over and over again. We are also planning to move to a blitz build approach that will allow us to project manage builds of shorter but more intensive durations.

I’ve had the good fortune over the last several months of being able to call upon the expertise of an informal construction council consisting of Pauline Robitaille from our North Simcoe Chapter, Hans de Vries from the Parry Sound Chapter, and Don Taylor from the former Habitat Muskoka. My aim is to bring the council together with Randy Blain and the blueprints due from Green Terra to generate our materials requirements as well as our strategy for pursuing the donation of gifts and services in kind. I’ll also be asking the group to define what exactly we mean by a “blitz” build.

As yet another Friday afternoon slips away, with the promise of spring finally and unmistakably in the air, I find myself excited and relieved in equal measure. After months of it being little more than a topic of discussion, build season is upon us!

Have a great week,

Port McNicoll Update

Renovations are happening at the Habitat house in Port McNicoll! Volunteers worked like a well oiled machine last Saturday getting the house ready for a new family. We will be hard at work again on April 23rd to finish up the repairs. The new family should be able to move into the home by months end.

The Port McNicoll home was built in 2006 by volunteers in our North Simcoe Chapter. When the first family moved on, Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North bought back the home. With some minor repairs and painting, the Port McNicoll home will be the first to serve a second family. The family will have a year to complete 500 hours of "sweat equity" - community service as part of their willingness to partner with Habitat.

Pictured: Jason Van Der Kooy - Midland Trim and Door, Dave Templeton + Assistant - Templeton Windows, Diane Waters - Lone Loon Finishings, Jay Waters, Robin Vornweg, Jeff Waters, Dan Quick - ReStore employee (not pictured: Chris Straw + Jack (his son) - Straw Electric)
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!

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/July - Women Build Bracebridge

July 2nd - Parry Sound Chapter's Annual Giant Yard Sale and Auction

July 15th - North Bay and Blue Sky Region Chapter Golf Tournament

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

October 1st - Amazing Race, North Bay and Blue Sky Region Chapter
2016 Build Season Lead

Quote of the Week

“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.” - Barack Obama

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