Saturday, August 6, 2016

HFH Gateway North News 05.08.2016

Serving Orillia Lake Country, North Simcoe, District of Muskoka, Parry Sound District, North Bay and Blue Sky Region and Sudbury District
Biking for Builds Detour Group Ride
A huge thank you to the participants and donors of the Biking for Builds Detour Group Ride on Sunday, July 31st. Over $3,000 was raised by those involved. We thought it was a great way to spend a Sunday! Special thanks to Muskoka Brewery and The Bike Shop in Gravenhurst for spearheading this event. We're looking forward to 2017!
In This Issue:
* Biking for Builds Detour Group Ride
* Two Doors Down from the CEO’s Desk
* Hods & Sods
* Katrine Country Music Jamboree
* Sudbury ReStore BBQ
* North Bay Amazing Race
* Health & Safety Tip of the Week
* Save the Dates
* Quote of the Week
The Newsreel: Quick Facts to Keep You Informed!
* Support our 2016 build projects across the region by donating online at
* Our Espanola Build rolls on! Stay up to date with photos and more at the Habitat for Humanity - Espanola Build Facebook Page.
* 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 Brick for Brick campaign
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Hello Habitat Gateway North!

I'm back to work for a short week after a week of summer vacation. I don't believe I've had the pleasure of saying I'm on summer vacation since high school. While I didn't venture too far away, it was a perfect opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the place I call home.

While the first day back from a holiday can always be a shock to the system, I felt productive on Tuesday. While of course there was a lot to catch up on, there was also forward motion and progress in my week.

Mid-week I had the opportunity to view the first draft of our "movie" and WOW. I can't wait to show everyone the amazing work of Starshine Video Productions and the wonderful stories our volunteers have shared with The Artful Garden as the backdrop.

Our Orillia ReStore is less than two weeks out from its official Grand Opening on August 17th but I've heard nothing but great reports. Donna and her team are knocking initial sales targets out of the park and they have seen many new and friendly faces coming in to check out the store.

If you haven't been by the Bracebridge ReStore this week (or last week), the store is undergoing some reconfiguration to spice things up. While we apologize for the mess, we're excited to revamp the store and keep things fresh. We'll still have all of your favourite treasures - but they may be in a different corner of the store!

On the build front, I came back to emails and phone messages of individuals and groups looking to participate on our builds and help however they can. It never gets old to hear from community members who want to get involved. If you've put your name in the hat to help on our Huntsville build, you'll be hearing from us in the near future about volunteer needs on site (yes, of course we want your help!).

Of course, there was paperwork too. Signatures to collect, manuals in need of revision and review, permits to fill out. And emails, lots and lots of emails. Nothing says you're back from vacation quite like a stack of paperwork and a (pretty) full inbox. However, this week there seemed to be a rhythm that was easy to fall back into.

Much like other vacations I've taken, it's nice to get away, but it's just as nice to come home. After a week of "staycation", this week has been productive, rewarding and it feels like home.

Be well, do good deeds and keep in touch,

Two Doors Down from the CEO’s Desk

The boss-man is out of the office for the week, so it’s high-time I write one of these bad boys. Cheers:

This week (technically last week, but with our Friday deadline we are often delayed in sharing news from the weekend) was highlighted by the inaugural summer Biking for Builds Detour Group Ride. Now, I have someone in my life who hates the word inaugural, or the preface “first-annual.” She always comments “let’s get through the first one before we start making promises.” Pretty sage advice, but in this case we’d be senseless not to shout it from the rooftops. One is done, and there will be more. I was off-the-grid camping during the group ride, but I’ve heard nothing but good remarks from all parties involved. Even during a meeting in Orillia one gentleman brought up the ride, unprompted, and mentioned how much fun his family had on the 30 km route.

As we often remind people the first line of Habitat’s mission statement is “to mobilize volunteers and community partners.” Muskoka Brewery and The Bike Shop in Gravenhurst both really put their stamp on this event, with additional support from the Town of Bracebridge and Moose FM. All were a joy to work with and there’s no hesitation (planning has already begun) – we’ll see you next year!

Secondly, I’ve now been to two “Adopt-A-Days” over the span of two weeks. One in Huntsville with a group from Mondelez International, and one in Espanola with Team RBC. Basically, a business donates money to the build and then picks a day to send a group of employees to volunteer their time, effort and sweat. In Huntsville it was ICF Foundation, in Espanola it was painting, carpentry and backbreaking landscaping and gravel work. I've made three observations from those two events:

1. Physical labour breaks us down.

I’m not just talking in a physical sense. Of course, I’m sure some of those volunteers went back to the office a little sore. I’m talking about the openness and camaraderie the build site inspires. I’m certain it’s intuitive. A bunch of team members working together towards a common goal. Everyone working with differing strengths and weaknesses, but leaning on each other to get through the day. Problem solving, collaborative thinking, the lack of any and all pretense. Hard physical work really is a shell-buster.

2. Never underestimate office workers.

The weekend warrior. It’s real. In both of these cases I didn’t expect the groups to get done half of what they accomplished in under four hours. Perhaps I’m projecting my own skill and competence unto them, but it’s a happy surprise. In any case, it’s a great learning environment. I found myself preaching the benefits of ICF foundation to my uncle-in-law and making plans to build a deck in the fall. I still don’t know what I’m talking about, or have the skill necessary to pull the deck off – but I’m closer than I was two weeks prior.

3. Many hands make light work.

This one is a little obvious. Nevertheless, it was neat to see six co-workers squat down and lift a deck frame across the front yard of the Espanola build. I’m sure two enterprising individuals could have struggled it over, but the six of them made it look like light as a feather. Whether it’s moving lumber piles or spreading a pile of gravel with shovels – they make it look easy because they build together.

Wow, what a ramble! David is back next week to bring some eloquence back to this space.

Espanola (159 & 163 Adelaide St.; semi-detached; underway): The team from RBC completed some necessary tasks to keep our Espanola build rolling forward - deck-building, painting and gravel laying. The exterior of the home still requires siding and final landscaping. Inside, we're currently on hold while duct work is being completed for the heating system before we can finish the flooring and trim.

Huntsville (11 Irene St.; semi-detached; underway): On Tuesday Redneck Concrete Pumping of Huntsville generously provided their services to pour the foundation. Randy Blain and his crew are off on a construction holiday for the week, so the foundation is settled and ready for a busy week of build activity starting August 7th. Randy wants to get the floor in place, the foundation back-filled, and the site leveled in advance of erecting the prefabricated wall sections from Green Terra Homes.

Orillia (499 Bay St.; semi-detached; permitting): Still in the early phase of permitting, we're excited to get back to building in Orillia. With a mid-August target for excavation, stay tuned for our official ground breaking ceremony announcement.
Espanola Build Flooring Donation

Stephanie, Sudbury ReStore Manager stands with Nicole in front of the flooring donated to the Espanola build by Nicole and her husband.
Health & Safety Tip

Be aware of potential hazards in the workplace. Simply being aware can be the difference in preventing injuries. Despite the best practices and efforts of a dedicated workplace Health & Safety program, awareness remains a key contributing factor and tool in preventing accidents.

Before performing any activity take a moment to recognize any hazards. Common hazards can be prevented by simply slowing down and thinking through the task at hand. Am I wearing the proper safety equipment? Should I ask for help lifting this object? Do I have the proper training to perform this task safely?  Is there a tripping hazard nearby? Can that driver see me if I walk here? Is it sanitary to perform this task?

Often, these simple questions are ignored because people feel rushed, are in the trance of routine, or believe them to be simple common sense and unimportant. However, it’s this apathy and detachment that can lead to an unsafe workplace for all involved. So, take a moment and think through the task. Perform the task safely or refuse the task if it’s impossible to do so. Be safe each and every time.

- Brian Ingram, Health & Safety Coordinator
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!

August 6th - Katrine Country Music Jamboree

August 17th - Orillia ReStore hosts the Orillia Chamber After 5

August 20th - Orillia ReStore Grand Opening Celebration

August 25th - Huntsville ReStore hosts the Huntsville Lake of Bays Chamber After Hours

August 26th - Habitat for Humanity BBQ at the Sudbury ReStore

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

October 1st - Amazing Race, North Bay and Blue Sky Region Chapter
Quote of the Week

"Take time for all things: great haste makes great waste." - Benjamin Franklin

1 comment:

Jacque Ojadidi said...
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