Friday, August 12, 2016

HFH Gateway North News 12.08.2016

Serving Orillia Lake Country, North Simcoe, District of Muskoka, Parry Sound District, North Bay and Blue Sky Region and Sudbury District
In This Issue:
* Volunteers Needed
* Partner Family Update
* Two Doors Down...
* Hods & Sods
* Burk's Falls Country Jamboree
* Camp Canoe at the Bracebridge ReStore
* Sudbury ReStore BBQ
* North Bay Amazing Race
* Save the Dates
* Health & Safety Tip
* 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
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!

The end of July marked the one year anniversary of publishing our weekly newsletter, HFH Gateway North News. When David joined us as Interim CEO, one of his first orders of business was to increase communication about Habitat, both internally and externally.

A year later, I know more than a few times I've scratched my head on Friday mornings and said, "so what can I write about this week?" However, as I looked back through past newsletters this week, I saw nothing but progress. If you've missed any,check out the Newsletter section of our website to read past issues.

"The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion it has taken place." - George Bernard Shaw

Any staff and volunteers will agree when I say it's an uphill battle explaining what exactly Habitat for Humanity does. Our brand and logo are incredibly well recognized. How our program works? Not so much.

In any business or not-for-profit it's easy to fall into the trap of communicating from the inside out. Using metrics, acronyms and slang is fine when your audience is a group of staff members who have heard it all before. When your audience is community members and new volunteers, speaking in jargon does no good.

In reviewing our newsletters, as well as in office discussions this week, I noticed the evolution and refinement of our communication - the change in the language we use to describe what we do. My favourite language change?

Mortgage Revenue = Partner Family Contribution

It can't be overlooked that a major portion of our build fund is there because of our partner families. It's the essence of community building at work - families helping families.

Habitat homes are not given for free, or decided in a lottery. Hard working partner families contribute to their future success and to the success of future partner families.

Changing the language from banker to community not-for-profit doesn't change how the process works. We've just made a small change to describe what it is we work for. After a year of writing this weekly column, I can see it's those small changes that add up to big momentum.

Be well, do good deeds and keep in touch,

Partner Family Update

One of our North Simcoe partner families has a big change coming this fall. Their daughter Santana is heading to Queen's University this fall and is enrolled in a double major for English and Dramatic Arts. I can’t help but think that having a safe, decent and affordable place to call home paves the foundation for a healthy learning environment. Go Santana Go!

This is why we do what we do.

Kate Arnold, Chair
Family Selection & Partnering
North Simcoe Chapter
Two Doors Down . . . 

Well, I’ve made a huge mistake.

It turns out, if you steal someone’s column for one week, he may make you do it every week. So here we go again . . .

Let’s talk about the “Fund for Humanity.” If you’re like me you’re reading that and thinking “well, that’s an overtly daunting name.” And, if you’re like most people – even people involved with Habitat for Humanity – you don’t know what it means. We discussed this a lot throughout the week.

Basically, the “Fund for Humanity” is the Habitat Homeowners funding future Habitat builds. Each mortgage payment made by Habitat homeowners is earmarked for build expenses, and will not be touched for any other projects or initiatives. Despite the harrowing cries of the marketing team during budget meetings.

And I didn’t even really need to say “basically” because that’s the whole Fund. Habitat homeowner mortgages contribute to further Habitat builds. A Tragically Hip lyric comes to mind: “There’s no simple explanation for anything important.” Fine Gord, I’ll break it down.

For explanation’s sake, let’s say the average Habitat homeowner makes a payment of $500 monthly toward their interest-free mortgage. That $500 is immediately invested into the “Fund for Humanity.” Over the course of 12 months that is $6,000. Now, Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North currently has 42 Habitat homeowners contributing to the Fund. So if we take that number, and assume each family is paying our randomly stipulated average of $500-a-month payment, and then run the numbers for a calendar year . . .

(Disclaimer the following math was conducted by a communications officer and his phone calculator.)

It looks something like this:

$500 x 12 = $6,000
$6,000 x 42= $252,000

That $252,000 could build a semi-detached home for two more hardworking families. With some change leftover. And then those two families would contribute to the ever-growing Fund.

Now let’s go a bit further. Let’s say someone in the community donates $100,000 toward a Habitat for Humanity build in our region. That money doesn’t run out when the home is built. It lives on through the families who, because they are now able to experience homeownership and pay a mortgage, are contributing to the Fund for Humanity. The original donation of $100,000 doesn’t just help build one home, but every Habitat home from that day forward.

The “Fund for Humanity” is a striking name. I’m smirking a little typing it out, but there’s no denying it’s an inspiring and ingenious method of paying it forward. It’s one of my favourite parts of the Habitat homeownership model. Even if it doesn’t help me buy any fancy advertising spots or make more Habitat movies.

Espanola (159 & 163 Adelaide St.; semi-detached; underway): Our Espanola project is waiting for duct work for the furnace to be completed inside before finishing flooring and trim. The exterior of the homes still require siding and final landscaping. We're in the home stretch!

Huntsville (11 Irene St.; semi-detached; underway): The foundation has been poured and drainage lines and crushed stone distributed around the footings. The steel floor framing is expected to be delivered late next week and the prefabricated walls and roof package on September 6th, at which point we expect the foundation will have been back-filled and the site leveled.

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.
IN PHOTOS: Huntsville Build Foundation
Habitat for Humanity and the South Almaguin Adopt-a-Home Project have been selected as the annual 50/50 charity benefactor at the Burk's Falls Country Jamboree.

For more information and to get your tickets visit

The Jamboree runs the weekend of August 19 and features acts like The Good Brothers, Stevie Jewels, the Sweetgrass Band, and many more!

Event organizers are in need of volunteers for set-up on Thursday, August 18 at 10 am. If you’re interested in volunteering contact Myles Donahue at or call (705) 636-0360
Camp Canoe at the Bracebridge ReStore

Sunday, August 8th, campers and leaders from Camp Canoe came to volunteer for the day at the Bracebridge ReStore. Thank you all so much for your hard work! We hope to see you all next year.
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 17th - Orillia ReStore hosts the Orillia Chamber After 5

August 20th - Orillia ReStore Grand Opening Celebration

August 20th - Huntsville Summer Sidewalk Sale including the Green Street Challenge

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
This week I have an exciting update of our policies and processes to announce. As our world becomes more technically advanced our Health & Safety procedures should strive to follow. To that end, the old and cumbersome procedure of printing, handwriting, and faxing an incident report is no longer!

By visiting this link to our website: INCIDENTINVESTIGATIONREPORTONLINEFORM.pdf

ReStore mangers and staff can now access a completely digital copy of the incident report form. Simply download the form and fill it out on your computer or tablet. Once the form is completed, “save-as” the file with the subject’s name clearly stated, and email it to as soon as possible. Habitat Canada and WSIB require the forms to be sent within a certain time period, approximately 48 hours from the time of the incident. Additionally, the file can be found under the “staff resources” tab in our organization’s Dropbox.

I suggest downloading the form to your desktop and keeping a blank-copy handy. That way, the form is still accessible during an internet outage or otherwise. Keeping up-to-date records and working together to responsibly report accidents, near misses, and possible hazards, is paramount to creating a safety-conscious working environment.

Work together, and stay safe!

- Brian Ingram, Health & Safety Coordinator
Quote of the Week

"When everything seems to be going against you... remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." - Henry Ford

No comments: