Friday, September 16, 2016

HFH Gateway North News 09.16.2016

Serving Orillia Lake Country, North Simcoe, District of Muskoka, Parry Sound District, North Bay and Blue Sky Region and Sudbury District
Meaning of Home Contest Video
(click on the image below to view video)
Genworth Canada's The Meaning of Home Contest
Genworth Canada offers this short video to highlight the Meaning of Home contest. If you know a student in Grades 4, 5, or 6 or a teacher, encourage them to submit a contest entry at

Each contest entry will result in a $10 donation to Habitat. This means, if 80% of the eligible students in the Habitat OGN region participate we will raise enough money to build a house from the contest entries alone. 

This year, the Grand-Prize winner will direct a $50,000 donation to the Habitat for Humanity Affiliate of their choice, as well as, an iPad and pizza party for their class. Genworth Canada has also pledged to reward 10 runner-up prizes totaling $5,000 each.

Mark October 3 in your calendars as the opening day for contest entries. Closing date isNovember 30
In This Issue:
* Meaning of Home
* Safety Tip
* Photos from Espanola
* Building Hope
* Two Doors Down
* Hods & Sods
* Salvage Crew Members Wanted
* SA Fundraising Dinner
* Amazing Race
* Bonus Photo
* 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
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!
Hi Habitat Gateway North Team!
Over the past week I’ve had a fairly heavy focus on our ReStores. Many affiliates have one or two ReStores in their service area, but not five. Streamlining our operating procedures means getting input from all of our locations; our ReStore managers, our staff and our volunteers. There are a lot of moving pieces (and not just in the ReStores!).

A big piece of procedure is creating accountability and transparency across the organization. In my experience, accountability isn’t about telling someone to do something and making sure it gets done and transparency isn’t about hoarding all of the information provided to you. At least, that’s not what accountability and transparency are about in a productive, team-oriented environment.

While my focus has been on ReStores this week, looking at accountability and transparency are key in everything we do. First, accountability is about being responsible. If I’m not responsible in my role, how can I expect staff or volunteers to be? Digging a little deeper, I don’t just want someone to be responsible; I want them to take ownership. Whether it’s tidying a section of a ReStore, planning a local fundraising event or building a house, I want you to take ownership. To feel like you’re part of the big picture at Habitat.

Transparency is based in trust. Ownership and accountability are all for nothing, if there’s no trust. People are inspired when they know their leaders believe in their capability to deliver. If you’re inspired, you’re more likely to take ownership and run with an idea or a project.

“Words may inspire but only action creates change.” – Simon Sinek

So how do we inspire? Habitat for Humanity helps families in need and for me, that’s pretty inspiring. So, let’s make a significant connection between Habitat for Humanity and our ReStores.

ReStores are a social enterprise; a retail business to cover the operational costs of Habitat for Humanity. That means all donated dollars and partner family contributions go directly to building homes. However, if we increase our profitability, our ReStores can fund home builds too. If each of our five ReStores can increase their profit margin by $20,000 that equals $100,000. That’s one side of a semi-detached unit. That means another family becomes a Habitat homeowner.

Now, my math above is basic, but if each of our ReStores owns that goal of increasing profitability, they are delivering on the Habitat mission of serving more families. It’s a relevant, significant goal. And it takes all of the moving pieces working together.

Be well, do good deeds and keep in touch,

Health & Safety tip of the week: Report, Report, Report! 

Report your injuries and workplace accidents! Aside from the obvious and legal reasons, it's important to report all workplace accidents, injuries, and near-misses for the good of the organization and your fellow workers.

Recording and investigating incidents in the workplace could reduce or altogether eliminate similar accidents from happening again. And, in case you need further prompting . . . It is also a legal obligation— under the Canada Labour Code— to report accidents that cause harm.

When reports are filed, the organization has the opportunity to create an accident registrar. This registrar can be used as the most comprehensive and practical way to avoid injuries and accidents. By compiling the data, organizations can spot hazards, common faults, and areas needing improvement. Risks can be managed.

While it may be tempting to ignore small cuts, strains, and bruises, if these injuries resulted as the result of your job they must be reported. It's not about following the letter of the law just because someone said so, it's about making sure the organization is doing everything in its power to stay safe. We all learn best from our mistakes.

- Brian Ingram, Health & Safety Coordinator 
Home Sweet Home: Latest Photos from the Espanola Build
Habitat Builds Hope for Family
TAY TOWNSHIP – For the Ramsbottom family, Habitat for Humanity is a game changer.

Sarah and Dave Ramsbottom – along with sons Harrison, 7, and Cohen, 6 – moved into their new home in Port McNicoll this summer.

“I don’t know what we’d be doing without Habitat,” Sarah Ramsbottom said. “It just shows it really takes a village to raise a family.”

The family has moved around, renting and living with family members. But now they are going to have a home of their own.

“Plus my parents are building a house now on Triple Bay Road,” she said. “It’s going to be really nice to have everybody so close by.”

Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization that builds “simple, decent and affordable housing” for families in need.

Kate Arnold, family selection and partnering chair for Habitat for Humanity North Simcoe, said the organization has built six houses in this area so far.

In order to be considered for a Habitat house, an individual must have an income stream of approximately $32,000 and a willingness to complete 500 hours of “sweat equity,” which means working on a Habitat project.
Sarah Ramsbottom gave up her job when Cohen was diagnosed with autism, which greatly impacted the family’s bottom line.

And the Ontario government’s decision to stop funding intensive behavioural intervention (IBI) treatment for children over the age of four made the family’s life even more difficult.
“Cohen would be in his second month of IBI by now,” she said.

However, as the Ramsbottoms prepared to move into their new home, a silver lining was offered that may help Cohen get the treatment he needs. The Ontario government on Tuesday announced changes to its autism plan, offering $10,000 in funding for private IBI treatment.

“The funding they have created will be a huge help,” she said. “This whole event has proven the average person can fight city hall.”
Two Doors Down: Thank You Andrea!
 Andrea Brock joined Habitat OGN as a summer-student this year and was instrumental in orchestrating and completing a number of initiatives, projects and events. Having previously started a Habitat for Humanity student sub-Chapter at Queen's University, I asked Andrea to write a report detailing the process so we could replicate her successes at the many post-secondary schools in the Habitat OGN Region. Her report was informative, detailed, and will prove very helpful.

Andrea was based out of her hometown Sudbury ReStore during the summer with Habitat. ReStore Manager Stephanie Long had this to say:

"Andrea was such a great asset to the Sudbury ReStore this summer, and we were very sad to see her leave. We are of course happy to send her back to Queen's University where we believe she will go far with her education and become a great asset to any organization she decides to be part of. There are so few genuine people in this world it seems sometimes, but Andrea always gave me hope that we can make a difference with all the work she did for us. Andrea was able to get us involved with a couple of events this summer which helped get our name out in the community, we were a part of the  Earth Day Festival, Northern Lights Festival, and even a Yard-Sale Event. The biggest event this summer that she organized and volunteered for was our BBQ which was a great way to end the summer and to make connections with people in our community. I thank Andrea truly for everything she helped us with this summer and I have to thank Andrea's mom who also volunteered her time. We wish Andrea well in all her up coming adventures and hope that she will keep us updated with all her accomplishments."

Andrea has accepted an opportunity to study at the Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki, Finland for the Winter Semester of 2017 as part of the Queen's University exchange program. Good luck and thank you, Andrea!

- Greg
Espanola (159 & 163 Adelaide St.; semi-detached; underway): The siding is completed and the decking is complete around the structure of the building (photos above). The families have been working diligently toward their hours of sweat equity and are so excited to move in to their new homes. Items left to complete include landscaping and interior finishing.

Huntsville (11 Irene St.; semi-detached; underway): Work is continuing on the structure of the semi-detached home at Irene Street in Huntsville. We're currently recruiting volunteers for help in all areas of construction and with varying skills. If you're interested in volunteering as an individual or with a group please

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-September target for excavation, stay tuned for our official ground breaking ceremony announcement.

2017: The Carter Work Project comes to Canada next year, with a target of 150 home dedications in the week of July 9 – 15, in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday. Habitat Edmonton has committed 100 homes. Habitat Manitoba another 25. We’d like – okay, we'd love – to have HFHOGN contribute six to 12 of the remaining. How we do it is a matter of current brainstorming and planning.
BONUS PHOTO | Thanks for reading! 
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!

Currently underway - Huntsville Build at 11 Irene St.

October 1st - Amazing Race, North Bay and Blue Sky Region Chapter

October 3rd - Genworth Meaning of Home contest officially opens

October 11th - Voting for the Aviva Community Fund opens

Weekend of October 14th - Oktoberfest with the Muskoka Brewery!

October 15th - South Almaguin Fundraising Dinner @ Highlander Brew Co. | South River

November 29th - Giving Tuesday

No comments: