Saturday, July 30, 2016

HABITAT HEROES

HABITAT HEROES | July 2016
Bracebridge ReStore | Stephen Goddard

Stephen and his wife Jean have been Habitat Heroes since the first day they stepped through the door. Stephen often can be found in the Bracebridge ReStore all seven days of the week. He is a happy face greeting donors dropping off materials and our electronics guru. Stephen's dedication, will, work ethic and spirit are a constant blessing. Thank you, Stephen! 
Huntsville ReStore | Bert Young

Bert Young has been volunteering with the Huntsville ReStore for the past five months and has done some amazing work helping sort and organize all the donations as well as help organize the store.  His enthusiasm, knowledge and diligent work ethic have been a great addition to the Huntsville ReStore.  Bert comes in every day with a smile, positive attitude and wants to make the Huntsville ReStore shine. Bert has done a wonderful job keeping the inflow and outflow running smoothly. You're such an important part of our family at the Huntsville ReStore. Thank You so much for everything you do on a daily basis.

 
Midland ReStore | Brenda

New to our ReStore family at the Midland location is Brenda, otherwise known as “B”Kool. She is the most outgoing “take the world by storm” gal we have had the pleasure of laughing and working with. Her creative passion, “let’s think outside the box” attitude, and knowledge of computers and finance makes her a true gift. An artist by choice, and trade, it shines through in her incredible people skills and upholds her strong beliefs of humanitarian and animal aid. We at the Midland ReStore simply shine due to the spirit and spunk of this month’s Habitat Hero "B Kool."
Sudbury ReStore | Aaron

Aaron has been our volunteer for only one month, but in that one month he has been a very valuable asset to The Sudbury ReStore. He comes in every shift and knows exactly what needs to be done without anyone having to tell him. He was a little shy at first but after a few days he has opened up and is very friendly with customers and donors. Thank you Aaron for all your hard work and we appreciate everything you do

Team RBC Lends a Helping Hand in Espanola

In Photos: Team RBC in Espanola

HFH Gateway North News 29.07.2016


Serving Orillia Lake Country, North Simcoe, District of Muskoka, Parry Sound District, North Bay and Blue Sky Region and Sudbury District
Team RBC Lends a Helping Hand in Espanola
 
On Tuesday, July 26, a group of ten volunteers from Northern Ontario Royal Bank of Canada branches donated their time, effort, sweat and $10,000 to Habitat for Humanity. Team RBC helped Jeff, Chris and Ryan spread gravel for the driveway, frame out decking, and paint around the exterior of the semi-detached. A big thank you to Sonia, Tammy, Sheri, Lisa, Nadine, Helen, Mike, Scott, Joaquim and Pauline.

In This Issue:

* Thank You Team RBC!
* From the CEO's Desk
* Hods & Sods
* Habitat Heroes | July
* Biking for Builds Detour Group Ride
* Katrine Country Music Jamboree
* Sudbury ReStore BBQ
* North Bay Amazing Race
* Health & Safety Tip
* 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 canadahelps.com.
* 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 visithabitat.ca/brickforbrick
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!

Some of my fondest memories, favourite meals, and best ways to spend time-off all have something in common: Simplicity. Weekend mornings spent with coffee and a book rank high in my opinion of the best way to spend a weekend. Pasta with fewer than five ingredients is a favourite meal. Memories of days at the beach or family game night are full of simple joy.

When the norm is having multiple projects on the go at all times, it's easy to muddy the waters and plan large, complicated ways to reach goals. In an average day, my own to-do list starts with 10 items and at the end of the day, items that have been crossed off have been replaced with new tasks.

In an organization with so many projects on the go, complicated questions are the norm at Habitat for Humanity. How do we reach new volunteers and maintain current ones? How can we master two-way reporting between the regional office and Chapters that pleases everyone? How is fundraising integrated at all levels of the organization? How do we build the capacity to serve more families while minimizing costs?



At times, it can feel like everything has to be complicated. You're accustomed to the busyness of the day to day and searching for the best option. What I am discovering, more and more, is the need to step back and look for the simple answer. Look at the problem from a different perspective. Reverse the usual order. Ask for a new opinion. Step out of your box and discover that the simple answer is usually the best one.

Take time this long weekend to enjoy some simple pleasures. I know I'll be enjoying coffee and a good book.

Be well, do good deeds and keep in touch,

Meghan
From the CEO's Desk

Beginning with this issue, we’ll run a weekly update on our construction activities - recognizing there might be more to report some weeks than others. We’ll be figuring out as we go how to best plug volunteers into the assembly of the shell’s prefabricated wall panels. Once the shell is framed, the build becomes a more typical Habitat effort. Keep an eye on the weekly construction updates if you’re looking to swing a hammer or a screw gun or a….

I’m looking forward to taking some needed down time next week. Marian and I are fledgling sailors, so the game plan is to spend as much time on the water as weather permits. I’m also looking forward to the opportunity to step away from the day-to-day demands of the affiliate in order to put some creative thought into our build plans for next year. While doing so, I’m going to also take the week off of a newsletter note.

Have a great couple of weeks,

David   
Huntsville (11 Irene St.; semi-detached; underway): As we reported last week, we had a wonderful day last Friday with a volunteer crew of 10 from Mondelez Canada, three from the Huntsville community, four from the HFHOGN office, and a lone voluntold spouse. We delayed pouring the foundation until next Tuesday to accommodate Redneck Concrete Pumping of Huntsville’s availability and very generous offer to provide its services free, as it had done so on the pour of the footings. Randy Blain and his crew are off on a construction holiday next week, so we’ll be getting down to serious build activity the week of August 7th. Randy wants to get the floor in place, the foundation backfilled, and the site levelled in advance of erecting the prefabricated wall sections.

Bracebridge (189 Muskoka Rd.; 4-unit row; permitting): Planscape, our planning consultants, continue to work with the Town of Bracebridge to resolve an issue with a municipal culvert that crosses a corner of our property and a retaining wall. We could see a resolution very quickly or only after a prolonged delay. We’ll move the Orillia build into second place for this season with the hope and expectation of coming back to Bracebridge later in the fall. We haven’t yet formally made the call, but our plan for this to be a Women Build open to the summer population will likely be postponed and recalibrated for 2017.

Orillia (499 Bay St.; semi-detached; permitting): We’re gearing up activity on the Orillia build, with our Chapter now reconnecting with past donors and build volunteers. The schedule calls for us to  be excavated in mid-August and construction to begin in early September. The Huntsville and Orillia buildings are identical, so we’re looking forward to the immediate transfer of learnings from one site to the next.

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

Saturday, July 23, 2016

HFH Gateway North News 22.07.2016


Serving Orillia Lake Country, North Simcoe, District of Muskoka, Parry Sound District, North Bay and Blue Sky Region and Sudbury District
Port McNicoll Update

From Kate Arnold, Family Selection Chair, North Simcoe Chapter

With their two children, Sarah and David Ramsbottom moved into their new Habitat home in Port McNicoll last week. The family had been sharing living space with David’s parents, while dealing with the challenges of raising an autistic child – a potential flight risk. The Home Depot (Midland) donated a team and the lumber to fence in the yard for Cohen’s safety, completing the work of many hands in preparing the house for our new family. Kate Arnold provides this move-in report.

I met with our new family last night. They have moved in and things look wonderful. It was amazing to see how excited and happy they were to be in their new Habitat home. Their autistic child seems to have settled somewhat and their older child, although he misses his grandparents, enjoys all the rooms the house provides. Dad explained with excitement and pride the work he has done and skills he has learnt working on the house. Tools are on his Christmas list.

Thanks to the Home Depot team.  The fence has been installed and Cohen is now safe and secure to play in his yard.

As you can tell I am super happy with our new family. They have managed to pay off their two debts and are excited about managing their finances on a budget.

Thanks to all who worked on this project. On behalf of the Ramsbottom's a great big thank you!!!

Kate
In This Issue:
* Port McNicoll Update
* From the CEO's Desk
* Mondelez Canada Build Day in Huntsville
* North Bay Amazing Race Prize for Most Pledges Announced
* Biking for Builds Detour Group Ride
* Katrine Country Music Jamboree
* Sudbury ReStore BBQ
* 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 canadahelps.com.
* 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 visithabitat.ca/brickforbrick
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!

Each week we work diligently to make things happen. Our Restore team gathers donated items, prepares them for the sales floor, merchandises new stock and works with our customers. Office staff ensure the administrative processes are followed so bills are paid, receipts are issued and any other paperwork (permits, licenses, etc.) are properly submitted. Our build crew keeps projects rolling; tapping volunteers to help on the build site, ordering gift-in-kind product, arranging inspections and so much more. In a perfect world, we have the answers to all of the questions and everything runs smoothly.

But of course, it's not a perfect world. Plans change, unexpected circumstances arise and there's no procedure to follow. Sometimes, a failure gets noted on the books. With a failed endeavour, many adults want to stop trying and stop searching for possibility.

Do you remember failing as a kid? When you learned to ride your bike you fell off. Over and over again. Maybe you scraped your elbow, bruised your knees, cried a little. And then you got up again. And you started pedaling. Soon you were riding your bike like you had done it all your life, like you always knew how.

"Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing." - Denis Waitley

If we, as adults, continued to face challenges, professional or personal, with the tenacity of a child learning to ride their bike, we would soon remember why failure is actually a wonderful thing. If we let go of the notion that failure is something bad, that we are too hard on ourselves and observe the failure without letting it become a part of how we identify our self, each experience becomes more about understanding than right or wrong.

A failure in planning or in putting on an event cannot be a make or break experience. We've got a mission to work towards and goals to achieve along the way. As we press on and create new paths to our goal, failures create momentum and strengthen our resolve to achieve. A failure is just a moment to take a breath, look at what happened and take new steps on the journey. Failure allows us to try and try again, until we're off to the races.

Be well, do good deeds and keep in touch,

Meghan
From the CEO's Desk

As the week comes to a close, we’re off to the Irene Street, Huntsville build site to form the ICF foundation of our semi-detached. As anticipated, this build is all about learning.

It’s our first project with Randy Blain as our build lead and Randy’s first experience working with Habitat. Despite that, Randy absolutely “gets” the HFH mission and it’s been a joy working with him.

This is our first run at our first “standard” model, with its prefabricated steel-framed wall and roof sections provided free of charge by Green Terra Homes of Trenton. There have been growing pains in forming this relationship, but the Huntsville semi will be replicated later in the summer in Orillia and in many other communities, we expect, in the years to come.

Our move to prefabricated frame sections represents a different way of building – one that makes the job of closing in the structure faster and easier for our volunteers. That said, Huntsville will be our first experience of working with the panels and there will no doubt be hiccups.

All of life should be a learning adventure, in my view, so I find myself keen to get on with Huntsville, to hit whatever hiccups and lessons lie in our path, and to come out the other side with two more families served and one step closer to the “well-oiled" operation that lets us deliver on our potential to serve even more.

A note of welcome to Sarah and David Ramsbottom and family of Port McNicoll, our newest partner family. And many thanks to our entire North Simcoe Chapter team who helped make that so. Kate Arnold's note, included in this week's issue, so perfectly captures the spirit of Habitat for Humanity.    

Have a great week,

David
Mondelez Canada Build Day in Huntsville

On Friday, July 22 a group from Mondelez Canada Inc. installed ICF on our Irene St. property in Huntsville. Thank you Chris, Lory, Griffin, Korie, Jennifer, Emma, Nancy, Debbie, Phil and Alex for your enthusiasm, laughter and great work ethic. You were all a pleasure to work with.

A special thank you to the Huntsville Probus Club and Mr. Sub in Huntsville for providing delicious lunch for our volunteer crew. Your support is so greatly appreciated!

Thank you as well to Kory and Mike from Randy Blain Construction Inc. and Jen Hill for their guidance of the team. Thank you Terry, Norman, Andrew and Marian for lending a helping hand for the day. We couldn't do what we do without the support of individuals like you.
North Bay Amazing Race Prize for Most Pledges Announced

We want to thank Drew Kingston, General Manager, and Jason Ferguson, Assistant Manager, from the North Bay Best Buy Store 632, along with Scott Robertson, representative of CUPE LOCAL 122. Together they donated a 40 inch TV as a prize for the individual who collects the most money in pledges for the Amazing Race on October 1st, 2016. Thank you for your support. Registration for the Amazing Race is now open! Call (705) 495-6244 or email funddevelopment@habitatnorthbay.com to enter your team.
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.

July 31st - Biking for Builds Detour Group Ride

August 6th - Katrine Country Music Jamboree

August 17th - Orillia ReStore hosts the Chamber After 5

August 20th - Orillia ReStore Grand Opening Celebration

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

"You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty." - Mahatma Gandhi

Saturday, July 16, 2016

HFH Gateway North News 15.07.2016


Serving Orillia Lake Country, North Simcoe, District of Muskoka, Parry Sound District, North Bay and Blue Sky Region and Sudbury District
Huntsville Build Update

This week at 11 Irene St. the Randy Blain Construction Inc. crew were busy forming and pouring concrete footings. Our next step is ICF foundation. Anyone interested in lending a hand email us or call Hilary at (705) 646-0106 ext. 205 for more details.
In This Issue:
* Huntsville Build Update
* From the CEO's Desk
* Katrine Country Music Jamboree
* Sudbury ReStore Rocks the Northern Lights Festival Boréal
* Biking for Builds Detour Group Ride
* Orillia ReStore
* Sudbury BBQ
* Christmas in July
* Thank You Volunteers & Movie Stars
* Save the Dates
The Newsreel: Quick Facts to Keep You Informed!
* Support our 2016 build projects across the region by donating online at canadahelps.com.
* 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 visithabitat.ca/brickforbrick
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,

Watching or listening to the news each day is a test in one's belief in humanity. Yesterday, the news reported on the horrifying events that took place during Bastille Day in Nice, France. Bastille Day, much like Canada Day or Independence Day, marks the celebration of a time in history when the French people demanded freedom. A day earmarked in the calendar for people to come together is now marked by tragedy.

This is not the first time, and I know it won't be the last, that a celebration becomes a crisis. As the number of this kind of tragic event seems to be on the rise, it's easy to be disheartened. It's easy to say "what can I possibly do?"

Fred Rogers (or Mr. Rogers, as I remember him from TV) always had wonderful life lessons to share. One of my favourites being: "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' To this day, especially in times of 'disaster', I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers - so many caring people in this world."

We can all watch the news and feel our hearts ache for those in Nice, or Istanbul, or Orlando. We can all be the helpers, whether it's a crisis or just a kink in the plan. We can all take the time to stop and ask "how can I help?" We can all put aside differences, not just in the face of crisis, to help make the world a better place.

"When written in Chinese, the word 'crisis' is composed of two characters. One represents  danger and the other represents opportunity." - John F. Kennedy

The opportunity in any crisis, international, national or personal, is for humanity to come together. There will be difficulty and excuses and reasons it's easier to not collaborate. But look for the helpers. Look for the service men and women running toward the disaster, instead of away. Look for the neighbours opening their homes to those in need of a place to stay. Look for those providing food and other necessary goods. Look for those waiting in line to donate blood. Look for those lending a hand in the aftermath.

It doesn't take just one helper to make a difference. It takes many. Together, we are the many helpers.

Be well, do good deeds and keep in touch,

Meghan
From the CEO's Desk

I hit a couple of personal milestones this past week, both landing on the same day. The first was a birthday and a certain step closer to being a man of a certain age. The second was my first anniversary as CEO of HFH Ontario Gateway North.

Just over a year ago, I was wrapping up an assessment I’d been asked to do of the affiliate’s five ReStores. Without some sort of framework or measuring sticks in place, an “assessment” is really nothing more than a subjective, open-ended, and potentially unfair critique.

To avoid that, we spent several weeks in my Kingston office “crunching” Habitat Canada’s 2010 – 2014 national ReStore sales data to arrive at nine categories of ReStores and performance benchmarks within each category. Those benchmarks dealt with measures such as gross sales, sales per square foot, etc.

Thanks to Mark Twain, we all know there are three kinds of lies: “lies, damned lies, and statistics,” but it was fascinating to see the stories that emerged from the national ReStore sales data and the stories told about our five outlets.

When I did tours of the stores in early July, it felt a little bit like finally putting a face to an otherwise familiar pen pal or telephone acquaintance. And it was while doing the loop of our outlets that the Board of Directors asked me to step into the CEO role on an interim basis. That arrangement was made more permanent last fall.

Thanks to our great ReStore managers and their teams, our locations now operate in a universe beyond where they were in early 2015. But it’s striking to me that, as we look to further refine the operation of our stores, we were again this week pouring over the national sales data, looking for the story the numbers might tell about how we better allocate floor space in each of our outlets.

ReStores are, of course, only one part of what we do as a Habitat affiliate. This week I asked Julie Farnsworth, our external human resource consultant, to guide us in more deliberately building quality and competence into every facet of our operation, including the CEO’s office. A cornerstone of that initiative will be the establishment of an assessment framework, functionally similar to our ReStore measurement tool.  

“High performance organization” is a tired cliché in business literature, and yet Julie shares my certainty that that’s exactly what HFHOGN can be. And if we're to achieve our potential in service to families in our region, it's exactly what we must be.

Exciting times continue to lie ahead!

Have a great week,

David
Sudbury ReStore Rocks the Northern Lights Festival Boréal

The Sudbury ReStore had volunteer, Negar Saeidi (left) and Community Outreach Assistant, Andrea Brock (right) attend the Northern Lights Festival Boréal on July 9th and 10th. This Festival is an annual non-profit event that supports emerging artists within the community and brings well known-artists to the region. We were able to promote the ReStore at the event and encourage attendees to come in to shop before starting their next renovation and donate items they no longer need.
Orillia ReStore

If you haven't stopped by our new Orillia ReStore location at 220 James St. West, get out to see it today! While we're still organizing our departments, we've got great items for you to choose from. Let us know what you think and stay tuned for more details on our official Grand Opening Celebration!
Christmas in July

HFH Ontario Gateway North participated in Bracebridge's 2nd Annual Santafest Parade on Saturday July 9th. The decorating team had a blast decorating the Habitat ReStore Truck. Thanks to Bobby for finding the life-sized Nutcracker, who was front and centre on our truck! The parade, although wet, went very smoothly and everyone involved had a ton of fun. A big thank you goes out to Linda, Treena, Brian, Steve (our awesome truck driver), Hilary, Brenda, Cameron, Meghan and Justin who lent us the Huntsville ReStore Truck for the occasion.
Thank You Volunteers & Movie Stars

On Monday, July 11, interviews were conducted and professionally filmed by Starshine Video Productions. In all, 15 volunteers and a partner family member shared their stories at the beautiful Artful Garden in Bracebridge. The nearly three hours of footage will be edited into a three-minute vignette airing on our social media channels this fall. A very sincere thank you to all those who participated. Special thank you to Suzann & Jon Partridge for the generous use of their property, The Artful Garden.
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.

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

July 31st - Biking for Builds Detour Group Ride

August 6th - Katrine Country Music Jamboree

August 17th - Orillia ReStore hosts the Chamber After 5

August 20th - Orillia ReStore Grand Opening Celebration

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

"I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become." - Carl Gustav Jung