Saturday, August 27, 2016

HFH Gateway North News 26.08.2016

Serving Orillia Lake Country, North Simcoe, District of Muskoka, Parry Sound District, North Bay and Blue Sky Region and Sudbury District
The Downtown Huntsville BIA's Green Street Challenge
Photo Credit: Downtown Huntsville BIA

The Downtown Huntsville BIA turned Main Street into a sprawling green parkway for their annual Sidewalk Sale. The BIA then donated the 7,000 square feet of sod, cut that very morning, to Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North. Continued Below . . .
In This Issue:
* Green Street
* Two Doors Down...
* Thanks Huntsville!
* Volunteers Needed!
* Habitat in the News
* Huntsville BA5
* Hods & Sods
* Parry Sound Golf
* The 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 visit habitat.ca/ brickforbrick.
* For seven years, the Aviva Communtiy Fund has been investing in charitable community initiatives across Canada. To date, more than $6.5 million in project funding has been dispersed, and this year they're donating another $1 million. Voting for your community opens onOctober 11th. Stay tuned for your chance to vote!
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!

Volunteers are the driving force behind Habitat. Yes, we have staff in key roles, and as we grow and change operationally, we need staff in those roles to maintain strategic growth and administrative capabilities. However, volunteers are the heart of Habitat.

When I look at our volunteer team I think about the positions we need. I ask, "What positions do I need to accomplish our mission?" "What do I want the team members to do?" And then I look for people who can fill those positions. Often, finding the right person for the position is less about skills and more about attitude.

At every level of the organization, we have volunteers making great things happen. Volunteers process donations and merchandise goods at our ReStore locations. They are the friendly face behind the cash counter and out on our trucks, delivering and picking up goods. ReStore volunteers are ambassadors of the organization.

Our Chapter Members are connected individuals in their community, volunteering their time to fundraising and awareness events, build progress, family selection and support, and more. Each Chapter has anywhere from four to 15 members, each with a specific role. The success of any project in a community is based on the positive outlook and engagement of the Chapter.

Our Board of Directors is entirely volunteers, giving leadership and guiding the strategic direction of our organization. We rely on the exceptional leadership of our Board, who understand our mission and vision, to drive Habitat Gateway North to achieve our mission and create dynamic change.

Finally, our build volunteers, skilled or unskilled, make homeownership a reality for families in need. From the ground up, a Habitat build is a rallying point for the community; a chance to learn new skills, meet new people, practice a trade and lend experience to a cause. Better yet, Habitat builds are a visual manifestation of the community coming together for a singular purpose: helping others.

“Positive thinking is more than just a tagline. It changes the way we behave. And I firmly believe that when I am positive, it not only makes me better, but it also makes those around me better.” – Harvey Mackay

No ‘thank you’ can ever really convey the work our volunteers take on. The positive energy, from volunteers on a build site, in a ReStore, at a community event and at committee meetings, is what advances our mission from a statement to a living, breathing entity.

If you’d like to join our team of volunteers, we would love to have you! We are looking for volunteers to fill the specific roles of:
  • Huntsville Build Volunteer Coordinator
  • Huntsville Build Hospitality Host
  • Orillia Build Volunteer Coordinator
  • Orillia Build Hospitality Host
  • Chapter Members – North Simcoe, Orillia, Muskoka, Parry Sound, North Bay & Sudbury
Please email info@habitatgatewaynorth.com or call(705) 646-0106 ext. 204 for more details on our volunteer opportunities.

Be well, do good deeds and keep in touch,

Meghan
Two Doors Down...

Honestly there is one thing which frustrates me about Habitat for Humanity. Why is it like pulling teeth to get families to apply for these homes?

If a banker said: “Today we’re doing zero down payment interest free mortgages geared annually to your income and all you have to contribute is 500 hours of manual labour. By the way, your payments won’t stay here with the bank – they’ll be earmarked to build more affordable homes in your region.” Would that not be like selling ice cream on a humid afternoon?

Yet, across Canada, family selection is one of the most difficult challenges Habitat for Humanity affiliates face. Still, problems are just solutions in waiting. Most of me thinks it’s a communications issue. After all, if every prospective homeowner included Habitat’s home ownership model in their mortgage research we wouldn’t be able to handle the surge of applications. But, the overwhelming number of families who won’t qualify for a traditional mortgage seem to settle for expensive and often inadequate rentals. Either they haven’t heard about Habitat, or the message isn’t sinking in.

I find it hard to believe a family living in a basement apartment and paying $1,000+ monthly wouldn’t at least entertain the option of owning their own home for a fraction of the price. And there’s the rub. The statistics suggest the number of families living in substandard conditions are growing, so why haven’t we heard from more families? If you’ve made it this far I implore you to spread to word.

Another part of me believes we need to build quicker and build more often. Families choose rentals because it’s often their only option. The Habitat home ownership model makes all the sense in the world, but if it’s going to take years from application to key dedication ceremonies we’ll lose a lot of prospective families who need this service.

That is why everything we’re doing in this Habitat for Humanity federation is about building more homes more quickly. From ReStores and regionalization to pre-fabrication and communications. It’s all about pouring more foundations and building more homes.

So, embrace the frustration because no one ever did anything that mattered while feeling content.

Greg
Habitat for Humanity Thanks the Huntsville BIA, Volunteers and Sponsors
HUNTSVILLE, ON – Huntsville’s Main Street is back to plain old asphalt, but the 7,000 sq. ft. of sod which turned the street into a temporary park lives on.

Thompson Landscape Construction purchased the sod from Habitat for Humanity following the Sidewalk Sale and the generous donation by the Downtown Huntsville BIA. The money is earmarked to help fund the build of a semi-detached home currently ongoing at Irene Street. Once completed, the build will house two hardworking local families who will experience the benefits of homeownership for the first time.

“There were a lot of moving parts with this incredible gift,” said Habitat CEO David Morris. “Originally we hoped to be further along with the build and use the sod on site, but when it became clear that wasn’t going to be possible we pivoted and relied on the community of Huntsville. Thankfully, Thompson Landscape Construction could use the 7,000 square feet of sod on short notice.”

The Green Street Challenge would not have been possible without the help of volunteers who helped lay sod in the early morning hours, and roll it up in the evening. Habitat for Humanity would like to extend a sincere and heartfelt thank-you to all of those who participated in the greening of Huntsville’s Main St.

Habitat for Humanity would also like to thank the event’s sponsors: Come Alive Outside, LandscapeOntario.com, Rugged Earth, Beverley Turf Farms, and the Downtown Huntsville BIA.

“Community mobilization is at the forefront of the Habitat mission, and the Huntsville BIA’s Green Street Challenge is a shining example of what can be accomplished when helping hands join together,” said Morris.
The Floors Are Here! Metal flooring arrives in Huntsville
A shipment of engineered metal flooring arrived at the Irene Street build site in Huntsville this week. The flooring comes from Habitat OGN partner Bailey Metal Products and Green Terra Homes. Justin Pritchard from the Huntsville ReStore was there to help with the heavy lifting. Thanks Justin! 
Habitat for Humanity in the News | The Orillia Packet & Times
MEHREEN SHAHID/THE PACKET & TIMES Kathy Gallivan speaks Thursday with Gary Haase, a volunteer at Habitat for Humanity's ReStore in Orillia.
The Habitat for Humanity ReStore is making more money at its new location in Orillia than it was at the old one, according to an executive.
"Our revenues are much higher, and because the ReStores fund the overhead of Habitat, that's excellent news," said David Morris, CEO for Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North. "It makes it easier for us to do the building we do and give the service to families."
The store held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday afternoon. The James Street location also hosted the Orillia District Chamber of Commerce Business After 5 meeting that night.
"I was thrilled with the event," Morris said, adding more than 70 members of the chamber were in attendance, many of whom signed up as volunteers for the upcoming two Orillia builds. "I think it was a great way for us to reintroduce Habitat to the community in Orillia and to let people know exactly how Habitat operates and how the ReStore fits into our operation."
The location, he noted, has helped the retail end of ReStore, but the significance of the store is not just reflected in increased sales and donations, but there in the influx of volunteers, too.
"Quite often, ReStores attract volunteers who might have special needs -- financial, physical or mental -- and require public transportation," he said. "At the previous location, we did not have public transportation, and here we do."
Gary Haase, a long-time volunteer with the ReStore in Barrie, now volunteers at the Orillia store.
"I just like to help and serve people," he said. "And this is a global organization, not just local."
For customers, such as Kathy Gallivan, being able to visit a store in Orillia is appealing.
"I love the whole idea of reusing things and not putting them in the landfill," said the Orillia resident. "The price of things compared to buying new is great, and it helps the Habitat builds."
Two builds are set to take place in Orillia over the next year or two.
"We are in the process of getting the building permit for 499 Bay St. -- land the city made available," he said. "Hopefully, between now and mid-September, we will break ground on that semi-detached unit that will house two families. And then the rough plan right now is to build a single-family home on the other lot at 75 Victoria St."
The Huntsville ReStore hosts Business After Five
The Huntsville ReStore played host to the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce Business after Five on Thursday, August 25. A huge thanks to Muskoka Brewery and Farmer's Daughter for supplying the party fuel! It was a great opportunity to meet & greet Habitat's wonderful partners who make up Huntsville's business community. 
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 are coming along nicely. The siding and decking are nearing completion around the structure of the building. The families have been working diligently toward their hours of sweat equity.

Huntsville (11 Irene St.; semi-detached; underway): The steel floor framing has been delivered to the build site. Justin Pritchard from the Huntsville ReStore was on hand to greet the material, and by greet we mean haul it off the truck like a superhero. Thanks Justin! It's simply too much work for even an Adonis like Justin, however, so please volunteer to help!

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.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

HFH Gateway North News 19.08.2016

Serving Orillia Lake Country, North Simcoe, District of Muskoka, Parry Sound District, North Bay and Blue Sky Region and Sudbury District
IN PHOTOS: Orillia ReStore Hosts Ribbon Cutting & Chamber After 5
SAVE 10% OFF YOUR NEXT PURCHASE OVER $50

Offer expires August 31, 2016. Redeemable only at Ontario Gateway North ReStores in Midland, Orillia, Bracebridge, Huntsville and Sudbury. Cannot be combined with other offers. No cash value. One coupon per customer.
In This Issue:
* Orillia ReStore Hosts Ribbon Cutting & Chamber After 5
* From the CEO's Desk
* Two Doors Down...
* Hods & Sods
* Orillia ReStore Grand Opening
* Green Street Challenge
* 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 visit habitat.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!

We've all seen a "man on a mission", as the saying goes. Someone with a goal, chosen or assigned, who will stop at nothing to achieve it. Regardless of what obstacles may appear, someone on a mission always holds true to their purpose.

We've had a few successful missions this week. First, our Orillia ReStore hosted the Chamber After 5 for the first time in its new 220 James St. West location, which was preceded by a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the store. The hours and manpower it took to relocate the store were worth it to see a crowd of over 75 people explore the new space.

This Saturday is the Summer Sidewalk Sale, hosted by the Huntsville BIA. Over the past 2 weeks, we've been searching for helping hands to collect and help load the 7,000 square feet of sod we'll receive after the event. We've lined up a great crew for Saturday and are thrilled to have this contribution to our Huntsville Build on Irene St.

In the office, we've been looking at high-level missions. A mission-driven business is an organization for which the pursuit of growth and revenue naturally produces benefits related to the mission. As a not-for-profit, Habitat must generate growth and capacity in order to purposefully pursue our mission. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love Habitat for Humanity's mission.

To mobilize volunteers and community partners in building affordable housing and promote home ownership as a means to breaking the cycle of poverty.

It speaks of action, community and partnering. Over the last week or so, we've been looking at an HR mission map - missions for each role in Habitat, based on achieving the overall organizational mission.

It's incredible how pieces of the puzzle fall into place once a role has clarity. Similar to communicating how Habitat works, outlining the mission for every role from Board Director to Warehouse Associate clarifies the purpose of that role. The mission feeds what we do, how we do it and how we know we've reached our goal.

Research shows that the happiest employees are those who feel a sense of purpose in what they do. The next step is to develop how we deliver on these role-specific missions. It's exciting to me to see the kind of organization and people we can be when we're all "men on a mission".

Be well, do good deeds and keep in touch,

Meghan
From the CEO's Desk

Looking back over the last year, I’m taken by how our weekly newsletter has transitioned from a publication internal to the HFH Ontario Gateway North community, to one that is now reaching a broader audience.

One sign of this were the number of attendees at Wednesday’s wonderful Orillia ReStore grand opening and subsequent Chamber of Commerce “After 5” event who made mention of information they had read herein. Another sign is the declining frequency of my posting staff announcements, many of which are primarily of internal interest. This week, I’m very pleased to announce a couple of appointments that will be felt in the broader community.

Effectively immediately, Meghan Smith will assume the role of Chief Operating Officer for HFHOGN. As much as I’m thrilled and excited to see Meghan step into this role, I have to admit it’s a short step. In so many ways, this has been the role Meghan has fulfilled over the last year with dedication, commitment and rigour that I continue to find breathtaking. Meghan’s promotion to COO allows us to better define reporting lines in the organization and gives me confidence our day-to-day operations are in excellent hands while I focus on our longer-term, strategic priorities.

Fundraising is one of our top strategic priorities, so I’m also thrilled to announce the appointment of Britta Gerwin as our new Director of Development and Communications. Britta is a Huntsville girl who comes to HFHOGN from the Huntsville Hospital Foundation Development Office. Her background includes development work with organizations as diverse as the Red Cross, Sunshine Foundation of Canada, Starlight Children’s Foundation, and the Ottawa International Jazz Festival. What’s equally impressive in Britta’s background is her evident propensity to roll up her sleeves as a volunteer to meet a need, be it community or global. It’s hard to imagine a better fit for the Habitat world.

I’ll take a too-brief pause here to publicly thank fundraising guru Gord Durnan for his support over the last several months as we’ve considered the development function within HFHOGN. In the spirit of no good deed going unpunished, I know Britta and I look forward to Gord’s continued sage advice as we ramp-up major fundraising in the months and years ahead.

Over the last several months, human resources consultant Julie Farnsworth has never been more than a phone call or email away when we’ve had a specific HR question. After a series of discussions that were equal parts philosophy and business, I’ve asked Julie to take a more active role in our HR management, albeit as an external resource. What excites Julie and me – and I know it will excite our staff - is the opportunity to build a focus on competencies and quality into the DNA of HFHOGN as we pursue our goal of becoming a major contributor to Habitat’s mission.    

Over the last year, Lori Beecroft has served as our Chief Financial Officer. In addition to implementing some much-needed operating procedures, Lori continues to consolidate the financial systems of the five affiliates that merged to form HFHOGN. It’s not my place to announce the details, but Lori has been offered a wonderful opportunity that will limit her availability to us. I am immensely grateful that we’ll be able to continue counting (no pun intended) on Lori for bookkeeping services, but the balance of her role will be apportioned to Meghan, Julie and myself.

I’d like to extend a long-overdue thanks to Marg Hamelin, manager of our Midland ReStore, who stepped up through the early spring and summer not only as a resource to our other ReStore managers, but, in conjunction with Meghan Smith, as project lead on our relocation of the Orillia ReStore. There are a lot of fingerprints on the Orillia effort, including, of course, those of ReStore Manager Donna Godfrey and her amazing team. Marg will be refocusing her energies on Midland, but I’ve asked her to continue leading our ReStore management team as its Senior Manager.

A concluding note of thanks to long-time HFHOGN staffer Kevin Manley, who has left the organization. Kevin was manager of the Bracebridge and Huntsville ReStores before taking on the role of Community Development Officer last fall.

The new additions and assignments represent to me a “retooling” of HFHOGN as we look to the fall and the start of our annual planning cycle. Thoughts of serving 17 families in ’17 dance in my head, alongside our contribution to the 2017 HFH / Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project. Now, it’s time to get down to the job of figuring out how to make it happen.

Have a great week,

David
Two Doors Down...

With the cutting of a ribbon a ReStore was born.

It’s funny how months of work and a year of preparation boils down to a moment captured in a photo, and a few hundred words in the newspaper. All “Grand Openings” are part theatre and part marketing – if there’s a difference.

Having John Burke at the ceremony was an eye-opener. Burke started Habitat for Humanity in Orillia with Eric Blough just over ten years ago. In those ten years, six families have moved into affordable Habitat Homes and two ReStores have opened their doors to the public. All the while, the Orillia Chapter had been a part of a regional group, split off on their own, and joined another regional affiliate in Ontario Gateway North. Habitat work isn’t always a straight line to the finish. There are bumps in the road, hidden obstacles, and often big U-turns are necessary. But it’s always nice to look back and see all the capital “G” Good done in the community in the wake of what can often seem like organized chaos.

Speaking of organized chaos, let’s use this space to thank Donna Godfrey, Marg Hamelin, Bill Harris, Bill Evans, Christine MacDonald, and all of the volunteers who put the Orillia ReStore on their shoulders and carried it to this one finish-line.

Working at a ReStore is a puzzle. Imagine being in a boardroom mulling over great business ideas and someone says: “What about a retail store where no one knows what the stock is going to be, we take educated guesses with the prices, and we rely completely on community members to fill the store, and community members to empty it?”

The fact that ReStores across the country are working so well is a testament to seeing the world glass-half-full. The boardroom guy in the paragraph above would have been laughed out of the room, but the same business model framed in a positive light seems ingenious.

“Over 775,000 square feet of retail space is occupied by high-quality building supplies, home furnishing, appliances, and décor at Habitat for Humanity's 97 Canadian ReStore locations. Shopping at a ReStore is a socially conscious decision, as funds generated are used to fund Habitat home-building projects. As well, shopping at a ReStore is an environmentally conscious decision, as much of what is sold is product that is new, gently used or customer returns that would otherwise end up in a landfill.”

Sold.

Here’s another note about ReStores of which you newsletter readers may not be aware. In my old gig this would have been called “burying the lede.” We have demolition crews. These crews will come to your home or cottage and pull out your kitchen – for free! These kitchens are then sold at the ReStore, and are often the biggest sellers. So tell your friends, family, strangers, and neighbours. Here’s some more theatre as to how this scenario could play out.

Sam: “Kitchen is looking a little dated Mary, ever thought of switching it up? Stepping into 2016?”

Mary: “Seems like a lot of work and money.”

Sam: “I’ll call the ReStore and they’ll rip it out and clean it up for free and then I’ll help you install updated cabinetry this weekend. Also, you can feel good because you’ve helped build local affordable homes right here for hardworking families in this community.”

A perfectly natural conversation.  I should have been a playwright.

Greg
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 are coming along nicely. The siding is about 50 per cent complete, and the decking around the homes is nearing completion. Jeff Lapierre will share a photo of the exterior in next week’s newsletter.

Huntsville (11 Irene St.; semi-detached; underway): This week Randy’s crew was hard at work back-filling and leveling. The lot leveling is completed and the crew is making preparations for the next step: flooring. The steel floor framing is to be delivered and installed next week and the prefabricated walls and roof package on September 6th.

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.
EVENT POSTERS
This week’s safety tip is more of a safety dispatch. All work safety, from being aware of hazards down to wearing proper safety equipment, is all about instilling the right culture in the work place. And here’s the truth: all the standards, committees, safeguards and signage in the world won’t help keep us safe without a proper culture of work safety.

It starts at the top and trickles down. Employees need to know that their safety is the top priority of that day – everyday. Not the bottom line, not sales targets, not how much stuff was lifted and moved or produced, but getting home safe. Period. From there it’s about accountability.  Taking ownership of your safety, and everyone’s well-being. It’s about changing the way we think if we think safety is an expense of wasted time, effort, or money. It’s about never being complacent and never letting your workplace and co-workers feel satisfied with unsafe environments or actions.

After that, a culture of workplace safety is about collaboration. Employees and superiors working together with clear communication about how to improve current working conditions.

Only after organizations make a culture of safety their number one priority; employees make themselves and each other accountable; and an environment of collaboration and communication is established, can processes and practices help keep us safe.

- 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 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
Quote of the Week

"Obsessed is just a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated." - Russell Warren
Wonder Women

Ginger Barkey
Lori Beecroft
Tanya Blain
Marian Burdsall
Kelly Haywood
Carol MacLellan

Super Men

Brian Ternoway

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 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 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,

Meghan
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.

Greg
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 http://burksfallscountryjamboree.ca/

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 myles@bell.net 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.
EVENT POSTERS
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:
http://hfhongatewaynorth.com/assets/usr/usrfiles/ 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 bingram@habitatgatewaynorth.com 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