Main photo (from left) Meghan Smith, Chief Operating Officer for Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North (HFHOGN); Jim McLellan, HFHOGN Board Vice Chair; Parry-Sound Muskoka MP Tony Clement; Huntsville ReStore Manager Alicia Marshall; HFHOGN CEO Kimberley Woodcock; Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP Norm Miller; Mayor Scott Aitchison; Councillor Bob Stone; and Britta Gerwin, HFHOGN Director of Development and Communications
THIS BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT SHINES ON
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A power outage on Friday, May 4 couldn’t keep Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North (HFHOGN) from celebrating its recently opened ReStore with a special ribbon-cutting event. ReStore and HFHOGN staff and volunteers gathered with local dignitaries at the new 12,000 sq. ft. ReStore at the back of Huntsville Place Mall.
MP Tony Clement, MPP Norm Miller, and Mayor Scott Aitchison offered their congratulations and thanks to the staff and volunteers, and reiterated the need for Habitat’s services in the community.
“We have made healthcare and housing our number one and number two priorities over the last four years,” said Aitchison. “We’re really proud to be able to say we were able to partner with Habitat. We’ve gifted land to make builds possible and we’re always looking for new opportunities to do that very thing because we believe that a decent home, a bed to sleep in, is absolutely fundamental to the beginnings of self-actualization for any human being. And it’s a desperate need in our community. We are aware of it and we are doing everything we can to help alleviate that.”
In 2018, Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North has committed to completing five projects across its region (Orillia, Midland, Muskoka, Parry Sound, North Bay and Sudbury) that will impact seven families. That’s the most since 2001, said Kimberley Woodcock, the organization’s CEO.
“Everyone deserves a place to live and it’s the start of a more meaningful, dignified life for people who want to reach a higher potential,” said Woodcock. “There’s a lot of potential (in this region) to help people and deliver on the cause. We have a lot of room to grow, a lot of caring and compassionate people who want to take the organization to new levels.”
She noted that the Huntsville ReStore “shines above all the others in the volunteer component” with 30 volunteers who dedicate their time at the store to help raise money for local builds.
Woodcock also said that the new ReStore “is a symbol as much as it is a new location. We wanted to create something brighter, nicer to shop in, with a higher level of quality. We want people to be able to give back to the community but enjoy it while they are doing it.”
The ReStore’s manager, Alicia Marshall, also thanked its volunteers and staff for their efforts, and encouraged the community to check out what the store has to offer, all in support of future builds. “We are a non-profit organization and we are building homes with their donation—every purchase helps, even if it’s a dollar.”
In addition to shopping at the ReStore, community members can also donate household items to support what the organization does. They accept most things that are in good working condition, except for sporting goods, electronics, books, and safety equipment. If you’d like to donate used goods but aren’t sure if they are acceptable, contact the ReStore at (705) 788-0305. Items can be dropped off or the store will pick them up from you for free.
If you are interested in applying for a future Habitat for Humanity home, visit hfhongatewaynorth.com for more information.