Habitat Heartland Merger With Habitat Brant-Norfolk – Meet Our Team!

Habitat Heartland Ontario is thrilled to have merged with Habitat Brant-Norfolk! We are operating as one Habitat Heartland to serve more families and individuals in the City of Brantford, and the counties of Brant, Elgin, Middlesex, Norfolk, Oxford and Perth. To celebrate this milestone, we are highlighting our team member’s merger stories from our Habitat Heartland Ontario and Brant-Norfolk Chapter offices. Here, they share their Habitat stories, and what this merger means to them:

Tracey’s story

“Don’t lift what you can’t” – This is a meme poster that hangs in my office of something that I said a long time ago to my friends, and it always receives quite a few laughs; but in reality, it holds some truth. Obviously, you would not be able to lift something you can’t, but it also reminds us that we can’t do everything alone. It takes a team or a community, who have a common goal, to come together and support each other to reach the final outcome. This is what I see in our merger between Brant-Norfolk and Heartland Ontario. Team members with a common goal, relying on each other for help, coming together to make our mission a reality through ReStores, Builds, and Events alike. For me, this merger has been one of growth and new challenges, which after 17 years with Habitat for Humanity, is a welcomed change that marks a new chapter in the evolution of our communities. I look forward to getting to know our new team and becoming part of something extraordinary. 

 

Bethany’s story

During my years at Habitat for Humanity Heartland Ontario, I have had the amazing opportunity to work with the future homeowners of the homes that we build. It is so inspiring to hear their stories, walk with them through the nervous time of the application process, and then celebrate with them when they find out they are going to build with us!  It is always a rollercoaster of emotions and I am honoured to be part of that exciting and rewarding journey.

We are a team at Habitat Heartland. Each department supports and influences the others, which means a lot of communication, sharing, and inspiration happens at our team meetings. By joining with Habitat for Humanity Brant-Norfolk, we are gaining more team members with new and different experiences, perspectives and opinions, which means growth for all of us. I look forward to many more exciting future homeowner adventures to come! 

 

Frances’ story

Habitat changes people’s lives with a “Hand up not a Hand out”. That philosophy is what first brought me to volunteer on the Family Relations Committee in 2009. When I started volunteering, I worked for Brant Housing at the time, and was aware of the need for safe, decent and affordable housing. The struggle in the community was real and I wanted to be part of the solution. I took early retirement from my job and continued to volunteer on the Committee. In 2016, I was offered part time employment as a Homeownership Services Coordinator. I often tell anyone that would listen that I have the best job in the organization, getting to travel the journey with our homeowners to homeownership. I get to be a part of the excitement of approval, to the tears at the key ceremony. It is such a rewarding experience. When I found out about the merger, I felt apprehensive as to what that would mean, and how it would affect not only myself, but my coworkers. Now that the process has started, I am excited about what our partnership will bring to enhance the work that we do. Merging with Heartland will allow us to have a larger impact on the community and provide more affordable housing. Change is good…. I look forward to how the merger will enhance the work that we do for the community. 

 

Emily’s story

When I began working with Habitat Heartland Ontario at the beginning of 2020 as the Social Media and Marketing Associate, I learned more about all the amazing work Habitat was doing in my own backyard. Seeing the change that Habitat homeownership brings to local families has been inspiring. Owning a Habitat home is so much more than just a roof over a family’s head – it’s the chance to build a better future. 

Now that we have merged with Brant-Norfolk, together we will serve 6 counties, and operate 9 ReStores! I’m excited about the opportunity to partner with even more families and individuals in our region and help them achieve affordable homeownership. The resilience and cooperation that we have fostered as a team over the past year has navigated us through the early stages of this merger, and will continue to keep us on course during this time of change and growth. From a Marketing and Communications standpoint, this merger is a great opportunity for Habitat Heartland to speak with a clear message to a wider audience of supporters and potential homeowners. I’m looking forward to what the future will hold for Habitat Heartland! 

 

Renee’s story

“Where you live isn’t your community unless you do something to make it a better place” – it’s my personal motto…  

My first experience with Habitat Brant-Norfolk was working on a home in Simcoe. I was a volunteer, and I knew the Future Homeowner family through a work connection. Fast forward a few years and I now have the pleasure of being the Volunteer Coordinator on staff.  This two-year journey has involved getting to know hundreds of volunteers from various backgrounds, and over a dozen hardworking and deserving Future Homeowner families. When I learned that our affiliate was going to be merging with (the much bigger) Habitat Heartland Ontario, I admit I was a little nervous… Now that the process has started however, I am very excited about what the future will hold. There is so much experience and talent at the table; professionally I will get to further learn, develop my craft, and share my experience and ideas. We are building a stronger and better team. My community just got bigger – and I, we, are so excited to grow and create a more meaningful and fulfilling experience for our volunteers. Most importantly, we get to serve more families in need of safe, decent, affordable homes. 

 

Kendra’s story

What an exciting time for Habitat for Humanity Heartland Ontario, and our Brant-Norfolk Chapter. 

Working alongside Brant has been a rewarding experience for me. I’m learning how they operate, how much they value their volunteers, and how excited they are about their large projects coming up. By putting our expertise together, we can streamline our processes in preparation for upcoming multi-unit builds and operating our 9 ReStores in the 6 counties we now serve. We have a lot to look forward to in 2021, and I know our volunteers will rise to the challenge. 

Learn more about what’s new at Habitat Heartland Brant-Norfolk Chapter