The Chippewa Valley Post provides news of area nonprofit organizations in order to increase public awareness of their missions and activities, and to provide information that otherwise might not be made available.
Our “6 of Substance” series is part of this effort. It presents answers from area nonprofit organizations, in their own words, to six questions about who they are and what they do. The responses are edited only for length, grammar and style concerns.
This series will be updated regularly to introduce Chippewa Valley residents to the many nonprofit organizations and people working to serve the needs of our area. If you have a favorite nonprofit organization that you’d like to see featured here, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chippewa Valley Habitat for Humanity
Who do you serve?
Chippewa Valley Habitat for Humanity (CVH4H) assists lower income families that need decent and affordable housing. Our service area includes a 30-mile radius around Eau Claire. Most of our homes are built as new construction, but several remodels have also been completed. Additionally, we are working on bringing back our Brush with Kindness program, which provides minor exterior repairs to homes when people are unable to maintain the residences they own due to ability or income issues. In the future, we will also offer critical home repair services that will include interior projects.
CVH4H also serves the community as a whole through its new ReStore, which opened on July 6. It sells surplus and used furniture, home furnishings and appliances plus remodeling and construction items. Its inventory consists of items donated to Habitat for Humanity and then sold at deeply discounted prices, often around 50% of retail price. All proceeds from the store are used for our Chippewa Valley building and home repair programs.
The store also provides various other services to the community, from discounted items that buyers may not otherwise be able to afford to an opportunity for donors to receive a tax write-off for items that would otherwise go into local landfills. This promotes sustainability and contributes to a healthier environment. In the end, additional houses that are built or remodeled by CVH4H provide increased curb appeal and an increased tax base for the communities we live in.
Chippewa Valley Habitat for Humanity has been operating in the Chippewa Valley since 1991. We celebrated our 25th Anniversary year in 2016! In that time, we have helped 43 partner families receive their own home through our home building program.
What are the major issues you will be facing over the next 18 months?
Over the next year we will be working to ramp up both donations and sales at the ReStore, as well as our visibility and community awareness. We need the store to become self-sufficient and sustainable with sales, and then begin turning a profit so we can use the additional financial resources to fulfill our mission. We need the entire community to become aware of our store and programs, as well as shopping there and donating items. ReStores can only sell what they have, so quality donations are extremely important.
Aside from financial support, how can the Chippewa Valley Community support you?
The community can help both CVH4H and the ReStore in several ways. We need volunteers not only to help with our building projects but also to work in the Restore to accept, process and clean donations. People are also needed to help stage merchandise and assist customers on the sales floor. We also need volunteers to help with event and fundraiser planning. Committee members are always being recruited as well. The easiest way to support CVH4H may simply be to donate and shop at the store. Either way, you will be providing the items needed for us to build for families in need!
Who are some of the key people in your organization?
Chippewa Valley Habitat for Humanity has a staff team that can assist people with programming or store questions. Aaron Czappa is the Executive Director. Nick Gross is the ReStore Manager. Brad Dittner is the lead store associate and contact. Maddie Ursitz is our Office Manager. Kevin Higgins works as our Accountant and IT Specialist. Both Nick and Maddie can help out with volunteer scheduling. Anybody interested in volunteering can call 715-895-8177 or email email@example.com for more information.
What is the most important thing about your organization that people should know, but don’t?
Habitat for Humanity provides a hand-up and not a hand-out. Many people think that we build our homes primarily with volunteer labor and then give them to the family in need. Actually, we require our partner families to work hand in hand with us to build their own home. This provides a sense of pride and dignity about their home, and also teaches them many of the necessary home maintenance skills they will need. We sell our homes to families at very reduced costs with a 0% interest loan. Loan payments are received monthly and recycled over and over again to build additional homes. With this process, donors in any capacity are not just helping to build one home for one family. They are in fact helping to sustain the entire organization and build many more homes and complete many repair projects for years to come.
— by Aaron Czappa, Executive Director
If you would like more information about the Chippewa Valley Habitat for Humanity, visit www.cvh4h.org.
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