Volunteering — Beyond the Walls

At CMHFH, volunteers are the backbone of our mission. As a non-profit we depend on our volunteers’ generosity, especially the sharing of their treasured time.

Habitat is blessed and fortunate to have many ready hands to pound a nail, raise a wall, brush on fresh paint and or install a window. This is the heart of what we do…providing a home…a home for laughter, learning, loving and living. Our gratitude to our building crews is immense!

With this blog post, however, I want to shine a light on those that work beyond the lumber, nails and shingles. It truly is amazing the tasks our volunteers do solely to help us reach our vision.

In my short time here as a volunteer coordinator, I’ve been in awe of the volunteers willing to tackle jobs and tasks that are not glamorous, often dirty, and frequently out of the eyes of any recognition. Here’s a shout out to the volunteers that dump our office trash before office hours, take a truckload to the landfill in the rain, organize our trailers, or travel over an hour to recycle our old computers. Kudos to volunteers pushing a broom to clean debris or leaving little ones with a babysitter to spend a few hours at our computers. It’s with thankfulness to the volunteers that work with ingenuity to generously clean and make ready our new homes; laying the foundation of love, laughter and living even before the family steps across its threshold. Volunteer compassion shows in the volunteer leaders that make the phones calls and send the emails in an effort to get a job done. The “beyond the wall” volunteers, rain or shine (and sometimes snow!) may be lifting signs, cleaning warehouses, hauling brush, shoveling driveways, mowing vacant lots, and countless other tasks!

It is inspiring to see the love shared through actions that many of us never see, often forget happen, and, may mean getting into the grit and dirt of every day life. To these volunteers, we say THANK YOU! Your work may be beyond the construction that is vital to our mission, but it is no less important! Thank you for opening your hearts to some of the forgotten tasks so we can open the doors to a better future!

SCTCC student recognized for Habitat home design

On May 2, Megan Kath, a student at St. Cloud Technical and Community College, was recognized for her winning home design. Students from Jed Johnson’s Architectural Design Class designed home plans for a 2018 Habitat Home. Experts in the field judged the submitted plans and picked Megan’s design as the top design in the class.

Last year, students in Jed’s class also participated in a similar competition with the top design being used for the 2017 Build for Unity Habitat Home in Sauk Rapids. Megan’s home plan will be used in this summer’s Thrivent Builds Habitat Home. Last year, students from the class worked on a Habitat build site and were able to see the blueprint put into action.

We love having fantastic partners like SCTCC. If you want to partner with Habitat, call 320-656-8890.

Board Spotlight: Hailey Hollenhorst

Name: Hailey Hollenhorst

Occupation: Financial Advisor

Why did you want to be on Habitat’s board? I did a Habitat for Humanity International Build in Ghana and was drawn to the mission immediately. I wanted to get involved with my local Habitat for Humanity chapter once I got back!

How long have you been on the board? I served for 2 years in 2013-2014 and recently rejoined in 2017.

In what ways do you volunteer your time with Habitat? While I was practicing law, I devoted a lot of pro bono hours to representing Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity. Now that I am no longer practicing, I plan to volunteer on build sites, at Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity events, and by attending and being active on the Board and committees.

Why do you choose to volunteer your time? By volunteering my time, I am able to help the people in the community I otherwise would not be able to. When I was practicing at Gray Plant Mooty, the firm was very supportive of the attorneys devoting their time to volunteering and I have tried to continue that habit.

What do you like most about being involved with Habitat? I like the idea of working alongside the families that are being helped. I can see that they are fully invested in the program and are working extremely hard to attain their goal of home ownership. Habitat is an organization that requires the beneficiaries of the organization to work hard for what they are receiving. I think that it’s an excellent model.

Why do you think others should be involved with Habitat? There are so many ways to donate. You can donate time by being on a build site, donate money to help the organization run and for supplies needed to build the homes, or donate your talent by serving on a committee. It is very fulfilling to give to an organization that helps people obtain what many of us take for granted – an adequate roof over our heads. By giving any of your time, money or talent, you know you’re giving to an organization that is helping people better their lives.

Learn how you can volunteer at Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity


Volunteer Spotlight: Cheryl Roberts

Cheryl (front) volunteering on a Habitat construction site.

Name: Cheryl Roberts

Occupation: Team Lead at Target

Volunteer Roles at Habitat: Events committee, office work, helping on the construction site

Years Volunteering with Habitat: 5 years

Favorite Thing about Volunteering at Habitat: Meeting all the different people at the events (Habitat families, donors, volunteers, etc.).

Why Volunteer? To get out of the house and do something for someone else.

Why Volunteer at Habitat? To see firsthand the difference that Habitat is making in the community.

Hobbies Outside of Habitat: Crafting, spending time with my family, camping

Why Should Others get Involved with Habitat? Just to see what Habitat is all about and to get involved with your community.

Learn how you can volunteer at Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity


3 Home Closings. 23 Lives Changes.

Three Habitat Partner Families have graduated to become Habitat Homeowners today, Feb. 21. For two of the families, this ends a 26-month process…

Two volunteers hit 500-hour milestone


We truly are not able to accomplish our mission of providing affordable housing to families in need without the help of our volunteers. In 2017, we had 687 volunteers give over 10,890 volunteer hours! The estimated value of a volunteers’ time in the state of Minnesota is $26.40 an hour. At that rate, our volunteers saved us over $287,000 in expenses. That is why volunteers play a key role in our mission, and we want to say thanks.

In 2011, we started our Volunteer Milestone program, which recognizes volunteers when their hours accumulate to certain levels. In 2017, we had two volunteers reach the 500-hour milestone mark. Those volunteers were Gail Krupa and Scot Thielen. Gail and Scot were both dedicated ReStore volunteers who gave their time on a weekly basis. Scot was a go-to person for staff and Gail was known as the lighting queen. Gail was presented with an engraved hammer with the Habitat logo and her name. Scot picked up his engraved hammer from the CMHFH offices.

Volunteers inducted into CMHFH Hall of Fame

The CMHFH Volunteer Hall of Fame was established to give special recognition to individual volunteers who have gone above and beyond the norm for volunteer service. They demonstrate a passion for the mission of Habitat for Humanity by consistently volunteering over a span of at least 8 years and totaling over 1000 hours. It is important to us to honor such steadfast commitment because it is a shining example of the central mission principle of Habitat for Humanity to put faith into action.

This year’s inductees are: Wayne Anderson and Vince Drobniak.

Wayne Anderson is one of our volunteer pillars who has volunteered in just about every way you can volunteer at Habitat. Wayne is a frequent volunteer site supervisor and site host. He is a part of Habitat’s elite trim team that puts all the finishing touches on the all the Habitat houses. Wayne is a self-motivated individual that on his own initiative will show up to do drywall and painting touch up exclusively, while giving our homes the white glove inspection.
Wayne is a very conscientious, reliable and committed volunteer. We are all so grateful for his support of Habitat.

Vince Drobniak joined the CMHFH board January 2017 after he showed immense commitment to Habitat and its mission. He worked just about every Saturday at the ReStore for six years and led the charge on the clean-up of two ReStore warehouses full of cubicles, including dismantling them to get us the benefit from metal recycling. He worked, with his wife, through the holidays and most Saturdays for the last few months to help close ReStore
He rushed to get certain sections of one warehouse empty to save us in rent costs.He worked hard to find buyers for the large Capital One donations we received, including securing a buyer to purchase hundreds of chairs for almost $30,000. Vince’s dedication and commitment to Habitat is greatly appreciated by everyone at Habitat.

These two volunteers have gone above and beyond for Habitat.

H&S Heating and Air Conditioning inducted into CMHFH Hall of Fame


Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity (CMHFH) kicked off the new year by thanking and recognizing their many donors, volunteers and business partners at their annual Dream Builders Reception at the Kelly Inn.

Each year CMHFH recognizes a local business that has been donating cash or in-kind services and materials to its organization. They demonstrate a consistent, long-time, active interest in helping CMHFH reach its goals. The partner businesses also demonstrates a passion for the mission of Habitat for Humanity that is at the heart of their donations. This year’s inductee is H&S Heating and Air Conditioning Residential and Service, LLC.

“H&S Heating and Air Conditioning has grown to be strong Habitat partner over the years,” said Dave Jacobs, CMHFH Board President. “In addition to their donations of time and talent, H&S Heating owners Emily and Jeremy Salzbrun are energetic Habitat advocates out in the community. We definitely cannot accomplish all that we do without partners like H&S.”

Over the past years, H&S Heating has partnered with CMHFH on over 24 homes, is a regular sponsor of Habitat fundraising events, Jeremy Salzbrun is part of the Homeowner Education Classes and does a walk through with Partner Families to educate them on how to change a furnace filter, how to set the thermostat, and troubleshoot any issues they may encounter.

“H&S is truly as good as it gets when it comes to a Habitat subcontractor partner,” said Art Buhs, CMHFH Construction Manager. “They are always quick to respond and are fantastic working with our Partner Families and homeowners.”

“We were taught to give back and we love helping to build a stronger community,” said Jeremy Salzbrun. “Central Minnesota Habitat is a natural fit for H&S Heating and Air to partner with. Emily and I love Habitat!”