Fundraiser to support Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity broke ground on its latest home build in October, with a completion date set for June 30 of this year. (News Advocate file photo)

Habitat for Humanity broke ground on its latest home build in October, with a completion date set for June 30 of this year. (News Advocate file photo)

MANISTEE COUNTY — Habitat for Humanity relies on selfless contributions from humanity.

Starting today, Family Fare — located at 1057 Manistee Highway in Manistee — is making it easy for the public to help build hope and affordable housing in Manistee County.

The SpartanNash Foundation — the charitable arm of SpartanNash and its Family Fare Supermarket stores — is holding its annual retail scan campaign from now until Feb. 18 to benefit Manistee County’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity.

The fundraising effort encourages Family Fare shoppers to donate $1, $5 or $10 at any checkout lane during their visit, as 100 percent of all funds raised go toward the programs and services provided by the local Habitat affiliate.

“The SpartanNash Foundation is proud to work with Manistee County Habitat for Humanity and other community nonprofit organizations that provide hunger relief, secure shelter and support our military heroes,” said Meredith Gremel, vice president of corporate affairs and communications and executive director of the SpartanNash Foundation. “Through our retail scan campaigns, we have developed many strong partnerships with local Habitats, and, together with our store guests and associates, we are excited to continue to support their efforts in our local communities in 2018.

“By working with our Habitat for Humanity partners, we can ensure that all dollars donated during our retail scan campaign will have a significant impact right in our local communities.”

Those sentiments were echoed by Vanessa Buhs, executive director of Manistee County Habitat for Humanity, when talking about the partnership with Family Fare.

“We’re really proud and fortunate to work with Family Fare, locally,” she said. “They have a great team of employees who are very enthusiastic about this.”

On select days throughout the campaign, Habitat for Humanity volunteers will also be on hand at Family Fare to pass out informational brochures and answer any questions about their mission. Volunteers are slated to be present on from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today, Feb. 10 and Feb. 14.

Fundraising is crucial to Habitat’s sustainability in Manistee, Buhs said.

“Funding really comes from three sources,” she said, “donations, fundraising efforts such as this one and from repayment of mortgages by the person who receives the house.”

Funds support Habitat’s home builds, weatherization and critical repair programs. Buhs said the organization is also focused on a recent emphasis on support for military veterans.

“We’ve added veterans builds to our affordable housing endeavors,” she said. “It’s international focus for Habitat, the goal being to reach out to veterans, prevent homelessness, allow them to stay in their home and provide affordable housing opportunities for veterans.”

According to Habitat for Humanity, its Weatherization Program is designed to improve the energy efficiency and overall indoor air quality and comfort of a low-income family’s home. Weatherization is a systematic repair process to an existing home based on a comprehensive energy audit, resulting in a defined scope of work.

Habitat’s Critical Repair Program includes extensive interior and exterior work preformed to alleviate critical health, life, and safety issues on homes of low-income families. Critical Home Repair includes: fixing code violations, including a change to or repair of materials or components; a reconfiguration of space; or a modification for accessibility.

Manistee County’s chapter is also in the process of constructing its 11th house under the new home program since its inception in 1994. The last build was completed in 2014.

The future three-bedroom, two-bathroom ranch style house in Eastlake is nearly halfway complete, with an end date set for June 30 of this year.

“Before it’s over we’ll probably have nearly 50 volunteers who have worked on the build,” Buhs said, citing that volunteerism, along with donations, is the backbone of Habitat for Humanity.

“It’s what allows us to sustain ourselves and continue to work toward or mission of providing save, decent, affordable housing,” she said. “We’re doing it one house, one handicap accessible ramp or bathroom at a time. And we’re really proud of that.”

The local Habitat for Humanity is currently restructuring its website, but its former page can be found at habitatmanistee.org. For more information on Habitat and its programs, email habitat.manistee.county@gmail.com or call (231) 723-7458.

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Posted by Dylan Savela

Dylan is the county reporter for the News Advocate, he also is in charge of the Small Town Life, religion and senior pages. He can be reached at (231) 398-3111 or dsavela@pioneergroup.com.

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