Non-Profit Sees Increase in Donations Thanks to SFB Support
Article By: Becky Seelen
It's that time of year when everyone packs away their holiday decorations and begins organizing for the New Year. Often residents are left with large items that they wish to donate to a local charity but have no means to deliver them. Now with a recent donation from Security Financial Bank (SFB) and a grant from the Eau Claire Community Foundation (ECCF), area residents are in luck.
Chippewa Valley Habitat for Humanity (CVH4H) builds and repairs homes for lower-income families that are in need of safe, decent, and affordable housing. In 2017, the area non-profit organization opened ReStore, which sells donated furniture, appliances, and home furnishings along with construction and remodeling supplies. CVH4H uses 100 percent of the store's proceeds for its local programs. However, the area non-profit was seeing a lack of donations because residents didn't have a vehicle large enough to deliver the used items.
To help solve the problem, Security Financial Bank recently pledged $10,000 to CVH4H for a purchase of a used box truck and storage trailer. The ECCF matched the pledge with a $10,000 grant, and CVH4H was able to purchase a truck to pick up items from donors.
The truck is already seeing a lot of use, according to CVH4H's Executive Director Aaron Czappa. The truck makes on average 10 donation pick-ups a week within a 30-mile radius.
"The best donations always come in on the truck," Czappa said. "The items we pick up are usually large donations from a corporation or estate sale that are too large to deliver. They tend to be a larger quantity as well and are items that are much more needed by our shoppers."
SFB first learned of the need from its Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operating Officer Paul Solyntjes, who serves on Habitat for Humanity's Board of Directors.
"Chippewa Valley Habitat for Humanity is a great organization that changes lives for those who are especially in need of extra help," Solyntjes said. "When Security Financial Bank discovered that a delivery truck was critical for CVH4H to secure more donations, we wanted to do everything we could to help them."
The truck purchase also would not have been possible without the support of the Eau Claire Community Foundation.
"The Eau Claire Community Foundation is thrilled that it could provide a $10,000 grant to help fund Chippewa Valley Habitat for Humanity's much-needed delivery truck. We know that by facilitating donations to the ReStore, this grant will help many families in need finally fulfill their dreams of a new home," said Susan Bornick, executive director of the Eau Claire Community Foundation.
This year, Habitat for Humanity plans to build a new home for a family in Mondovi. In addition, the non-profit organization is starting to do home repair projects for families who own a home but need help with vital renovations.
When individuals donate unwanted items to ReStore, not only does it allow Habitat for Humanity to use the proceeds from the sale of the items to build houses for those in need, but it also has additional benefits for the community in general.
"Without a place to take many of these items, they often end up in landfills," Czappa explained. "Now, the donor can receive a tax write-off instead of a dumpster fee."
In addition, all of the large item donations are saving thousands of pounds of material from entering local landfills on an annual basis, he said.
"This has a great impact on our environment and promotes sustainability initiatives," Czappa explained.
There is no fee for the pick-up service. To make an appointment, contact ReStore at 715-895-8177.
ReStore, which is located at 145 N. Clairemont Ave. in Eau Claire, is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Drop-off donations also are accepted during store hours.