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!”

Thrivent Financial partners with CMHFH on Thrivent Builds #26

Thrivent Financial, CMHFH’s 2017 Business Partner of the Year, is partnering with CMHFH on Thrivent Builds #26 in 2018!

Over the past 10 years, Thrivent Financial has awarded over $2 million in grants to Central Minnesota, helping 25 families attain safe, affordable housing.  The grant, a part of the Thrivent Builds program, provides half of the financial support needed to build a home. The rest of the support is raised from local businesses, churches, and members of the community. The homes are built by volunteers from sponsoring businesses, churches, the partner family and the general public.

Construction is set to start this summer on the 4-bedroom home on Clearwater Road.

Rick Nelson

Rick is the Executive Director at Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity. He has over 35 years of experience serving non-profits as a senior pastor and consultant in various contexts both domestically and internationally. He has devoted much of his career working with people seeking to improve their lives and enjoy their very best possible future, working on behalf of movements focused in the areas of children and families, homelessness, food scarcity, affordable housing, community building, and cooperative interfaith ventures. In addition to his undergrad degrees in education and communication, Rick has a Master’s degree in theology and ministry, as well as a doctorate in leadership from Luther Seminary in St. Paul.

Rick grew up in the San Diego area and has spent over 17 years in Minnesota. He and his wife Kristen—a Stearns County girl—and 12-year-old daughter Lucy enjoy any activities on or near the water, movies, reading, and the live music scene. Along with golf, theater, and their dogs (Fiona and Joe) their lives are busy, rich, and happy. “I am so thrilled to lead within an organization with such a great reputation, talented staff, and long-standing commitment to the vision and work of seeing to it that everyone has a decent place to live.”

CMHFH kicks off New Year with new Executive Director

Rick Nelson has been named Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity’s new Executive Director. Nelson is poised to lead the 28-year-old organization beginning right away in 2018 and aims to sustain and grow CMHFH’s impact in the greater St. Cloud region. He comes to St. Cloud from Woodbury, Minn. and brings decades of experience leading faith communities and engaging in community service efforts to end homelessness, poverty, and promote wellness and social justice.
Board President Dave Jacobs says, “The CMHFH Board of Directors is absolutely thrilled to name Rick Nelson as our next Executive Director. His depth of experience, enthusiasm for mission, and ties to the Central Minnesota community combine to make him the ideal leader for our next phase of development. We look forward to introducing Rick to our donors, volunteers and community partners to continue the critical work of making homeownership affordable for more families in our region.”
Nelson earned his doctorate in Leadership from Luther Seminary. In recent years, he has served as a consultant and coach to nonprofit organizations and their leaders. Previously, Rick served as Senior Pastor of Lutheran churches in California, Montana, Arizona, and in Minneapolis; Board Chair of Lutheran World Relief; Director of Development for Children’s Law Center of Minnesota; and Director of Worship Arts at Peace Church in Eagan. He and his wife, Kristen, who is from Stearns County, look forward to being closer to family and to becoming engaged once again with the four county area Central MN Habitat for Humanity serves.
Nelson says, “I am so glad for this opportunity to lead a nonprofit organization within the greater St. Cloud community-such great people here, and to be part of a proven movement within God’s world working to help others in the name of Jesus to enjoy their very best lives is a privilege. It is exciting to walk together into God’s marvelous future, making a difference one life at a time.”