"A world where everyone has a decent place to live..."

November 2015
Habitat News Tribune
A Message from the Editor
Hi, everyone! 

This month, John Thompson, former VISTA, newsletter editor, and River Falls ReStore Associate, accepted another job, which means he is no longer working for our affiliate. I thought it would be fitting for John to write this month's Message from the Editor.


A final message from John Thompson, former editor of the Habitat News Tribune:

Working for a noble and righteous organization with a brilliant and delightful staff is a joy that everyone should have the chance to experience, and working for St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity has been just that: a joy. Circumstances have, however, dictated that I must leave the venerated ranks of SCV-Habitat, and I would like to leave you now, loyal reader, with some parting words regarding my tenure at this wonderful organization.  

We live in a bipolar age - a time of extremes. Our technological advances consistently stagger the imagination, and yet the prospect of ecological collapse remains distressingly real. Our nation's material abundance is a veritable cornucopia of riches, and yet the gulf between the haves and have nots grows inexorably wider each passing day. Humans are more connected now than ever before in our planet's history, and yet each day we are bombarded with deplorable acts of unspeakable violence and cruelty perpetrated upon our fellow man. Faced with this reality, it is easy enough to let oneself slip into confusion and despair, but when despair weaves its ghastly tendrils into my conscious mind, I need only think back to my time with St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity to remind myself that there still is goodness, virtue, and stability in our bipolar age.

Indeed, my time spent helping SCV-Habitat substantially enhance the lives of so many good people in the St. Croix Valley has been a sheer and unmitigated delight. I would like to thank the truly remarkable staff and volunteers at SCV-Habitat - one would be hard-pressed to find a more dedicated, knowledgeable, and delightful group of people. And thank you, loyal reader, for allowing me the forum to wax poetically about the organization that I find so inspiring and uplifting. 

Per ardua ad astra,
John Thompson
Donation Changes are Coming
Our ReStores can only stay in business because of your generous donations!

However, there will be some changes to the types of donations each ReStore location will accept. Make sure to keep an eye out for those changes in the upcoming month.

In the meantime, make sure to keep us in mind when you have some items to donate.

If your donations are too bulky to bring in yourself, please call our Donation Pickup at 715-690-4984 to schedule a pickup. 
Join our FAM Club!
The Fifteen Dollars a Month club is a hassle free and secure way to help fight poverty housing in the St. Croix Valley. Each month, for less than a couple meals at a restaurant, you can help provide a home for a local family in need.

With the FAM club, every month 15 dollars (or more, if you choose) will be 
securely transferred from your bank account to ours to help us cover the cost we incur on our noble mission. 

To sign up for the FAM club please, 
contact the office at 715-425-5623.

We at St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity would like to extend a very heartfelt and humble thank you to all of our donors for your 
beneficence; it is through your contributions that we may continue our righteous work.
Donate a Vehicle to SCV-Habitat, and Help Us Build Houses

Board of Directors

Kelly Cain



Sarah Bruch
Vice President 

Don Richards

Bill Stokes

Carol Merriman

Peter Kilde

Heather Logelin

Roger Pavlis 

Joel Skinner

Maureen Otwell

Bill Richard

Executive Director

Project Manager

Construction Manager
Office Manager
Office Assistant

Outreach and Faith Relations VISTA
ReStore Manager - New Richmond


Donation Procurement 


ReStore Assistant Manager - New Richmond

ReStore Manager -River Falls


ReStore Associate - River Falls

ReStore Social Media Consultant - River Falls

Donation Assistant - New Richmond

Donation Assistant - New Richmond
Corporate Partners
Welcome Home, Olson Family
After two months and nearly 670 hours of volunteer labor, the Olson's ABWK project is finally complete. In total, the house was entirely repainted, new concrete was poured by the front steps, the front and side steps were replaced, two windows were replaced, and the whole roof was given new shingles. It was quite the undertaking, but seeing how excited Bob and Diane Olson are about their house made all of the time and effort worthwhile.

"I still go out every morning, look at my house, and pinch myself just to make sure it's real," said Bob. "This project was a God send. We cannot thank everyone enough for all of their hard work. I'm excited to start writing all of the thank you cards," continued Diane.

The Olson's children, all of whom live out of state, still do not know about the home updates. They are waiting for their kids to come home for Thanksgiving so that they can see everything for themselves. "They'll probably drive right by the house not recognizing that it's ours," the couple commented.

This Thanksgiving will also be a special one for the Olsons as it comes one day before their 50th wedding anniversary.

We would like to thank all of the volunteers, led by incredibly hardworking Chuck and Judy Sambs, and donors for their continued dedication to this wonderful couple. All of your work and support have brought unspeakable amounts of joy to such a deserving couple.
Meet Our Volunteers of the Year
Every year at the Wisconsin's Habitat for Humanity State Support Organization (SSO) Conference, affiliates from around the state are able to honor a construction and ReStore volunteer of the year.

This year, our affiliate honored Fred Benson and Randy Feyen as the construction and ReStore volunteers of the year (respectively).

Fred Benson began volunteering in March of 2013 helping to build his stepdaughter's Habitat home in our Eco Village. When volunteering, he makes a point to greet others he hasn't yet met and makes them feel welcomed. He tackles every task needed, and he is humble about his abilities. He has continued to volunteer his hours and has also pledged some of his hours to other homeowners' "friends and family" sweat equity hours for those who needed the help. Fred is the go-to guy about paint, volunteers to mow the boulevard and empty lot at the Eco Village, and makes a mean pot of coffee! Fred owned the local hardware store in River Falls for many years and was well-known and respected. The opportunity to sell came at the right time, and he retired. He still enjoys hardware stores and is known to stop in at the other local hardware store, grab a bag of popcorn, and walk the aisles while visiting staff. He has volunteered over 500 hours (and probably more un-recorded). Fred's positive attitude and hard work is a blessing to have at the Eco Village site.

Randy Feyen is a dedicated volunteer at the New Richmond ReStore for over three years. On an average week, Randy volunteers more than twenty hours. He started the weekly tradition of "Donut Thursday." If you stop in at the ReStore, you will see him fixing a donation before it goes on the floor to be sold. Randy is a participant in the State of Wisconsin I.R.I.S. program - "Include, Respect, I Self-Direct" and likes to put his hours in with us to satisfy service hour requirements. He comes in and works three days a week. He truly lightens up the ReStore when he is around.
Randy Feyen (left), ReStore Volunteer of the Year
Fred Benson (right), Construction Volunteer of the Year
Say Hello to Our New Employees
The next time you stop by the New Richmond ReStore, you may be greeted by two new faces. At the end of October, our affiliate was lucky to bring on Jim Behne and Cindy Jo Jasperson as donation assistants at the New Richmond ReStore.

Both Jim and Cindy Jo bring a passion for repurposing and tinkering, so they are great fits for this position. Make sure you stop by the ReStore, shop for a little bit, and welcome Jim and Cindy Jo to the Habitat team!

Cindy Jo Jasperson
Jim Behne
Bacon Bash Shout-Out
The affiliate had a great turnout Bacon Bash in September, and that could not have been done without the hard work, talent, and dedication from Chris and Amy Henry.

Chris and Amy went above and beyond in their Bacon Bash duties and gave selflessly of their time to make sure that the event was successful as possible.

Chris, a professional chef with more than 28 years of experience, has owned two restaurants and has been a dedicated Bacon Bash volunteer. Anyone who was lucky enough to have one of his bacon-wrapped pork medallions could tell that Chris is an extremely talented and passionate chef.

Thank you again to Chris and Amy for making the Bacon Bash a tremendous success!
Chris is the expert bacon maker
The Bacon Bash couldn't have been done without Chris and Amy

Carter Works Project Cancelled

From the Habitat for Humanity International Newsroom:

Habitat for Humanity International regrets to announce the cancellation of this year's Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project, formerly scheduled to take place November 1-6, 2015, in the Chitwan District of Nepal. 
As reported by news media, Nepal has been experiencing civil unrest due to the country's recent announcement of its new constitution. Habitat has been closely monitoring the situation and new circumstances have proven to be safety risks for volunteers and staff. Currently, many goods and materials coming into the country-including gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and cooking fuel, as well as food and medical supplies-have been halted or slowed to a critical point, hindering Habitat's capacity to effectively and safely execute the planned project. 
Additionally, the U.S. Embassy located in Kathmandu today issued a message recommending travelers evaluate any upcoming plans in Nepal, stating that due to the nationwide fuel shortage and blockages at the border, "many of the safety measures that would normally be relied on in an emergency situation may become unavailable."
"I am saddened that we have had to cancel this year's Carter Work Project," said Jonathan Reckford, CEO, Habitat for Humanity International. "It's the first time in 32 years that we have found ourselves in such a position. However, the severity of the shortages has proven to be insurmountable and given the circumstances, we would not be able to guarantee volunteer care and safety. Additionally, a large-scale event like this would only take away precious local resources already in short supply. This has been a difficult decision, but it is the responsible thing to do. We are grateful to our supporters and ask for their understanding and patience at this time."
Habitat for Humanity remains committed to addressing adequate housing needs in the country. Nepali families who were selected as partner homeowners for the project will still be served through local construction resources. 
"While I am disappointed that we are unable to build in Nepal due to such uncertain circumstances, Rosalynn and I understand and support Habitat's decision. We will keep the people of Nepal in our prayers and ask everyone to do the same," said President Jimmy Carter. "We look forward to our ongoing work with Habitat and continuing to help shine the light on the need for affordable housing."
Habitat has been fortunate to receive commitment from 1,500 volunteers from within Nepal and around the world for the 2015 Carter Work Project, and will work directly with them to address questions regarding the unforeseen cancellation of the build in Nepal.

St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity
116 E. Elm Street
River Falls, WI 54022