Todd Steinberg, Western Regional Manager for Topflight, presented
Habitat President Cince Bowns with two checks totaling $3,000.
Bowns commented that the local Habitat organization was very
grateful for the support of the local grain elevator as she
delivered an appreciative hug to Steinberg.
Steinberg explained that each year Topflight Corporate chooses to
donate to worthy not-for-profits in the areas where they have
businesses. In Logan County, Habitat was chosen because of the work
it does to promote a better lifestyle for those in need. Steinberg
said that at Kruger Elevator, north of Lincoln, he knows that there
are farmers who come in and talk about giving their time to building
projects because the homes built by Habitat improve the lives of
Steinberg also explained that two checks were being presented, one
from Topflight and another of an equal amount from the company’s
financial partner CoBank. He said that Topflight determines how much
it will give, and CoBank matches the donation dollar for dollar.
Included in the check presentation was a letter signed by Topflight
CEO Scott Docherty. The letter stated: “Topflight Grain and Cobank
are proud to support such a worthy cause and organization like
Habitat for Humanity. The members and employees of Topflight Grain
Coop believe in supporting charities that improve the communities we
work and live in. The co-operative system is alive and well, and
this directly aligns with the co-operative values and principles.”
Bowns said that Habitat does indeed make an impact on life for
families, allowing them the opportunity to own a home that they can
be proud of, and more importantly where they can feel safe and
secure for themselves and their children.
Bowns said that donations from organizations such as Top Flight are
vitally important because the Habitat program is not supported by
state or federal grants or even tax dollars. Each penny collected by
Habitat goes into building homes for families.
Bowns said she has been a member of the Habitat Board for a long
time and has worked to correct the misconception that Habitat is
“taxpayer dollars.” She said that even so, she still hears comments
about this. She wants people to understand that no one who serves
Habitat is paid a wage, everyone volunteers including the warehouse
manager, who was on hand Wednesday, K.K. Firki, and every dollar
donated is invested into a home, not a paycheck.
She commented that the donations the habitat receives have kept the
program going for the last 25 years, and has enabled the local
organization to build 21 homes for families in Logan County.
Leonard Krusemark, another board member was present for the
presentation. He commented that donations often spur more donations.
He said it is a trend that the organization is grateful for, and
that it often happens that word will get out that a nice donation
has been made, and others will add to the donation.
that was the case once when Habitat was picking up items from the
former Mitchell Newhouse Lumber yard. A donation had been made
enabling the organization to buy building supplies. While picking up
those supplies, the Newhouse owners added to the donation a supply
of windows for a new home. Bowns recalled that was a very special
day because that donation enabled the Habitat to complete a home for
a deserving family.
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Krusemark also commented that the homes built by
Habitat are nice homes, that improve the neighborhood where they
are located, and help to increase property values. Those
increased values generate property tax dollars that benefit the
Bowns added to this, saying another common misconception is that
the home is “given” to a recipient family. That is not the case.
Applicants are assigned a mentor who works with them to make
sure they are prepared for the financial responsibility of home
ownership, including a 20-year mortgage. These home recipients
also give hours of their time to the Habitat cause, helping
build a house for another family, working on their own home,
helping with fundraisers, and volunteering to help in the
Board member Tonita Reifsteck also talked about the Habitat “Buy
a Stud,” fundraiser. She said that anyone who wishes could
purchase a wall stud for a new home, and can sign and date the
stud. She said when this happens, the autograph and any personal
message are photographed, and the picture is given to the
recipient family for their scrapbook. Reifsteck said, and Bowns
agreed that the 'Buy a Stud' is gratifying to the donors, but
also very much a special thing for the home recipients.
In addition to the Buy a Stud Fundraiser, the Habitat partners
with the Logan County Joint Solid Waste Agency in conducting
monthly electronic recycling collections. Items are brought to
the warehouse the second Saturday of each month. Volunteers help
unload donations and re-load them onto the recycling truck. The
Habitat organization then receives the dollars earned from the
recycling. It is a win-win situation for the organization as
well as Logan County residents who can safely dispose of their
electronics, knowing that their used and broken items will
generate dollars for a new home down the road.
And finally, there is the warehouse itself that is a constant
fundraiser for the organization. Bowns explained that the
Lincoln warehouse is not like those you see in larger towns,
where excess items are sold off. Everything in the warehouse for
sale has been donated to the Habitat for that purpose. There is
a wide variety of items for sale, anything from sofas and other
furniture items to light fixtures, ceiling fans, electrical
wiring supplies, working electronics, and much more.
As the morning came to an end, Bowns commented that home build
number 21 is about 75 percent complete. That home, located on
South Kickapoo Street in Lincoln is the first build where
Habitat is partnering with the Lincolnland Technical Education
Center, Building and Trades Class.
She concluded saying the $3,000 donated by Topflight and Cobank
will go into building home number 22.
The Logan County Habitat accepts donations in a variety of ways.
Work days on home builds are open to anyone who can give of
The organization also accepts lot donations, homes to rehab,
and, of course, cash donations. Cash donations can be mailed to
Habitat for Humanity, P.O. Box 714, Lincoln, IL 62656.