15 Dec 2022
December 15, 2022

A Home for Habitat Open House

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We dreamed of a building with a solid roof, a floorplan that was welcoming for all abilities, room for each employee to focus, space to store bulk building materials, and a building with reliable temperature control – but mostly, we dreamed of a place where we can continue to serve families for many more years to come.
Thank you to everyone that joined us at our Open House! Below is Lindsey’s short address at the official ribbon cutting.

For many years we crammed our staff into a small ‘house’ of an office just 4 blocks south of here. We shared offices, attempted to host meetings in our small conference room, and made do.

It was in late 2020, with a roof that wouldn’t stop leaking and a too expensive a quote for a fix, and at a time when we wanted to get everyone back in the office after COVID, we realized no one wanted to keep working in two locations, and one that was woefully inadequate– we determined it was time to find a new home. Brian Allardt spent many months with us, looking, and ultimately negotiating the purchase of this new building.

We bought our new building in May 2021 and our staff were blessed to be able to move in just 12 shorts months later in May 2022.

I wanted to share just a little bit about our first-ever building campaign. Even before the purchase was final, Beth & Jeff Lang and Charlie and Claudia Sursa agreed to co-chair our campaign. I’m so very sad that the Langs could not be here tonight. At least once a month for the past 6 months Jeff has asked me when we were going to celebrate and cut the ribbon. So I’m so very sorry they were not able to make it.

Our first donation came from the Community Foundation in May just days after the purchase—and we were off and running. In just 6 months, we raised nearly $960,000! YOU–Our community– embraced this new endeavor for us! We had such generous support from all facets of our community—individuals, businesses, foundations, the City of Muncie, and even one church supported this new building. We had 102 donors in total—and donations ranged from $2 to $175,000.

We have so much space here in our new building. We have more than adequate meeting space, warehouse and construction material storage space, and we also have a newly renovated small office space right out front—which has become the 8twelve Coalition office. It was renovated by our TNT volunteers and financially supported by the Kistelman Fund.  Thanks to the success of the campaign—we continue to maintain our intention to be debt-free at this location—which is such a blessing.

AS you can see when you drove up— we still have some work to do. We are finalizing the parking lot expansion—and will be adding new building signage and in the future a greenspace and some public art at the corner. We are currently fundraising for the corner park expansion—and with the help of the City of Muncie and Muncie Arts, we will begin work sometime next spring.

There are a lot of people I want to thank.

First, I want to thank you, as individual, as donors for believing in this organization and its mission. For giving so generously to make our organization more efficient, more professional, more sustainable.

I want to thank our past and current Board members, for donating so generously over $230,000– and stepping out in faith for this building. Your staff thanks you—and we love this building!

Thank you to the Foundations—for giving extra—above and beyond—enabling us to have a home. This campaign was a reminder that we too (just like our Habitat homeowners) are benefiting from no longer worrying about the burdens of today—the leaking roof, the furnace that needs fixed, the overcrowded conditions, no place to park, people in wheelchairs not being able to visit us safely…. We as an organization don’t have to worry about those things—and can dream and focus on our future—the future of serving more families in our community.

I want to thank Janie Allardt for all her design and decorating help. She is priceless to me….. as a person, as a designer, and as a friend. Thank you for giving so much time and energy and effort for this beautiful place.

I want to thank Allison Robbins for designing the donor wall and for Eric Scherrer building it! It feels super special to me to have something made specifically for this office by very special Board members.

Finally, I want to thank Claudia, Charlie, Jeff, and Beth. My gosh, what a team. You truly gave all that you had and more. And I mean it when I say, you changed the face of this organization—the literal face—forever. It was one of the biggest joys of my career to work with the four of you for the mission and the future of this organization.

Claudia makes the joke often that my campaign chairs completed the campaign and moved out of town—what’s that say about you!?! In all seriousness, we all have plans for ourselves, retirement, being closer to family, etc…. but I really think Jeff says this the best of all—this was one of the last ‘projects’ that both of you worked on before you retired and/or moved away…. And it was a super special project to do together.