HBA’s Engage Their Communities and Give Back!

In this issue of Michigan Builder Magazine we wanted to highlight a handful of local associations around the state that have engaged in efforts that are inspiring and supportive of their communities. Individuals in the residential building industry are like numerous others. They want to give back and be part of something bigger than themselves. HBA membership is helping provide that across the state. Here’s a handful of efforts that you might not have known about…

Mid-Michigan (HBA of Greater Lansing): Members of the HBA of Greater Lansing have been donating thousands of dollars for their Toys for Tots campaign over the last six years. In that time, they have raised $131,195 in monetary donations which has allowed them to purchase 29,784 toys for kids in the Greater Lansing community.

The mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted. Nearly one hundred of Lansing’s members participate with a donation box at their business location and collect toys for the campaign. They have a hardworking, passionate committee that gives so much time and effort to make a difference on Christmas morning for thousands of children.

“We celebrate the success of the campaign at our annual Toys for Tots dinner. The Marines are on hand to talk about the program and help load all the toys at the end of the evening. It’s truly a celebration of how our HBA can make a difference. For the last three years, our HBA has been the largest contributor to Toys for Tots in both participating counties. That’s quite an accomplishment!” –Cindy Kosloski, EO

Roscommon (HBA of North Central Lakes): giving back can be as simple as raising dollars for important causes and charitable organizations. At North Central Lakes members have raised dollars regularly to create a Community Grant Fund. Each spring they give awards. Over

the past few years these grants have included donations to the following: Big Brothers & Big Sisters, (for a day trip to Mackinac Island); River House (necessary work to install a donated commercial refrigerator); Assoc. to Rescue Kritters (remodel admitting room) and Houghton Lake Historical Society (repair historical roof); Roscommon Girls Basketball Camp (basketball for each girl) and Markey Township Bike Helmet Give-away (bike helmets); Abundant Grace Assembly of God (Leadership Training for a 12 step program) and North Central Cooperative Parish (home repairs); Houghton Lake Jaguars,(youth football helmets) and North Country Cooperative Parish (wheel chair ramp).

Kalamazoo (HBA of Western Michigan): This past year a relatively simple sounding request from the head of the Kalamazoo Land Bank and an organization called LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) caught the interest of the leadership of the HBA of Western Michigan. The question was: could the HBA and its members build new high-quality homes (1,000-1,500 sq ft, 3-4 bedroom, two bath) in the underserved neighborhoods of Kalamazoo on Land Bank lots for about $100-$140 a square foot? And if so, would the HBA be willing to partner to build 8-12 of these homes a year for a number of years to come?