Habitat for Humanity introduces Nickels for Nails fundraiser | ParkRecord.com

Habitat for Humanity introduces Nickels for Nails fundraiser

Habitat for Humanity of Summit and Wasatch Counties has just completed a totally green home in Park City on Marsac Avenue.

The nonprofit organization has plans to build another environmentally friendly home next door beginning in three weeks and it also has plans to rehabilitate a house in Heber later this year.

Of course, all these projects require money, and executive Lisa R. Schneider has come up with a way for everyone in the community to help with the fundraising – Nickels for Nails.

Habitat for Humanity volunteers will spend their Fourth of July mornings from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. collecting loose change at the Market in Park City, 1500 Snow Creek Dr., The Silver King Coffee, 1409 Kearns Blvd., and the 7-Eleven at 1500 Park Avenue. The 7-Eleven collection box will be there all day long.

"The idea came to us through a Habitat for Humanity colleague of mine named Ed Johnson from Las Cruces, New Mexico," Schneider told The Park Record. "We met at a Habitat conference and he came out here and shared this idea with me."

Johnson’s development staff developed an idea to raise awareness and money in their community for a house they were making.

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"They placed some small counter-top-sized houses in banks and some stores around town and people were able drop their loose change into these containers," Schneider said. "In the course of two weeks, they raised $14,000.

"When I heard the story, I thought about how often people have to pay $125 to attend an average fundraiser and there are people who may want to give money, but don’t have the resources to attend a fundraiser and spend on an auction," she said. "So, the idea for our Nickels for Nails is to provide places where anybody to give us spare change."

Everyone has spare change, Schneider said.

"We have it in our cars and many people who don’t smoke keep their change in their unused ashtray," she said. "Sometimes change can be found on the floor of their cars.

"My family keeps a change jar where we empty our pockets," she said. "Anyway, those pennies and nickels do add up and our idea gives anybody in the community, including children, to participate in giving donations. Our thought is a little bit of their change can make some lasting change in our community."

There will even be a donation box at the emcee table during the Fourth of July parade.

"One of my boardmembers Todd Wakefield, who is one of the emcees for the Fourth of July parade, said one of the busiest places in town on that day is the table where the emcees sit," Schneider said. "So he suggested we put a collection box there, too."

Every penny raised in Nickels for Nails will go to purchasing supplies for these projects.

"I would love to raise $10,000 on the Fourth of July," Schneider said. "There is a bunch of people who visit Park City that day, so why not set the bar high? If you don’t set it high, there is no way don’t stand a chance of reaching it."

The average cost of building a house through Habitat for Humanity is low, because of the partnerships it has with businesses, Schneider said.

"We also lowered the cost when we brought in many helping hands including volunteers from Salt Lake Community College and every local churches and businesses including Walmart, Canyons and Deer Valley," she said. "Also, many other organizations have donated materials."

In fact, Park City donated land for the Marsac house.

"That house would not have been possible if it weren’t for that donation," Schneider said.

The out-of-pocket costs for the house was about $150,000.

"When we add in the cost of the donated supplies, the total is near $225,000," she said. "When the new home owner closes on the home, she will pay a zero-interest mortgage that is half of what she is paying in rent."

Schneider hopes the Nickels for Nails fundraiser will catch on.

"It’s a way for us to introduce the idea to the community and see how it grows, and hopefully we will grow with it and do it multiple times throughout the year," she said. "We want to acknowledge the successful completion of the home and the community participation and encourage people to take notice of the success and inspire them to participate by donating their change."

The local Habitat for Humanity chapter will be collecting loose change at the Market in Park City, 1500 Snow Creek Dr., The Silver King Coffee, 1409 Kearns Blvd., and the 7-11 at 1500 Park Avenue on Wednesday, July 4, from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. Donations will help Habitat buy nails and other buildings supplies, which it will then use to build its second "green" home in the Park City historic district starting July. Visit http://www.habitat-utah.org for more information.