10/4/2013 12:22:00 PM A Brush with Kindness; newly organized locally has very productive first effort
by DENISE MARTIN
Mission Week in Chisago County took place the end of September and had a great start; with first-ever projects undertaken at seven work sites, and all but one home was finished. Volunteers and skilled workers provided sweat equity in the name of A Brush With Kindness, a regional spin-off of the Habitat for Humanity non-profit organization. Alan Rasmussen, from Sunrise, served as project coordinator.
Rasmussen says, “Love and grace were present on all of our jobsites....what this group was able to accomplish was simply an amazing testimony to what happens when people care about the condition of their neighbor.” He shared that last minute concerns about availability of materials and number of volunteers all took care of themselves once he just convinced himself to trust in God that it would all work out. Roofing product outlets and lumber yards came through and roll-off dumpsters miraculously showed up at sites. Rasmussen said some businesses really invested in this effort: roofing materials came from Habitat Twin Cities, North Tech Construction Inc. did a flat roof install that called for professionals, and donated materials. Lampert’s Lumber in North Branch also provided rooftop shingles delivery with a boom truck, and Croix valley Pick-Up provided three sites with disposal roll-offs charging just the cost of dumping at the landfill.
Advantage Scaffolding donated the apparatus at a North Branch site. Valspar Paint donated all the paint used. As mission week approached with just 30 volunteers, Rasmussen thought he’d have to scale back but by the time things got rolling the number nearly doubled to 50 volunteers on Rasmussen’s contact list. Family friends and relatives of the home owners and others who cooked lunch or donated treats for the volunteers, swelled the ranks to more than 70. Of course, more are always welcome to become involved because that just means more people can be helped. While A Brush With Kindness is getting more well-known through the successful mission week, Rasmussen said there are small projects happening all year long.
He also wants to recognize church congregations who provided direct support for the first mission week; Lindstrom First United Methodist, Restoration Church in Rush City and Main Street Church in North Branch served as partners. East Central Habitat for Humanity was also invaluable as an insurer, a connection to construction goods and as a financial conduit for A Brush With Kindness local donations. Rasmussen also acknowledged a contribution from Chisago County Housing and Rehabilitation Authority (HRA) and hopes to nurture an on-going relationsip with the agency. The final mission week project, on Old Towne Road in Chisago City, will be wrapped-up next week, Thursday, Friday and Saturday Oct. 12, 13 14. Past volunteers have gotten e mails about this. If you would still like to get involved, either right away or maybe for a future project-- contact Rasmussen. He needs about six to eight people each of the days for siding, painting, caulking and various tasks. E mail email@example.com.