GI Area Habitat for Humanity sees influx of donations

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - The Grand Island Area Habitat for Humanity is seeing more checks with their name on it recently; close to $200,000 worth.

The GI Area Habitat for Humanity has received close to $200,000 in donations and grants recently, which they'll use to finish off their Capital Campaign. (Kelsey Dickeson, KSNB)

Many of the donations seem to coincide with their Blitz Build and 100th home, which they finished Friday. Habitat received half of that money in the past ten days from various donors. In addition to that, they got two separate checks for $40,000. One was from an anonymous donor in Omaha, and the other from a bequest.

The donations haven't stopped. First National Bank donated $15,000 to Habitat on Monday. Dana Jelinek, executive director for the GI Area Habitat for Humanity, said they originally applied for half that amount. She said she was shocked to see how much they ended up with.

"What these donations mean, especially the ones for construction, mean that we don't have to slow down our pace for construction. The costs are going up so much. It kind of scares us a little bit that we won't be able to keep up the pace," Jelinek said.

Jelinek said they'll use the money from First National Bank to buy construction and supplies. The rest they'll use to finish off their Capital Campaign. The project costs $500,000 plus general construction.

They're also waiting on receiving their donations from Go Big Give, which totaled close to $17,000.

Habitat didn't only receive monetary donations. More than 40 businesses donated their time and supplies to Habitat's Blitz Build.

One of them was Island Indoor Climate. They donated supplies for heating and air conditioning. About 20 of their workers gave their time.

"I think it's a great organization. I think everybody should be able to own their own home. The one thing I like about Habitat is it all stays here. All our donations, I can see what it does," said Greg Geis, owner of Island Indoor Climate.

Jelinek said the large influx of sudden donations doesn't mean the need stops.

Their home owners do have to pay a mortgage, but it takes up to 30 years for Habitat to see that money again.

"We are in a housing situation where people are paying way too much for rental properties based on what their income is. That's not just a Grand Island thing. That's a state thing and even across the country," Jelinek said.

A fun donation opportunity is coming up. Their "Mr. Habitat" competition kicks off July 1. This year's theme centers around bosses. Every dollar you donate to a candidate goes toward Habitat.