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COLUMBUS – Habitat for Humanity of Columbus has declared 2018 as a recruiting year. The chapter had a good turnout for its Volunteer Sign Up Night on Thursday at Duster's.  

Lori Peters, the chapter's executive director, said the chapter plans to build one house this year and two houses in 2019. With big plans ahead, the organization is in need of volunteers.

 Volunteer Sign Up Night was one of several chapter initiatives to increase its work crew numbers. 

The chapter opened up smaller scale projects to attract new volunteers. Five different crews and projects  are available: Build Crews, Picnic Table Crews, Shed Build Day, Lunch Provider and Snacks. The organization is also in search for a single volunteer to host people for the day and to answer questions.

Attendees can choose which volunteer crew to join.

Peters said that these projects are a good start for people who want to volunteer. She hopes that the projects can help recruit and retain volunteers for the coming year’s projects.

Prior to the event, Peters reached out to numerous churches and organizations that have worked with the organization in the past.

Mike Smith, president of Habitat for Humanity, began the evening by introducing the organization and its mission.

The night attracted people of all ages. The sign-up sheets were posted around the banquet room of the restaurant.

About a dozen organizations signed up to be a part of the build crew Thursday night.

Chapter vice president Nicole Brumbaugh signed up two teams that evening. She represented Nebraska Public Power District and Immanuel Church.

There are 15 build days and each build crew consists of 12 people. Each build day has a different task, from framing to the final touches.

Many past volunteers attended the event and were eager to lend their helping hands.

Lynda Lemp, new to the chapter board, has volunteered multiple times. She has helped with snacks and builds.

“Affordable homes are something that is so needed for our community,” Lemp said.

Steve Heinisch from Federated Church has been part of the chapter since its first year.

“Federated Church has taken an active role in having work crews since its first house and they’ve been supported in many different ways,” Heinisch said.

Since then, Heinisch has been spreading the word to other churches in the area.

Peters said she was happy to see new faces among the many longtime volunteers.

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