Benefits of Volunteering

Giving our time and effort to help others can feel wonderful. We get to see the immediate impact of our work. We watch a wall go up, we clear a field of litter, we enjoy the smiles of the people we help and work beside.

While each of those seems like reason enough to volunteer, there are additional benefits to giving your time. The people you help might not be the only ones to gain from the experience!

Here are just some of the great benefits of volunteering, proof that even more good comes from doing good.

Get a new job.

Volunteering can help you make the transition to a new field. Giving your time and talent in support of a nonprofit’s day-to-day work or serving on a board can lead to a new career, according to Next Avenue, a public media service for the 50-plus population. That kind of involvement also is a great tool for younger workers. Volunteer experience strengthens any resume, and professional networking website LinkedIn even includes a section for highlighting your volunteer work.

Get a better job.

Seeking a promotion? Corporate volunteering programs give employees an opportunity to shine. As the Stanford Social Innovation Review has reported, “Through service learning, today’s corporate volunteers are becoming tomorrow’s corporate leaders — with great potential to impact the decisions they make on behalf of their company.” Interested in that kind of personal and professional growth? Encourage your employer to explore team building through an organization like Habitat for Humanity, or broaden your network through participation in a Habitat Young Professionals group.

Live longer.

A recent article in the Guardian asked the question “Is it time for doctors to prescribe volunteering?” The answer might be yes! Research conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health indicates that “people who volunteered spent 38 percent fewer nights in the hospital” than non-volunteers, and this Atlantic article citesadditional findings that volunteers of all ages enjoy better health, more stamina and lower stress levels. With Habitat, you’ll find plenty of those satisfying moments that make volunteering such a spiritual lift. And swinging a hammer or mixing cement is good exercise!

Learn something new.

Every volunteer opportunity offers a chance to stretch your skill set. With Habitat, you’ll always have the chance to learn something different, sometimes in as little as a single day. Help a family make repairs and improvements to their existing home or get instruction on how to use a new-to-you tool on a build site. Learn how to raise awareness of housing issues. Serve on a committee that helps coordinate future homeowner selection, financial education or build-site snacks! No matter how you choose to get involved, if you ever wanted to change the world and see the impact of your efforts, we have a place for you.

See your neighborhood in a new light — or see the world.

Most people think of volunteering somewhere close to home, and there are always ample chances to help make your community a better place to live. But don’t forget that many organizations offer the option of traveling to make a difference. For Habitat, people in your community and all over the world partner with us to build or improve a place they can call home. So you can find local opportunities in your area to work alongside a future homeowner or make plans to travel with a group of Habitat volunteers to a different destination somewhere in the U.S. or in one of the 70 countries where we work.

Build a better story.

When you give your time to help others, the memories you cherish making today can become a part of your new, awesome autobiography. Everyone loves a good story, so make yours the best it can possibly be. With Habitat, enjoy the joyful retellings of the time you helped a family repair a roof on their home, the time you built alongside a future homeowner working to achieve financial stability and more self-reliance, the time you made a difference.

Habitat of the San Juans Launches Critical Home Repair Program

(Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel Counties): Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans kicks off Critical Home Repair Program for Homeowners with Household Incomes Less Than 80% of Median Income.

Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans, in partnership with the Delta Housing Authority, is now offering critical home repair and improvements for homeowners. This program is in addition to Habitat’s existing new home ownership program.

Critical home repair means that the property must have at least one critical need addressed, and then other improvements may be funded. Examples of critical need include: flood, no heat source, roof leaking, window broken, mold, asbestos and radon, accessibility, aging in place updates, foundation issues, heating, plumbing, electrical and structural repairs.

Delta Housing Authority is providing the grant dollars necessary for the projects, while Habitat Family Services Coordinator, Autumn Jones, is accepting applications and walking applicants through the approval process. Loan decisions are made by an independent third party loan committee and are not made by Habitat staff or Board of Directors.

Program Points:

• Grant monies are offered at a low, payback interest rate (1-4%)
• Available to homeowners who are not bankable due to low income levels.
• Income limit required. Household income is less than 80% of County median income. (Median income limits are unique to each county).
• Payment is based on what the borrower can afford.
• The home must be owner occupied.
• Homeowner chooses the contractor.
– Project design and contractor selection: The primary goal is to give the homeowner the highest quality of work for the lowest cost. To achieve this, the bidding protocol is often flexible and informal. Homeowner input and participation is encouraged. Once the best materials and methods are selected, then the contractor is selected.
• Two week average approval period.
• No down payment required.
• Loans are secured by promissory note and a deed of trust.
• Length of loans can be lengthened if necessary to allow for very small monthly payments.

Flower Subaru donates $10,000 to Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans.


From November 20, 2014 – January 2, 2015, Flower Subaru’s “Share the Love” event raised $6800 for Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans and is adding to that amount to donate an even $10,000.

A special check presentation ceremony will be held at Flower Subaru, located at 1760 N Townsend Ave on Friday, April 3rd at 1pm.

Flower Subaru donated $250 to Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans for every new Subaru sold or leased during those dates.

On the National level, Subaru of America, Inc. announced last October that its seventh annual “Share the Love” charity event would set a new donation record. Their National Charities Include: ASPCA®, Make-A-Wish®, Meals On Wheels®, and National Park Foundation.

Subaru of America, Inc. announced it would donate $15 million to charitable partners during its seventh annual “Share the Love” event. In 2013, Subaru donated $10 million to “Share the Love” charities, and over the course of the six year program, Subaru has donated a total of $35 million.

In addition to the four national organizations, Subaru retailers have the opportunity to add a local charity for their customers to support. This year, 608 hometown charities were selected by Subaru retailers. Flower Subaru chose Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans.

With Subaru retailers local charitable giving, total donations were projected to be well in excess of the $15 million committed by Subaru of America. Sales growth experienced by the brand in recent years meant that by continuing to donate $250 per vehicle sold during the program, total charitable contributions would likely increase.

Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans dedicates its 46th home

February 23, 2015 (Montrose, CO)  Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans will hold its 46th home dedication on Tuesday, Monday, February 23rd at 9 am.  The home dedication is free, open to the public and will be held at 127 Bluegrass Court.

The Woods family of three has given 500 hours in sweat equity toward the purchase of their home: through helping with contstruction on their home own, on the homes of other Habitat families, through cooking meals for special events and by many other ways.  Although Habitat homes are subsidized based on household income, homeowners must pay a monthly, interest-free, 30-year mortgage.

The Woods’ family story can be found on the Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans website,  Here is their self-told story:

“Words cannot express how grateful we are for being one of the families selected to receive a Habitat home. I [Maria] would like tell you a little about my family; we are a family filled with so much love, incredible fight and great courage! We are a family of three, the Woods family.

Matthew my husband is an amazing man of courage, perseverance, and passion to leading his family daily. Matthew is now fighting cancer for the third time, which is a battle that began at the age of 17 for him. It’s a very rare cancer that starts in his skull and has traveled to his brain. He has had many major surgeries of removing the skull and replacing it with muscle from other parts of his body, which has left him with some inabilities, yet he continues to fight with great courage daily. The love for his family and his passion for Christ give him the strength and drive not only to conquer each day but to lead his family. He has been a true example for Micah (our son) of a warrior. Teaching him to never to give up, never lose heart, and to finish the race.

Micah is a gift from God who has an incredible heart and the ability to make people laugh. Even through all that we have been through as a family, Micah’s character shows stronger than the circumstances, and at the same time still being a kid. A mother couldn’t be any prouder.

I, Maria Woods, am so proud to write of these amazing men God has given me. Between being a wife, mother, and caregiver, I also work at Teen Challenge House of Promise for women recovering from addictions through the finding of Christ. This past year has been pretty hard for our family with surgeries, chemo therapy, school and work, but the blessings that have been freely given to us have encouraged us, increased our faith, and strengthened us.  Blessings of family, friends, continuous prayer, and the great blessing of receiving a home have been acts of love that have been life changing.  A dream both my husband and I had, yet knowing it wouldn’t be possible, but through Habitat, our dream has come true. So, we say thank you to Habitat for Humanity, thank you to all the volunteers, and thank you to all the donors for you are changing lives. You are building up faith, giving hope, encouraging, comforting, and expressing true love.  I can’t express how you’ve impacted and changed our lives.

You have become our miracle, and to you I say with tears in my eyes “Thank you so much”. To those out there who are thinking of donating, please do and become the miracle for families, fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, and children. Be their miracle and their hope, for that is what Habitat, Habitat volunteers, and donors have been for us, the Woods family.” – Told by Maria Woods

Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans has an ongoing open application process for Habitat homes. For more information about the home application process, go to  Although not free, Habitat homes are subsidized on a sliding scale for families meeting the income requirements, which are 30-60% of the area’s median household income.  Qualifying families give at least 500 hours in volunteer work with the local Habitat affiliate in order to close on their home.

Over the past 23 years, Habitat for Humanity of Montrose County has empowered 45 local families to help build and move into homes of their own.  Habitat for Humanity is always in need of volunteers to help with construction, special events and at the ReStore.  To volunteer, please contact Meg Lowery at

To learn more about Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans go to, like us on Facebook at, email Development Director Heather Zeilman at, or call 970-252-9303.




Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans dedicates its 45th home


CONTACT: Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans Executive Director

Colleen Burke 970-252-9303

 January 20, 2015 in Montrose

Montrose, Colorado:  Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans will hold its 45th home dedication on Tuesday, January 20 at 119 Bluegrass Court at 9 am.  The home dedication is free and open to the public to attend.

For the last year, the Ryser/Kasamis family of five has donated 500 hours in sweat equity toward the purchase of their home.  Although Habitat homes are subsidized based on household income, homeowners must pay a monthly, interest-free, 30 year mortgage.

“It’s a common misnomer that we are giving homes away for free,” shares Executive Director, Colleen Burke.  “The reality is that homeowners must meet minimum and maximum requirements in order to qualify and eventually close on their home.  It’s also a misconception as to WHO are families are.  Great fits for Habitat homes are young teachers, police officers in the early part of their career.  We serve families, single parents and some families are single adults with no children.”

In addition to sweat equity hours that each family must dedicate prior to closing on their home, there are income requirements as well.  Families in Montrose County must have a household income between 30-60% of the County’s median household income.  For example, it is suggested that a family of five have an annual gross income that is less than $38,600 and greater than $19,350 to be eligible for a Habitat home.  There are also debt ratio requirements and a background check prior to approval.

“We say this a lot because it’s our mantra – we provide a hand UP, not a hand out – and we stick to it,” explains Burke.  We are able to work with families based on their unique situations, especially when it comes to the volunteer hour piece.  We have families who have members with physical limitations that mean they can’t physically work on their home.  So, we find something else for them to do, whether it be helping at the ReStore, helping out at events, etc.  One of our families has a gifted videographer and his talent has proved extremely valuable to us, while also providing him with the hours he and his family needed.”

Crowd funding for each Habitat family’s home under construction takes place live at the H4HSJ website  There are two other families whose homes are being completed and donors can go directly to the site, read the family’s stories and give there.  Because H4HSJ is located within an Enterprise Zone, cash donations receive a 25% tax write off at the State level and an additional 25% at the Federal level.

Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans opens the home application process each year in December – January.  The last open enrollment closed on January 7, 2015.  For more information about the home application process, go to

Over the past 23 years, Habitat for Humanity of Montrose County has empowered 44 local families to help build and move into homes of their own.  Habitat for Humanity is always in need of volunteers to help with construction, special events and at the ReStore.  To volunteer, please contact Meg Lowery at

To learn more about Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans go to, like us on Facebook at, email Development Director Heather Zeilman at, or call 970-252-9303.




Habitat for Humanity Merges to Become Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                   

CONTACT: Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans Executive Director

Colleen Burke 970-252-9303


The boards of Habitat for Humanity of Montrose County and Habitat for Humanity of the Telluride Region unanimously approved to merge last month in a move their leaders say will cut expenses, improve leadership, bridge partnerships, increase the population and geographic served, and strengthen the organization.

“The merger represents another step in the strong growth that our affiliate has experienced over the past several years,” shares Board President Betty Tomlinson. “We are excited about increasing our footprint while we remain committed to maintaining our participation and value in the area we currently serve.”

The Habitat of Montrose County board and its Executive Director, Colleen Burke, will continue to lead the now combined affiliates.  The name for the new organization is Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans, which will be headquartered at the current 1601 N Townsend location in Montrose.

“When you look at bringing these two incredible organizations together, you have a wonderful marriage in terms of efficiency,” said Colleen Burke,  “We can serve more families, which is the primary focus for Habitat for Humanity.”

Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans will signal its expanded focus with a new tagline: “Building Homes, Communities and Hope in Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel Counties.”

The combined Habitat affiliate will continue to offer homeownership and financial-education opportunities to families living on 30 to 60 percent of the area’s median income. Once qualified and accepted into the program, family partners agree to invest 250 hours of “sweat equity” in their own and other Habitat homes, successfully complete the organization’s Homebuyer Academy, and make payments on a non-profit, 30‐year mortgage set at 30% of their income.

The two chapters’ leaders talked in the past about coming together, though not seriously until this past summer when the Telluride affiliate decided the timing was right and their Executive Director, Jeff Hauser, felt it was time to step down and pass the torch.

“One immediate benefit will come in the form of in-kind donations,” Burke explains. Prior to the merge, we were paying a monthly fee for the right to solicit donations in the Telluride territory, which included all of Ouray and San Miguel Counties. We rely heavily on our resort communities to donate high quality goods to our ReStore.  We will also now manage one of the Norwood mortgages previously serviced through the Telluride affiliate.”

“Instead of having two payrolls and two administrative offices, two insurance programs, two bookkeepers, we’ll centralize our operations in Montrose,” Burke said. “We’ll be able to spend more money on development and less on operations. We have a highly professional team in place and we are all eager to start building relationships across our new territory.”

“This is something Habitat is interested in nationwide,” she added. “With the economy, we’re all trying to be more efficient.”

As head of the Montrose affiliate, Burke worked closely with Habitat for Humanity International and Habitat for Humanity of Colorado as well as local partners to improve finances and operations. She is credited with turning the organization around and building new partnerships while nurturing existing ones, and looks forward to doing the same for the combined organization.

About Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans – formerly Habitat for Humanity of Montrose County:

Over the past 23 years, Habitat for Humanity of Montrose County has empowered 44 local families to help build and move into homes of their own.  Habitat for Humanity is always in need of volunteers to help with construction, special events and at the ReStore.  To volunteer, please contact Meg Lowery at

To learn more about Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans go to, like us on Facebook at, email Development Director Heather Zeilman at, or call 970-252-9303.

Habitat Opens Homeowner Pre-Application Period

Habitat for Humanity will be accepting pre-applications for housing from November 20th – January 7th at the housing office. You can pick up a pre-application at the office or you can download it here. Please print it, complete it and bring it back to the housing office by January 7th at noon. The office is located at 1601 N. Townsend Ave in Montrose Colorado at the south end of the front of the ReStore building. We are open to the public from 9am to 3pm Monday – Friday. For more information contact Lori Zimmer at 970-252-9303 ext 4 or email

You must also bring:
– A month of paystubs and proof of all income including child support, social security, etc.
– Proof of Legal U.S. Residency – Driver’s License, Permanent Resident Card, INS Certificate, or U.S. Birth Certificate (all family members)
– Residency proof – You must have lived in Montrose County for one year prior to the application period to qualify. You can show this by providing a utility bill or lease

You will be notified within three working days of your application status. If you pass the pre-qualification application, you will be invited to attend the Mandatory Orientation on January 12th at 5:30 at the Montrose Regional Library located at 320 S. 2nd Street, Montrose.

If your family, or a family you know, is in need of decent, affordable housing, please Click here to apply. We will explain the application process and provide information on the availability, size and cost of Habitat homes in our area.

Each Habitat affiliate selects “partner families” to become Habitat homeowners. Habitat for Humanity follows a nondiscriminatory policy of family selection. Neither race nor religion is a factor in choosing partner families. Partner families are always selected based on their level of need, ability to pay and willingness to partner.

Applicants are required to meet several qualifications to ensure success. Prospective homeowners must:
##Be citizens or legal residents.
##Prove steady income.
##Have good credit.
##Earn a monthly income that falls within minimum and maximum limits, depending on household size.
##Sustain a savings account over a specified period of time.

In addition, each partner family will be required to:
##Invest sweat-equity hours in building his/her home and others.
##Make an affordable down payment.
##Make timely mortgage payments.
##Attend homeowner education classes.

Listed below are the current income levels that we will accept along with all information that is needed in order for us to process your application.

Click here to find out how to qualify -English
Click here to find out how to qualify – Spanish

Family of: More than this: Less than this:
1 $12,850 $24,240
2 $13,850 $27,660
3 $15,600 $31,140
4 $17,300 $34,560
5 $18,700 $37,380
6 $20,100 $40,140
7 $21,500 $42,900
8 $22,850 $45,660

Example: It is suggested that a family of five have an annual gross income that is less than $38,600 and greater than $19,350 to be eligible for a Habitat home.

These guidelines will be used when determining your total annual gross income from all stable income (i.e. employment, food stamps, SSI, etc.). This information will be taken from your completed application. In most cases we will use your current gross monthly income as adjusted to yearly income when using these guidelines.

The above figures are based on HUD guidelines for median family income for non-metro counties in Colorado. They are derived by obtaining the figures for 100% of median family income for non-metro counties for families with one through eight persons, then taking 50% of the figures to obtain our maximum yearly incomes allowable, and 30% of those figures to obtain our minimum yearly incomes allowable. The only exception to this is when the minimum 30% figure is not at least $12,850.

Meet Me at the Barn September 13


Presented by Pickin’ Productions and Habitat for Humanity of Montrose County

Big Sandy Coming To Montrose Saturday, September 13th;

Only Western Colorado Appearance This Fall

Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys 25th Anniversary Celebration Tour Continues For 21 More US Dates; Only Western Colorado Appearance Set For Saturday, September 13th In Montrose As Part Of Habitat For Humanity’s Meet Me @ The Barn Music Series

Gates open @ 6:30pm
Big Sandy takes the stage at 7:30pm
Tickets $10 in advance, $12 at the door
Food and drink for sale at event (please no outside food or drink)
Purchase tickets at

Big Sandy is back! Back in the USA, that is. After having spent the better part of the last several months performing on festival stages and in sold-out concert venues throughout Europe, the big man of American roots music is elated to be back in The States. Big Sandy and the Boys will be touring this summer and
fall touring in August, September and October from the coast of California to the shores of Delaware Bay. Still touring in support of What a Dream It’s Been, the critically acclaimed acoustic album that reinterprets a dozen of the band’s favorite originals from their extensive back catalog, this round of shows will cover both coasts and select cities in the West and Midwest. While revisiting gems from the past, What A Dream… (released in late 2013 by indie rootsabel Cow Island Music) firmly establishes itself as much more than a ‘greatest hits’ package. With strains of the blues, hillbilly, country, swing, rock steady, and, of course, rockabilly running through the its 12 tracks, the album transforms Sandy’s catalog into his version of the Great American Songbook.
For nearly three decades, Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys have kept up a constant cycle of traveling back and forth across the lower 48, then hopping across the pond to Europe and beyond. They bring with them a brand of American Music that has earned them an induction into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, several national television appearances, guest spots on The Grand Ole Opry, and a slew of adoring fans. Big Sandy and the band have made three appearances on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, featured on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, as well as All Things Considered with Melissa Block.”I truly love being out on the road, and I feel blessed to have the opportunity to sing my songs all over the world,” says Sandy. “But when I’m away from the U.S. for too long, it’s like I need a recharge… like I need a solid dose of everything Americana. Give me a Chuck Berry song while rolling down the interstate, or a truck stop conversation with a waitress who once danced with Lefty Frizzell, and I’m good for another 3000 miles.”

Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys Fall Tour Dates
Tues., 8/26 – Tuesdays in the Plaza, Healdsburg, CA
Thurs., 8/28 – Fullerton Summer Concert Series, Fullerton, CA
Sat., 8/30 – Don The Beachcomber, Sunset Beach, CA
Fri., 9/12 – Skylark Lounge, Denver, CO
Sat., 9/13 – Meet Me @ The Barn, Montrose, CO
Wed., 9/17 – Ashland Coffee & Tea, Ashland, VA
Thurs., 9/18 – The Barter Theatre, Abingdon, VA
Fri., 9/19 – IOTA Club & Café, Arlington, VA
Sat., 9/20 – Sellersville Theatre, Sellersville, PA
Sun., 9/21 – Abilene Bar and Lounge, Rochester, NY
Mon., 9/22 – Sportsmen’s Tavern, Buffalo, NY
Wed., 9/24 – World Cafe Live at The Queen, Wilmington, DE
Thurs., 9/25 – Asbury Lanes, Asbury Park, NJ
Fri., 9/26 – Club Helsinki, Hudson, NY
Sat., 9/27 – The New England Shake Up, Sturbridge, MA
Sun., 9/28 – Plymouth Americana Festival, The Spire, Plymouth, MA
Mon., 9/29 – Cafe Nine, New Haven, CT
Wed., 10/1 – Natalie’s, Worthington, OH
Thurs., 10/2 – Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill, Grand Rapids, MI
Fri., 10/3 – FitzGerald’s, Berwyn, IL
Sat., 10/4 – Beale On Broadway, St. Louis, MO

If you haven’t heard the album yet, you can stream it in its entirety via this link: What A Dream It’s Been

For more information about Big Sandy, to schedule an interview or request press and photo passes or a copy of the album, please call Larry Kay with Night Train PR at (215) 370-9498 or email
For more information about the Meet Me @ The Barn Music Series, contact Rob Miller of Pickin’ Productions at 970-260-6493 or
For info about Habitat for Humanity of Montrose County, contact Development Director, Heather Zeilman at 970-252-9303 or

Second Annual Moonshiners Ball Brings Burlesque Dancers to the Entertainment


GOT SHINE? – The 2014 Habitat for Humanity Moonshiner’s Ball is set for Saturday, Aug. 16, at the Habitat Barn located on North Townsend Avenue. Along with the Anders Brothers Band, there will be burlesque dancers, gambling, a silent auction, food and drinks. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased at the Habitat ReStore, Chili’s and the Bank of Colorado. Pictured is a scene from last year’s hootenanny. For more information, call 970/252-9303. (Courtesy photo)

MONTROSE – Habitat for Humanity of Montrose County brings its Prohibition Era Moonshiners Event back to the Habitat Barn on two Aug. 16. Highlights this year include burlesque dancers, a VIP gambling tent, and the Anders Brothers Band.

The moonshine will be literally trucked all the way from Durham, N.C.

“Last year’s event was an incredible success and we anticipate event greater successes this year with higher attendance and an ever-improving program,” says Development Director Heather Zeilman. “It’s mind blowing to think that the Prohibition was only 100 years ago! This night lets us all step back into history, including dressing up in a 1920s fashion. Think The Great Gatsby.

For those needing a safe ride home, Turner Toyota will offer a free shuttle service.

Other Moonshiners Ball sponsors include: The Presenting Sponsor, The Bank of Colorado, Abrams, Alpine Bank, Bank of the West, the City of Montrose, Chilis, Flower Motor Co., The Daily Press, Firefly Distillery, Park Avenue Parties, Ridgway Valley, Cornerstone Home Lending, Montrose Real Estate, San Juan Construction, Incl, and Turner Automotive. H4H is still taking sponsors and donations for Silent Auction items. Call Heather Zeilman at 970/252-9304 or visit for info.


Bluegrass Builds A Home in Montrose

(MONTROSE CO 07/10/14)— “Meet Me @ The Barn” kicks off its inaugural night at the
Habitat Barn on Monday, July 21st with Bozeman, Montana band Flatt Cheddar!
A new brand for the local music scene boasting a unique outdoor venue, Meet Me @
The Barn (MMATB) events offer a promising concept to build homes as well as

“It’s the easiest Do It Yourself home project on the planet!” claims new Development
Director, Heather Zeilman. “Kick back, enjoy great live music, help build a home. How
great is that?”

Not only is the Habitat Barn, which is located behind the Habitat for Humanity of
Montrose County office and ReStore Building at 1601 N. Townsend, a novel space for
music on the Western Slope, but the location provides semi-primitive overnight
accommodations for those coming from out of town as well as those who would rather
not make the drive home after an MMATB event.

“We have a big vision for events at the barn, with new additions and changes planned
out in phases as our budget allows: an amphitheater, beautiful rusted fencing via Recla
Metal, drought tolerant landscaping, multiple stages for festivals, designated camping –
the sky is the limit with the 10 acres of space we have available. We want to keep ticket
prices as low as possible to cover our costs while building the MMATB program so we
can fill the events with people while developing a tradition and reputation in the region of
high caliber music events. We have limitless opportunity when it comes to re-writing the
perception that there is nothing worth making the trip to Montrose for (other than to buy
groceries). By building a strong, credible brand, we can eventually bring in larger and
larger acts,” explains Zeilman.

The gates for Meet Me @ The Barn with Flatt Cheddar will open at 6:30 pm on Monday,
July 21st. Local Montrose musician, Susan Walton, will open at 8pm and Flatt Cheddar
will take the stage from 9-11pm. There will be food and drink for sale that night, as well
as coffee and homemade muffins the next morning for those who camp out. Tickets will
be $8 for the show and $5 for camping. There will be Porta Potties available and
drinkable water. Attendees can sleep in tents, campers, car camp or stay out under the

Bozeman, Montana bluegrass band Flatt Cheddar features a 100% original style of
music deeply rooted in bluegrass but unafraid to smash the genre’s boundaries of time
and melody to create a sound that is completely their own.

The band has played at the Big Grass Big Sky festival for the last three years, and has
shared the stage with bands such as The Infamous Stringdusters, Devil Makes Three,
Emitt-Nershi band, Pert’ Near Sandstone, Charlie Parr, Hillstomp and Run Boy Run.

Their digital media kit can be found here:

“We are also adopting stronger and more specific environmentally friendly standards
with our events, which aligns perfectly with the ReStore concept of recycling through
donations and repurposing by way of purchases. We will be working hard to provide
reusable utensils, plates, cups, etc. When we can’t, they will be recyclable and we will
provide recycling stations. We are also bringing potable water for water bottles to the
barn to replace the need for bottled water sales. Alpine Bank has also sponsored
stainless steel Klean Kanteen pint glasses for MMATB events, which is just one more
way we can encourage our green guidelines,” says Zeilman.
Habitat for Humanity International is an organization that was founded in 1976 by
Millard and Linda Fuller. The Fullers, inspired by their visit to the small Christian
community of Koinonia Farm, embarked on their own quest to provide housing for all
who deserved and desired it. According to Habitat, it was the founding Fullers who
“developed the concept of ‘partnership housing,'” which hinged on the idea of ” those in
need of adequate shelter working side by side with volunteers to build simple, decent
Today, Habitat for Humanity is an international organization that assists individuals all
over the world, and has successfully built over a half million homes which provide
shelter to approximately 2.5 million individuals in over 90 countries.
Though it serves the world over, there are plenty of ways locals can get involved with
Habitat for Humanity, specifically though the Montrose County Affiliate. Colleen Burke,
Executive Director for Habitat for Humanity of Montrose County, explains the positive
mission of the local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity.
“The overwhelming need for safe, affordable housing in Montrose County has provided
Habitat for Humanity of Montrose County (HFHMC) with a unique opportunity to change
lives in our neighborhoods,” Burke explains. “Habitat for Humanity is one of the few – if
not only – affordable home ownership programs that serves families and individuals
earning 30-60% of the median family income. Cost burden and overcrowding are the
most serious problems experienced by very low-income area residents. Working with
volunteers, families and individuals, corporations, congregations and donors we are
able to tackle this important housing issue in Montrose County. We are dedicated to
making homeownership possible for hardworking, low-income families and individuals.”
One of the exciting things about Habitat for Humanity is that not only does it provide the
basic necessity of shelter, but it encourages the accompanying responsibilities that
come with home-ownership. The organization offers not a hand-out, but a hand-up;
Habitat for Humanity requires its homeowners “to invest up to 500 hours of sweat equity
to help build their home and each qualify for a non-profit mortgage,” Burke points out.
There are currently THREE homes going up in Montrose.
“Since 1991, we have built 44 homes in Montrose County. Shelter is a basic human
need and Habitat for Humanity strives to achieve its goal of eliminating substandard
housing by making decent, sustainable and affordable housing a reality for everyone.”
And volunteers are very much wanted! The organization thrives through the generosity
both of volunteers who give their time, and those who volunteer supporting funds.
“Volunteers are the heart of Habitat for Humanity of Montrose County,” Burke explains.
“Hundreds of volunteers lend a hand to build and rehabilitate homes with us year after
year. HFHMA brings together individual and group volunteers to ensure that everyone
can live in safe, decent and affordable housing.”
Volunteers can sign up to volunteer at construction sites, in the Habitat for Humanity
office, and in the ReStore. (The ReStore sells donated materials including new and
gently used furniture, appliances, lumber, hardware, vintage and unique items to the
public. All prices are at least 50% off retail value and all proceeds from the ReStore are
used toward the Habitat for Humanity mission to end substandard housing worldwide.)
No previous construction experience is necessary to volunteer.
Donations to Habitat for Humanity of Montrose County are also tax-deductible and
qualify for the Enterprise Zone Tax Credit and can be used to help Habitat for Humanity
to fight poverty and the housing crisis and to empower the community as a whole.
Over the past 23 years, Habitat for Humanity of Montrose County has empowered 44
local families to help build and move into homes of their own. Habitat for Humanity is
always in need of volunteers to help with construction, special events and at the new
ReStore. To volunteer, please contact us at or 970-252-
9304. To learn more about Habitat for Humanity in Montrose, go to