2022 Annual Report

WHAT A RIDE! I am writing this message from Los Angeles, having just finished a 2,400+ miles Route 66 road trip adventure with Don. It’s been fabulous, and a not-so-subtle reminder of just how majestic and determined this country has been. The railroad and highway systems, sometimes winding their ways through the seemingly impervious mountains and desolate desert, connect our land in an almost miraculous way.

Donors Push Habitat to Goal

(Brookings, SD, July 15, 2022) – Brookings Area Habitat for Humanity successfully reached a $500k donation goal for construction projects as part of a year long ‘Construction Challenge.’

Completing the donation goal by June 30 allows an additional $250K previously earmarked for land use.  The Larson Family Foundation offered the challenge in recognition of the increase of costs for construction.

“We can’t thank donors enough,” Resource Development Director Randy Grimsley said. “The impact we can make is directly tied to the support we receive. Our community recognizes the need for and importance of affordable housing in our area and contribute to make it happen.”

The funds will be used specifically for construction materials used for homes built in 2022. While no challenge is in place for the following year, Grimsley hopes residents continue to see the importance of their contribution toward housing.

“The need is great, and we’re doing what we can. Now more than ever, we appreciate the community support,” Grimsley said.

Individuals, groups, or businesses that would like to volunteer or make a donation – or area residents interested in becoming a Habitat homeowner – can call the Habitat offices at 605-697-2540. Since its inception in 1995, Brookings Habitat has helped build safe and affordable homes in Brookings, Aurora, Volga, and Madison for qualified candidates. They are currently working to build their 81st home in the area.

Habitat International Names McColley to U.S. Council

(Brookings, SD, June 28, 2022) – Brookings Area Habitat for Humanity’s Lead Mission Officer

 Dan McColley has been named to the U.S. Council of Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI).

The Council was established by its board of directors to guide the growth of Habitat’s work in the United States and are the policy setting body for all U.S. affiliates. They serve as a voice of affiliates on policy matters and advise HFHI staff and board on direction and priorities of U.S. programs.

“It’s an honor to be part of this small group that has a large impact on Habitat operations,” McColley said.

In addition to his work with Brookings Area Habitat for Humanity and this recent appointment, McColley continues working with the HFHI Executive Task Force to develop a collaborative operating model for Habitats nationwide.

“Our work in Brookings has shown that even smaller affiliates can make big differences in the community,” McColley said. “I look forward to helping shape policies that assist Habitat operations of all sizes in our work to bring affordable housing options to communities everywhere.” Brookings Area Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1995 and sold its first house in April of 1996. It is an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity-International, founded in 1976, and is currently working to build its 81st home – building strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter.


Johnson Tours Brookings Habitat

(Brookings, SD, March 2, 2022) – South Dakota Congressman Dusty Johnson recently visited Brookings to learn more about the housing crisis and Brookings Area Habitat for Humanity’s response.

In search of possible local solutions to the national crisis, Johnson toured some of the properties Habitat has worked on over the last 27 years.

“There’s much work to be done,” Habitat Executive Director Dan McColley said. “After being part of the housing crisis discussions in Washington, D.C., it was great that Representative Johnson followed through to learn more about local housing issues with his visit.”

McColley gave Johnson a driving tour of Brookings, including highlights of various Habitat homes, other developments, and growth of the area while discussing the growing need for affordable housing.

“We know the legislature often has proposals or discussions regarding housing,” said McColley. “We’re grateful to be able to bring our nearly three decades of experience to the conversation.”

Johnson was joined by BAHFH’s Board President, Kay Norton, BAHFH’s Resource Development Director Randy Grimsley and Hannah Kagey from Johnson’s staff. Since its inception in 1995, Brookings Habitat has helped build safe and affordable homes in Brookings, Aurora, Volga, and Madison for qualified candidates. They are currently working to build their 81st home in the area.

Future Habitat homeowner Brianna Doran (left) and Brookings Habitat Executive Director Dan McColley (center) show the progress on a current Habitat home build with Representative Dusty Johnson.
Habitat ReStore Operations Manager Josh Reynhout (left) shares how the ReStore helps fund Habitat homes with Representative Dusty Johnson.
December 2021 VOM

Volunteer of the Month Recognized for Habitat Work

The Helpline Center congratulates Randie Lund on being named the December 2021 Volunteer of the Month, an area-wide award program sponsored by the Helpline Center and First Bank & Trust.
Randie started volunteering with Brookings Area Habitat for Humanity in the summer of 2019. He is a member of Habitat’s Foundation Crew and works diligently throughout the year alongside a great group of hardworking volunteers. This group works year-round at various construction sites, and takes part in every stage of a home-build from framing to flooring.
Brookings Area Habitat for Humanity relies on this crew to keep the homes progressing throughout the year, and couldn’t do what they do without them.
As part of Habitat’s Foundation Crew, Randie works every Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, year-round. In total, Randie has accumulated 365 hours of volunteer work in the past year!
Staff with Brookings Area Habitat for Humanity said, “not only does Randie come volunteer on a weekly basis, he is willing to go above and beyond. By taking small projects home, fixing them in his shop, and bringing them back, it’s just what we need. We appreciate all he does for Habitat!”
Congratulations, Randie, on being our much-deserved December Volunteer of the Month!
For information on volunteer opportunities or the Volunteer of the Month program, please
contact Allison Schmitt at or call 211 for more information.

L to R: Dan McColley, Executive Director and Lead Mission Officer at BAHFH; Jason Hett, Construction Superintendent at BAHFH; Stephanie Svennes, Executive Assistant at First Bank and Trust; Randie Lund, Volunteer of the Month; Ope Niemeyer, City of Brookings Mayor; Jake McGlade, Volunteer Coordinator at BAHFH


Lowe’s Rewards Habitat ‘Heroes’

Lowe’s recently recognized Brookings Area Habitat for Humanity as part of their national Heroes program, with local employees nominating and voting in support. The program allows each store to recognize one local organization that aligns with core Lowe’s philanthropic areas of focus such as skilled trades education and safe, affordable housing. 

Brookings Habitat meets such criteria head-on as they have welcomed area volunteers of all ages and skillsets for 27 years. Together, volunteers have helped build safe and affordable homes in Brookings, Aurora, Volga, and Madison for qualified candidates, as they recognize that everyone deserves a decent place to live.  They are currently working to build its 81st home – building strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter along the way.

Lowe’s encourages employees to get involved to better the community and is a proud supporter of Brookings Habitat. The Heroes Award provided by Lowe’s rewarded Habitat with a $2500 shopping spree, allowing Habitat construction members to pick up needed tools to help continue efforts.

Pictured L-R: Lowe’s Store Manager Keith Dentlinger, Habitat Construction Director Trever Shelden, Habitat Construction Site Superintendent Jason Hett, Lowe’s Head Cashier Laura Scheffler, and Lowe’s Customer Service Associate Linda Popkes.

Construction Challenge

Families in our area need your help! We need to raise $500,000 by June 30, 2022 to unlock an additional $250,000. The Larson Family Foundation will redirect funds in recognition of the increased cost for construction WHEN WE RAISE $500,000! That means when we reach our goal, an additional $250,000 will be released, resulting in $750,000 aimed at construction materials to build affordable housing in our community.

The need for such housing is great. One South Dakota family in 9 is paying more than half of their income to cover the cost of their home. That means nearly 1,200 families in Brookings County and an additional 425 in Lake County are severely cost-burdened by their housing costs. By contrast, Habitat homeowners not only grow roots in an affordable home, they see other changes as well.

  • 74% of Habitat homeowners found their families’ overall health improved
  • 57% of adults in Habitat homes further their education
  • 19% increase in graduation rates for children in Habitat homes
  • 83% consider their children and family to be safer in their Habitat home

Such Habitat families also build stronger neighborhoods and a stronger community.

Can we count on you to reach our goal?

Please click HERE and help local families get an affordable, safe home. Type CONSTRUCTION in the ‘How would you like to designate your funds’ box via the PayPal donation option shown.  Or call the office at 605-697-2540 and we can enter the transaction for you. Make sure to mention it is a donation designated for CONSTRUCTION.

We appreciate your help in meeting this goal. The extra funds will help us build new homes in 2022, as we continue to strive for a world where everyone has a decent place to live.