FERGUS FALLS, MN, March 21, 2018—There still may be a chill in the air, but for local nonprofits, the season is already looking brighter. This year, realtors Tom Verhelst and Karen Zell of Keller Williams Realty Professionals of Fergus Falls are giving the public a chance to direct donations to charitable organizations that improve their community and will also make matching donations to the Fergus Falls chapter of Habitat for Humanity.

“We were looking for deeper interaction with the community and thinking about how we can give back on a regular basis,” Tom Verhelst said. “Asking about what they love or would add to their own home is a conversation starter, but we also want to know what nonprofit organization they think makes Otter Tail County and the surrounding region a great community.”

Sample nonprofit nomination:
“I nominate the nonprofit Fergus Food Shelf. Just as important as shelter, the Food Shelf provides a three-day supply of food for each family member, once every thirty days, to people in need in our community.”

💞 Homes of the Heartland Program

The program, called “Homes of the Heartland” also addresses those that are struggling to have a home of their own, by partnering with the Fergus Falls Area Habitat for Humanity. “Having access to a decent and affordable house is a challenge for many families,” Karen Zell said. “Habitat for Humanity has a longstanding record of improving and building homes in the community.”

Sample community pic: “I love this cozy corner in our basement. It gets great light to curl up with a book, or sit by a warm fire

Homes of the Heartland, which will launched on Facebook April 1, asks community members to share their thoughts of home, including a photo, and nominate a local nonprofit that is making the community a better place to live. One community nominated nonprofit will be selected each month, and receive a $50 donation from Verhelst and Zell. The Fergus Falls Area Habitat for Humanity will also receive a $50 monthly donation from the team.

We hope that this program will raise awareness of the great work our area nonprofits do in the community by expanding their audiences on social media,” Zell said. “We will also be highlighting projects by Habitat for Humanity. Sometimes it takes a village to raise a house for someone in need.”

The Homes of the Heartland program does not have a set end date. “It will be driven by the needs of the community,” Zell concluded. Program details will be posted on @homesandlakeshore on Facebook.

👫 Verhelst and Zell (HomesandLakeshore.com)

Keller Williams encourages a corporate culture of donating and supporting the local community. Verhelst and Zell live the philosophy through actively participating locally, and through national efforts like traveling to Texas to help with hurricane disaster relief. Professionally, the Verhelst and Zell duo, who operate under the website name HomesandLakeshore.com, is also recognized as the number one team for units sold in the North Central Region, including Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming in 2017.


🏡 About Habitat for Humanity

Fergus Falls Area Habitat for Humanity has built over 55 homes in it 26 year history and is looking to continue to help change lives for next quarter century. Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity has grown from a grassroots effort that began on a community farm in southern Georgia in 1976 to a global nonprofit housing organization in nearly 1,400 communities across the U.S. and in over 70 countries. People partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering, or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit www.fergushabitat.org.


For more information on The Homes of the Heartland program, email community@homesandlakeshore.com or see @homesandlakeshore on Facebook.

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