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FAQ

General Questions

Become a volunteer leader

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Act good for those in need

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How you can participate

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What should you know before apply

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Spread awareness about volunteering

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Environmental questions

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Information about application process

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Extended Licenses questions

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  • Provide food
  • Help center
  • Nature surrounding

Call for Support

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+99 123 4567

Brick Campaign print

Some questions folks have about the Brick Campaign may be answered over on the Huss Project FAQ page, but here are some other questions related specifically to the campaign.

 

I don’t live in Three Rivers, but I’m interested in buying a brick.  Why should I invest from afar?

The Huss Project seeks to create a relationship between local community development in Three Rivers and outside groups coming in for a variety of purposes–for retreat, for service-learning, for experiential education, for leadership training.  We hope the Huss Project will be one model of Christian community development that will inspire practice in other communities, whether that practice originates with student groups, churches, neighborhood associations or other groups of people working together for the welfare of their communities.  The investment and ownership of local neighbors is critical to the development of the project.  Likewise, the participation of outside groups through visits, spring break programs, service-learning trips and other points of connection is an important part of the whole vision.  We hope the Huss Project will ultimately be a blessing to society and the Church at large.

 

How will the money raised through the Brick Campaign be spent?  What happens if the Brick Campaign goal is not met?

Visit our goal page to see a specific plan for the $100,000 we intend to raise through the Brick Campaign.  Our ultimate intention is to move the Huss Project forward in some very practical, capacity-building ways and reaching our complete goal will go a long way in this regard.  That said, we are committed to the Huss Project for the long haul.  For ten years, *culture is not optional has been operating on a shoestring budget and for over three years, we’ve been pooling available resources to do what we can at the Huss School property as is, which has amounted to a remarkable number of special events and programs.  Whatever resources our supporters contribute during the campaign will be stewarded with discernment by the *culture is not optional community and the Huss Project stakeholders.  As we reach benchmarks on the way to the big goal, we will listen to the needs of the community, the organization and the building to decide how to prioritize available funds.  The end of the campaign is not the end of our fundraising efforts and we will continue to seek the necessary resources of all kinds to develop and realize a collective vision for the Huss Project.

 

Am I receiving an actual brick, or will my name be engraved on a brick at the school?

As the 27,000 square foot building on the Huss property is composed of structural brick, there is no need to invest the money we raise through the Brick Campaign in brand new bricks!  Each brick purchase will be commemorated with a handmade, keepsake, numbered print of the Huss building (see above).  In addition, we will be collaborating over the next year to develop a plan for a piece of installation art — a mural perhaps — for the Huss Property that will honor each of our donors and the messages they would like to convey on their bricks.  Our hope is to honor our supporters with a beautiful, creative expression that acknowledges their gifts and upholds the artistic spirit of the Huss Project.

 

What if I want to support the Huss Project, but I can’t afford $100 to buy a brick?

We want all who wish to participate in the Brick Campaign to be able to contribute–not just those with financial means.  Toward that end, here is a list of suggestions for ways to participate, even if you can’t shell out $100:

  • Break up your contribution through a payment plan, which you can arrange through the Buy a Brick form.  We can break it up in to two, four or five monthly installments.
  • Give or request a brick as a gift so that resources that would be directed elsewhere can support the Huss Project.  How could a brick meaningfully honor a wedding, anniversary, birthday, holiday or other celebration?
  • Host a fundraiser at your home or church.  What could you make or organize that would give you joy, build up your community and help raise a few dollars for the Huss Project?  Ideas include a dinner, a bake sale, a storytelling night, a handmade craft, a change collection, a plant sale or a service auction.
  • Give of your time and skill to be honored as someone who has volunteered for the Huss Project.  In addition to raising funds, we are also working on documenting and honoring all of those who have served in person on site at the property in Three Rivers.
  • Pray for the Huss Project.  The *culture is not optional community recognizes that material resources supply only a portion of what is needed to realize the vision for the whole, and we receive your petitions to God with gratitude and hope.

Why Three Rivers, Michigan?

Three Rivers is a small city of about 8,000 people in southwest Michigan with diverse resources and possibilities. It’s a community with a lot of needs and we hope *cino can help build imagination and friendship around those needs, but it’s also a community with a lot to offer–one that works its way into people’s hearts whether they live there or visit regularly.

The natural environment features beautiful lakes, forests and rivers, while the social environment offers ethnic diversity and a deep sense of history. In addition, the state of Michigan has the second largest variety of agricultural crops in the U.S. and this quality is reflected in a thriving local foods movement. Three Rivers also holds a lot of possibility for institutional partnership, with an art museum, retreat centers, many churches and other non-profit organizations serving people of color, special needs adults, the elderly, low-income families and more. Located at the intersection of M-60 and U.S. 131, the city is easily accessible from Grand Rapids, Chicago, Detroit, Goshen and further afield, which provides potential for inter-college and interdenominational partnerships.

A helpful resource if you’d like to dig into more demographic information is the interactive online map (http://projects.nytimes.com/census/2010/explorer) in which the New York Times laid census data over voting districts.  Enter Three Rivers’ zip code (49093) and compare census tract 402, where the Huss Project is located, with other local districts.  Some of the challenges facing the Three Rivers’ community include economic and racial segregation, substance abuse and inadequate opportunities for youth.  *culture is not optional does not at all claim that the Huss Project will solve these challenges, but we do hope that creating space for conversation and imagination can help build our community’s resilience for approaching all sorts of brokenness with gratitude, friendship and joy.

 

How is the Huss Project funded?

The Huss Project was purchased and continues to be supported by a community of individual donors and volunteers.  This collaborative spirit, in which everyone gives what they can, will always be a significant part of the funding and programming at the Huss Project.  However, an audit contracted by the Three Rivers Community Schools in 2003 recommended additions, changes and updates to the Huss facility that totaled approximately $4 million.  Some of the audit’s recommendations, such as replacing the heating system and installing an elevator, are changes we plan to adopt, while others won’t serve our aesthetic or purposes.  That said, we still anticipate a multi-million dollar renovation.

We are currently researching potential private, state and federal grant sources and compiling a list of requirements and deadlines.  This process is taking place in consultation with local officials as well as organizations who have undertaken similar projects.  We are also seeking to build relationships with local donors who have a personal stake in the location and the overall vision.  Depending on how the renovation timeline evolves, there may be opportunity for organizations who wish to use specific spaces to do their own fund raising to develop portions of the facility.  *culture is not optional is currently conducting a Brick Campaign to raise $100,000 through the sale of 1,000 bricks for $100 each by June 15, 2013.

As spaces at the Huss School property become usable, there will be many potential revenue streams, including:

  • Tuition and program fees from the semester program, as well as shorter service-learning opportunities like May term, spring break trips and service groups.
  • Time share fees from partner organizations who use the space on a regular basis for services and activities.
  • Rental fees from permanent residents of the second floor.

 

Is the Huss Project a Christian thing?

The mission of *culture is not optional, which owns the Huss Project property, is to model and encourage creative communities, rooted in the love of Christ, in Three Rivers and beyond. The vision for the Huss Project grows out of *culture is not optional’s exploration of what it looks like to model the love of Christ in our way of life today, but it is not exclusively created by or for Christians.  In fact, because it is rooted in the love of Christ, the vision includes the embrace and acceptance of all people.  People from a variety of faith commitments and backgrounds have participated in the Huss Project at all levels and we look forward to continuing to build significant friendships across any of the boundaries that tend to divide us.  To learn more about how our community is seeking to live out our sense of mission, explore *cino’s core values.

 

I’ve noticed that many of the *culture is not optional staff people didn’t grow up in Three Rivers.  Why have you chosen to live here?  Are you trying to tell me what’s good for my town?

For many of us who have re-located to Three Rivers, we’ve done so because something about this place has captured our hearts.  We see its needs, but we also appreciate its many gifts: the natural beauty, the diversity, the arts and spiritual communities, the history.  Among *culture is not optional’s core values are compassionate listening, creative collaboration and radical hospitality.  Guided by these core values and aware that many of us are transplants, we seek to truly listen to our neighbors, proceeding in any planning or decision-making with humility and flexibility.

 

Why would I want to support the Huss Project if I don’t live in Three Rivers?

The majority of the households that supported the initial purchase of the Huss School property were not located in Three Rivers.  Why would this be?  Our address is in Three Rivers and there’s a side of the Huss Project that will be developed specifically with and for the local community.  However, we also hope that the Huss Project will continue *culture is not optional’s ongoing work to connect people throughout the country and the world around the question of what the love of Christ looks like when it’s lived out in a particular time and place.  Toward that end, the Huss Project has played host to students, church groups and other visitors who are developing their abilities to be faithfully present in the places they will be called to now and in the future.  Whether through online or print materials or field trips to Three Rivers, we hope the Huss Project will continue to be a living classroom for creative community development, for those near and far.