SBCA Board Approves Changes to BCMC Build Initiative
Through BCMC Build, component manufacturers and their suppliers have generously donated materials, funds and even their time to fully frame a home each year since 2010 in the city hosting the BCMC show. The SBCA Board of Directors agreed last week to make two changes to this initiative, one affecting this year, and the other starting in 2017.
In 2013, SBCA forged a partnership between BCMC Build and Operation Finally Home (OFH), an organization dedicated to providing mortgage-free homes to wounded veterans and their families. Together, this relationship has resulted in the construction of houses for four wounded veterans: Cody Nussbaum, Anthony Feaster, Drew Wroblewski and Robert Kitelinger. Their lives have forever been transformed by the stability and security their new homes provide.
Changes in 2016
The partnership between SBCA and OFH has worked very well, but it has relied on a bit of good fortune in one respect. Typically, OFH is approached by a homebuilder interested in building a house. OFH then undertakes a search to find a recipient in that builder’s market, who must complete an extensive application and ultimately meet OFH’s requirements. This process can take considerable time, and meeting BCMC Build’s schedule of building a house each October represents a departure from OFH’s traditional approach.
As of today, OFH has been unable to find a recipient for the BCMC Build project in Knoxville, TN. Given the time it takes to plan the volunteer labor event each year, the BCMC Build Committee recommended to the SBCA Board of Directors the BCMC Build/OFH home building event originally planned for October 15-16 be postponed for this year. “We have already partnered with a builder in Knoxville, and multiple component manufacturers and suppliers have come forward to donate product and financial resources,” said SBCA President Jess Lohse. “SBCA remains committed to building a house in Knoxville, just on a different timetable than what we’ve been accustomed to with BCMC Build in previous years.”
Changes for 2017
Since 2013, OFH has grown considerably. When the partnership began, OFH had coordinated the construction of homes primarily in the state of Texas, where the organization was founded. In North Carolina and Wisconsin, BCMC Build helped OFH erect their first homes in those states. This year, BCMC Build continues that tradition in bringing OFH to Tennessee. However, while OFH used to count the number of houses they built each year on one hand, in 2016 they plan on completing over 30 homes. In 2017, OFH plans to help build considerably more.
This swift growth offers the membership of SBCA a significant opportunity. “The BCMC Build model has worked very well each year to bring our industry together to participate in something that is not only worthwhile, but does a great job of reminding us all of the impact our industry has on people’s lives,” said Lohse. “The Board of Directors agreed it’s time we modify our approach and think about our partnership with OFH as something that is active year round.”
Next year, SBCA will change the way in which it partners with OFH. Instead of coordinating the framing of one project each October, SBCA will work with OFH throughout the year to raise awareness of projects where a homebuilder has stepped forward to build a house and a wounded veteran or widow has been identified to receive it. SBCA will help connect its state chapters and members interested in donating materials and funds with builders and continue to help the BCMC Build team engage in fundraising activities.
The tie between BCMC Build and the BCMC show was an effective approach, but it limited active participation in projects to component manufacturers and suppliers who operate in the markets where the annual trade show is held. “This expanded approach will give more manufacturers and suppliers a chance to directly participate in a project and see first-hand the huge impact their generosity can have on someone who has given so much in protecting the many freedomws we have in our country. A broader approach will allow manufacturer and chapter contributions to have a direct impact on the deserving recipients and will minimize logistic costs moving forward,” said Lohse. “I hope all of our members will find a way to get involved.”