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How my relationship with Hosanna began

28 June

How my relationship with Hosanna began –

About 13 years ago we were new members to First Presbyterian Church of Bakerstown. As new members, my family was looking to get involved and give back. In the Sunday bulletin we read a short note about an upcoming Mission Trip with an organization called Hosanna Industries. The group was going to travel south in an effort to build two homes in one week! This was almost impossible to imagine!! My husband and I had some experience in home renovation and thought this might be a perfect fit! Knowing no one in the organization, along with our 7 year old daughter, Alexandra, we decided to make the trip. To say it was the trip of a lifetime would be an understatement. To say it was a life changing week would be an even bigger understatement.

So much happened that week! We worked harder than ever and enjoyed every minute. Getting to know the caring and loving staff of Hosanna Industries and other members of our new church home was truly amazing. Most of all, getting to spend time with the families who lost so much in the devastating floods was truly a gift. It was truly a miracle to see two homes rise up out of the earth in just one week! It was even more amazing to see how the love, tireless work, and dedication to help others changes lives! That mission trip was the beginning of our relationship with Hosanna Industries. We love serving this organization and feel extremely blessed that God guided to make that trip many years ago!

With love,
Michelle Bailey
Board of Directors Vice-President

7 Reasons Why You Should Support Hosanna Industries

31 May


We’ll multiply your donation by four.
Over the past 23 years we have done close to $50 million of charitable construction work for a cost of less than $14 million. By using donated and discounted materials, volunteer labor, and a staff who is skilled in construction but not paid like contractors, we are able to be excellent stewards of the funds that we receive.

We’ll use your money wisely.
Many times people use administration costs as a way to judge nonprofits. Our administrative costs account for less than 7% of our costs. We realize that our donated dollars should be used wisely, and use every penny to the best of our ability. (You can check out our Guidestar report here.)

We’re growing.
When we were founded in 1990, we had a small facility, a budget of $30 thousand, and completed 13 projects with 93 volunteers. Now in 2013, we have a campus that includes a volunteer dormitory, a chapel, community center, trade skill training center, warehouse, etc. We have a budget of over a million dollars, and have completed over 2700 projects with close to 150,000 volunteers.

Your neighbors need your help.
According to this article in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review from 2012, one in four Pennsylvania households do not make enough money to meet the family’s basic needs. Chances are, Hosanna Industries has helped one of your neighbors, a member of your church, or a family member. In 2012 our average single client had an income of less than $13 thousand. We do not require our clients to pay for the work that they receive, as most of the time they cannot afford it. The people that we help are hard working or retired people that many times have circumstances such as handicaps, health problems, or accidents that put them in a position of need either temporarily or permanently.

We’re unique.
It’s not often that you see eight women and two men providing construction services, let alone on the level that Hosanna does. Many of our staff have been here for a dozen or more years, and all of them are extremely dedicated to their work. We consider it our calling to serve those crying out “Hosanna, rescue me now Lord!”

We’re organized.
Hosanna Industries’ does new construction in the form of a blitz build, which is when we build a whole house completely finished with appliances in five days or less. This requires an extreme amount of organization, from the permits to the inspections to the materials to the volunteers. We have a warehouse on our campus where everything is labeled and has its own place. We continuously lead unskilled volunteers and try to make sure that everyone has a job that is vital for the success of the project.

Demands are rising.
Construction is expensive, and material prices are rising. Also, with the weather trends changing there are more natural disasters than ever and more people than ever that need help recovering and rebuilding. Recently in the United States there has been an increase in construction but a decrease in skilled workers. See the article here. Our trade skill learning center helps to provide hope to young people by teaching them the value of hard work and respect. We aim to be as effective as possible with these constantly rising demands.

-Amanda Becker, Mission Worker

Volunteer FAQ’s

26 April

Volunteer FAQ’s

Q. When do you need our Forms & Monies?
A. One month prior to your scheduled workday. For Summer groups (June, July, August) all forms and monies need to be in by the first week of May. Keep in mind sending in your forms and monies is the only way to confirm your spot on the calendar.

Q. Does our group really need to wear work boots?
A. Yes.

Q.What will we be doing?
A. Serving The Lord via Hosanna Industries. Your group leader will be informed of the job and its location as soon as we have those details. Keep in mind:

  1. We cannot decide on a job until we know how many volunteers are coming out and their capacity. A job for ten 11 year olds is going to be different from a job for 40 20+ year olds.
  2. Things change!

Q. How long are the work days?
A.The day ends when the job is finished or when it is at a safe place to wrap up for the day. Hours vary. We might be done at 2:30 one day and 7 the next.

Q.What are the dorms like?
A. Awesome, and yes there is a kitchen with everything you’ll need to prepare meals for your group (except the food, you bring that)

Q. Do we have to bring food with us or are there stores nearby?
A. There are all sorts of stores about 10 minutes away. i.e. Giant Eagle, Super Walmart.

Q. If our group is only coming for one day and not sleeping in the dorms do we still need to follow all the rules, like wearing work boots?
A. Yes.

Q. Should we bring our own tools?
A. Hosanna provides all tools necessary. If you do bring your own hand tools be sure to mark them as your own.

Q. How old do you have to be to volunteer?
A. Everyone is welcome to volunteer at Hosanna Industries. Keep in mind with young children that they should be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Job sites can be a dangerous place for young children if they are not being closely attended to.

Q. What kind of program is available for the youth after the workday?
A. That is up to the group leaders. Once the trucks are unpacked and re-packed for the next day and all details are nailed down for the next day the Hosanna staff typically says goodnight to the mission and heads home for some rest.

All of this information is found  on our website. Please contact me with any questions you have! Thank you and we look forward to working with you!

Emily Cadenhead, mission worker

Business Involvement Ideas

15 April

When I approach businesses, I begin by inviting them to come out and experience us either by touring our campus or serving in the field with us to help a local needy family. Once the relationship begins, it is my hope they will support the mission financially and this is where the options go through the roof!

A business can:

  • simply donate on a monthly or annual basis
  • sponsor and attend out fabulous fundraisers
  • donate useful product
  • donate to a particular project and then work on it as well

A business can hold its own fundraiser such as:

  • a donate to dress down day
  • host a luncheon on the campus of Hosanna and bring other business owners to introduce them to the mission

As you can see the possibilities grow as the imagination grows! Contact us to have your business be a part of a mission that is bringing hope to those who need it most!

-Becky Hetzer, Mission Worker

I’m glad it rained

09 April


Rain. It’s a remarkable thing. Rain can be an integral part of growth, it can also promote destruction. Rain changes things. It also has an effect on people. I’ve seen rain turn a good mood into a sad one. I’ve seen rain create chaos. I’ve seen it induce laughter.

Last summer I had the opportunity to work with a youth group from one of the churches that supports Hosanna. These kids were amazing. Young. Too young to have been so in tune to what was going on that day. I am still shocked at the level of maturity these kids had.

We had a big day ahead of us. It was one of those shirt-starts-sticking-to-you-before-you-walk-up-the-ladder kind of days. Hot. Humid. Gross. There was a job to be done, a life to be changed, a heart to be mended. We had a big day ahead of us.

The job was a roof tear-off and replacement. The kids, along side myself and my colleagues, literally dug in with the roof rippers and within an hour the first panel was ready for fresh tar paper. The day kept up with a fast pace. After a short training “seminar” these kids were expert shingle setters. We had more than half that roof laid before lunch. Remarkable. Just like the impending rain.

It started, not like some rains that start with a warning sprinkle and gradually amp up to full blown shower. No, not today. This rain was the kind of rain that just starts. Buckets, I think some people say. It poured on us. Brian Hetzer blew the whistle to get everyone off the roof and wait for it to pass. As I stood at the top of the ladder with one of my colleagues to help the kids get down off the roof, I couldn’t help but notice something. Each person, each one of these rain soaked volunteers, had a smile on their face and said to us “thank you” as we helped them onto the ladder. I might think too much about it but times like that can change a person. I might have been so proud to work with those kids that I shed a tear. I’m glad it rained.

We waited in the homeowners garage for the rain to stop. Brian Hetzer kept an eye on the radar and it wasn’t looking good. He dabbled with the idea of coming back the next day to finish up. After all, these dear kids were soaked, probably exhausted and ready to wrap it up for the day and get into some warm clothes. As it would turn out these KIDS, these not older than 17 year old kids wouldn’t have it. They wanted to finish what they started. We decided we would wait until it slowed down a little bit before we finished the roof. We waited and we waited. Some of us started to get a little chilly. It just so happened that we had the materials necessary to make not only functional but fashionable rain gear. Some heavy duty construction garbage bags, duct tape, and a utility knife. We were now ready for action.

The roof was completed. The rain never stopped. Better yet, the rain never stopped these kids from getting it. They caught it. They had it. They had spirit and drive and a sense of commitment. I wish you could’ve been there. I wish you could’ve seen what I saw that day.

We had a big day ahead of us. A job was done, a life was changed, a heart was mended. Rain. It’s a remarkable thing. I’m glad it rained.

-Emily Cadenhead, mission worker