Members of the Soldotna 100+ Women Who Care Group deliberate on which charity or nonprofit will receive their donations this quarter at BuildUP in Sterling, Alaska on Sept. 24, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek)

Members of the Soldotna 100+ Women Who Care Group deliberate on which charity or nonprofit will receive their donations this quarter at BuildUP in Sterling, Alaska on Sept. 24, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek)

Women who care raise funds for hardware store, legal services org

100+ Women Who Care members vote for an organization to support at quarterly meeting.

A new thrift store for building materials just opened its doors in Soldotna thanks to a local women-led group that raises money throughout the year for community projects.

100+ Women Who Care meets four times a year, and at each meeting, three randomly selected members make a pitch for a locally based nonprofit about why it deserves the group’s donations. After the pitches are made, every member votes on which project should get the funds. Once a winner is determined, every member cuts a check to that organization for $100 each.

Last quarter the recipient of the donations was BuildUp, Inc., a nonprofit started earlier this year by a group of women aiming to reduce the amount of functional building material that ends up in the landfill. Local contractors and residents can donate their leftover building materials to BuildUp rather than taking it all to the dump, and the materials are resold at a heavily discounted price.

“My husband is a contractor, and I’ve personally seen the waste that goes to the landfill,” Amy Anderson, one of the founders and president of BuildUp, Inc., said Thursday. “I live in Kasilof so I’ve watched the mountain grow every day I come to town, and I needed to do something about it. So a group of people got together and we started a nonprofit. BuildUp is run all volunteer at this point. All proceeds right now go to rent, and some day the rest of the proceeds will go back to other nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity or the Food Bank.”

For this quarter, women from around the peninsula gathered at the new location of BuildUp, Inc. on the Sterling Highway between Soldotna and Sterling to see exactly where their money had gone and to decide what organization would be receiving their donations this time. Anderson said that the money they received from the 100+ Women Who Care was used to acquire the physical location for the store, which opened on Aug. 21.

The location is the size of a small hardware store and is already full of materials like wall brackets, outlet covers, plumbing fixtures and Sheetrock.

“We take cut Sheetrock. We take cut lumber. We take doors, windows, lights, you name it,” Anderson said. The only materials they won’t accept are things that are nonfunctional or excessively dirty.

Thursday night, the winning nonprofit was Alaska Legal Services. Local lawyer Jennifer Joanis described to the group the work that the nonprofit does to provide free legal services to Alaskans, especially in family law and civil cases.

Thirty women attended the third-quarter meeting, with each writing a $100 check and Joanis walking away with $3,000 to give to Alaska Legal Services, Tami Murray, who founded the local chapter of 100+ Women Who Care, said Friday. Murray added that the group currently has 90 active members, so the nonprofit can expect to receive $9,000 for this quarter.

Since the group started two years ago, Murray said they have donated $72,000 to nonprofits around the peninsula. The fourth-quarter meeting is scheduled for Dec. 17. Murray hopes the group can surpass $90,000 in total donations by the end of the year.

BuildUP is located at 42365 Sterling Highway and is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday through Saturday. Donations can be arranged Monday through Wednesday by calling Anderson at 907-598-4102.

Learn more about BuildUP by visiting their page on loc8nearme.com.

Learn more about Alaska Legal Services Corporation at alsc-law.org.

Reach reporter Brian Mazurek at bmazurek@peninsulaclarion.com.

Linda Farnsworth-Hutchings and other members of the Soldotna 100+ Women Who Care group vote on which charity or nonprofit will receive their donations this quarter at the BuildUP nonprofit

Linda Farnsworth-Hutchings and other members of the Soldotna 100+ Women Who Care group vote on which charity or nonprofit will receive their donations this quarter at the BuildUP nonprofit

Amy Anderson, president and co-founder of BuildUP, a nonprofit thrift store for building materials, stands in the new BuildUP space that was leased thanks to the money donated by the Soldotna 100+ Women Who Care group on Sept. 24, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Amy Anderson, president and co-founder of BuildUP, a nonprofit thrift store for building materials, stands in the new BuildUP space that was leased thanks to the money donated by the Soldotna 100+ Women Who Care group on Sept. 24, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

More in News

EPA logo
Alaska Native group to receive EPA funds for clean water projects

The agency is handing out $4.3 million to participating tribal organizations nationwide.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
State reports 6 new COVID deaths

The deaths, which included a Kenai woman in her 40s, pushed the total to 840 since the pandemic began.

Ryanna Thurman (right) speaks to a library employee at the Soldotna Public Library on Thursday, March 25 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna library seeks OK for grant fund purchases

The funds are made available under the federal American Rescue Plan Act

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Kenai man killed in vehicle rollover

The man was travelling northbound on the Sterling Highway on Tuesday.

Cheryl Morse and Tom Kleeman prepare Thanksgiving lunch at the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank on Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Food bank opens doors for Thanksgiving lunch

“We don’t know what to expect, so we’re trying to still be cautious on our limited seating.”

Carter Kyle (left), Lincoln Kyle (center) and Brandon Kyle (right) hand off Thanksgiving meals at a drive through event hosted by the Salvation Army on Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Thanksgiving on the go

Salvation Army hands out meals in drive-thru event

Bench creator, Brad Hughes, pours the molding material over the clay while Rob Wiard and Matt brush the liquid rubber over each character on the bench to ensure it is covered evenly. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Molds for the Loved Lost Bench are underway

Construction for the memorial bench continues as the rubber molds to shape the concrete are made.

Alaska Rep. David Eastman sits at his desk on the Alaska House floor in Juneau, Alaska, on March 5, 2020. Dozens of West Point graduates have demanded state Rep. Eastman resign from office over his ties to a right wing extremist group, saying his affiliation has betrayed the values of the U.S. Military Academy he attended. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer, File)
70 West Point grads call on Alaska lawmaker to resign

Fellow West Point graduates called on Eastman to resign after his membership in the Oath Keepers became public.

Most Read