Cookies for Humanity: Fundraiser benefits homebuilding program

More than 40 dozen festive cookies were sold at the inaugural Holiday Cookie Social held at Wanda Jean’s Family Restaurant in Sturgeon Bay on Nov. 29. The event was a benefit for Door County Habitat for Humanity.

The fundraiser was the idea of Wanda Hilsabeck, owner of Wanda Jean’s and a longtime supporter of Door County Habitat for Humanity.

“I’ve thought about this for several years,” she said. “I like to make cookies and I always thought wouldn’t it be cool to bake a whole bunch and have people having coffee and conversation and being able to take some home for those who don’t bake, and why not do it for a cause? So I hooked up with Megan.”

That is Megan Dietz, manager of Habitat’s ReStore.

“I’ve known Megan for years and I think Habitat is a great organization. She does a good job making things happen,” Hilsabeck said, mentioning that every quarter she donates 10 percent of a day’s sales to Door County Habitat.

Richard Dannhausen was the first cookie customer at the Holiday Cookie Social fundraiser for Door County Habitat for Humanity, held Nov. 29 at Wanda Jean’s Family Restaurant, Sturgeon Bay.

For the cookie sale, Hilsabeck arranged tables at the front of the restaurant to hold the scores of cookies she and volunteers baked. Charging $6 a dozen, cookie buyers had a vast assortment of holiday-themed cookies to choose from, and even a tray of whipped cream and cherry-topped cupcakes baked by Hilsabeck. She also donated coffee and cider for those who wanted to stay and chat. Many did, and that was part of the idea, too, “people meeting people,” as Hilsabeck said.

Dietz declared the cookie sale a success. “Wanda has already asked if we want to do it again next year,” she said.

Since Door County Habitat for Humanity started in 1993, they have built homes throughout the county, providing decent and affordable homes for 130 people, including 88 children. The homes have a fair market value in excess of $3 million dollars.

Partner families are selected based on their willingness to contribute sweat equity, their ability to pay the mortgage, and their need for decent and affordable housing. With volunteer labor, Habitat builds new homes and sells them to the partners with zero interest mortgages.

On Thursday, Dec. 20, Door County Habitat for Humanity will dedicate its 41st Home, built for the Purdy family. The event is a celebration of the partnership and completion of the home build as the family prepares to move into their new home.  

The event will be held at the home, 827 N. Sixth Place at 2:30 pm. The event is open to the public, and after the dedication there will be an open house for people to tour the home and meet the family.

As a special gift to the family, attendees are invited to bring an ornament to decorate the family’s Christmas tree. Ornaments will also be available for people to write a note to the family if they choose.

The Pack the Pantry food drive is still going on, until the day of the dedication. Habitat is looking for non-perishable food items that can fill the pantry of the new home and add to the hand up for the Purdy family.  

Items can be dropped off at the ReStore, 410 N. 14th Ave., until noon on Dec. 20. Sandy Nimmo, the owner of SenSational, has donated some of her handmade scrubbies as a thank you gift for anyone who donates.

As the 41st home build nears completion, Door County Habitat for Humanity will shift focus to finding a 42nd partner family for the next home build. They accept applications at any time, and even once a family is selected they will take applications for future home partners.

The goal of Habitat for Humanity is to provide a hand up, not a hand out, as they did with Amanda and Jacob Purdy in helping them achieve home ownership. For more information, contact Habitat for Humanity at 920.743.2869, email at [email protected] or visit

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