Windows for the Holidays 2010 Winner
TreeHouse – Chaska, MN
Reason for Nominating: The Chaska TreeHouse annually serves more than 130 at-risk adolescents from the Eastern Carver County and Belle Plaine school districts.
When these teens first come to TreeHouse, they suffer from depression, abuse drugs and alcohol, perform poorly in school, engage in risky and self-destructive behaviors and come from families in crisis.
Through TreeHouses’s life-transforming programs, the staff at Chaska helps at-risk teens reduce these behaviors, encourages them to build healthy relationships with self and others, helps them connect to their community, both secular and religious, improves high school graduation rates, and puts them on track for post-secondary education or a vocation.
Last summer, generous donors of materials and labor made possible a major landscaping project. This landscaping makes the facility attractive from the outside; however, the windows in the current facility create high utility costs (taking away funding from programs), and contribute to an environment that is not comfortable, inviting and friendly.
An essential part of TreeHouse programming is creation of a safe haven where teens can share their problems with staff and their peers.
With cold winter air and summer heat and humidity coming through drafty windows, it is difficult to maintain the safe, inviting, comfortable TreeHouse that our at-risk adolescents need. In this current economic environment, fundraising is difficult; many of the funds Chaska TreeHouse depended on are no longer available for building improvements.
New windows would help TreeHouse – Chaska become even more successful.