Alumni rising: Recent grad Boss lights way for others in new career

Every day is a holiday for Chiara Boss and every door jingle is a gift.

The recent UW-Green Bay graduate is the volunteer and resource coordinator for Green Bay Habitat for Humanity Restore — a retail operation that profits from donated building materials and home improvement items to benefit the Greater Green Bay Habitat for Humanity.

“At the ReStore, everyone benefits,” Boss says. “Donors get rid of things that they don’t have a use for, keeping useable materials out of the landfills. Customers get items at low cost and their purchases go towards the construction of Habitat homes in Brown County. I love that each day is different and you never know what to expect. Our inventory is constantly changing. Whether you are dropping off or purchasing, someone else is benefiting.”

One of Boss’s current responsibilities is to get the word out about a Christmas lights collection… working or not, strands of lights can be dropped off at the Restore — 2965 Ramada Way #B, Green Bay. Restore recycles the lights and the proceeds assist families in need in Brown County. Boss has been working with local media, e-mail lists and social media to spread the word.

The West De Pere native and 2013 University graduate, said UW-Green Bay played an important role in preparing her for her career. At UWGB she was able to major in public administration and specialize in nonprofit management. “UWGB played a significant role in the preparation for this job and gave me the background and skill set I needed to work in the nonprofit sector,” Boss said.

Direct opportunities to work for, and with, non-profit organizations while in college, also helped Boss develop a specialized skill set.

“Being on the leadership committee for the UWGB Steps to Make a Difference Walk in 2012 developed my special event and fundraising skills, while raising money for four local nonprofits. Working in various volunteer experiences with the Bay Area Humane Society, Hand-N-Hand, Women’s Fund of Green Bay and Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin developed my passion to helping others. My most rewarding experience was helping to jump start the Civics Club, now known as the Phoenix Philanthropists.”

A part-time job in UW-Green Bay’s Advancement office also gave her a jump start on other recent graduates.

“It helped me to understand donor correspondence, leadership and fundraising skills, which are critical for working in the nonprofit sector.”

As it turns out, lighting the way for others turns out to be the perfect start to Boss’s new career.

Why recycle? Boss says…

• Recycling holiday lights keeps them out of the landfills. Landfill contribution from throwing away holiday lights poses a threat to wildlife. It is easy for animals to get tangled in or choked by the strands of lights.
• It can take 100-1000 years for holiday lights to decompose when they are thrown away.
• Your donation of holiday lights allows Restore to profit with proceeds given towards the construction of Habitat homes.
• You can receive a potential tax deduction from your donation.