Jon Bon Jovi leads advocacy effort as ‘Founding Ambassador’ of newly created Habitat for Humanity Ambassador Program
October 24, 2006
Tom Price, Director of Communications, Europe and Central Asia
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Tricia Deering, Senior Communications Manager, Europe and Central Asia
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AMERICUS, Ga. (Oct 24, 2006) – Rock icon and philanthropist Jon Bon Jovi has been named the first Founding Ambassador of the Habitat for Humanity Ambassador program as part of the international-nonprofit organization’s new advocacy outreach initiative.
“From their relief efforts in the wake of the tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, to the thousands of houses they construct around the world, Habitat for Humanity builds homes, lives, and dreams,” says Jon Bon Jovi. “I’ve worked with Habitat in partnerships with my football team, The Philadelphia Soul and with my band over the past year. Handing over the keys to the families who have worked to earn them has afforded me some of the proudest, most uplifting moments of my life. As a Habitat For Humanity Ambassador, I now have the opportunity to help this work continue and I encourage others to become involved and share in the rebuilding of their communities as well.”
Bon Jovi has been raising awareness with Habitat for Humanity since 2005 when he provided the funds to build six homes in Philadelphia and built the homes alongside the homeowner families, as well as with members of his Philadelphia Soul Arena Football Team. The construction site also served as the video shoot location for his band’s chart-topping single, “Who Says You Can’t Go Home.” In 2006, Bon Jovi made a $1 million donation to build 28 Habitat homes in Louisiana in partnership with low-income families on the hurricane-stricken coast. Earlier this month, Bon Jovi announced a project that will rehabilitate a block of 15 homes in north Philadelphia. Bon Jovi spearheaded the groundbreaking partnership that will join Habitat for Humanity, Project H.O.M.E., Saturn and The Philadelphia Soul Charitable Foundation.
“We couldn’t be more pleased that Jon Bon Jovi has agreed to become the first Habitat for Humanity Ambassador,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “Jon’s shining example of advocating on behalf of people around the world who lack decent housing will help call others to action in this effort to eliminate substandard housing. Jon exemplifies qualities that we all aspire to emulate…he is a leader… compassionate, articulate and credible. His commitment to our mission is both appreciated and inspiring. As a result of Jon’s kindness and generosity, numerous families now have a warm and safe place to call home.”
The newly created Habitat for Humanity Ambassadors Program is an advocacy initiative that is a joint effort between Habitat for Humanity International and the entertainment-industry-support organization, Hollywood for Habitat for Humanity. Its goal is to engage celebrities and entertainment industry leaders that can bring heightened awareness to the worldwide-housing crisis and to Habitat’s effort in providing safe, decent and affordable shelter.
Ambassadors are chosen to recognize the work that they are already doing on behalf of Habitat for Humanity, and because of their active interest in poverty housing issues and their willingness to serve as influential advocates for affordable and decent housing. Ambassador work may include building with local Habitat affiliates in the United States or in one of the more than 90 countries where Habitat for Humanity builds worldwide. Duties also may include participating in targeted public service announcements and campaigns, using their high visibility and profile to raise funds and awareness for the organization and mobilizing volunteers globally.
Founding Habitat for Humanity Ambassadors will be involved in the Jimmy Carter Work Project 2007 in Los Angeles by participating in building and awareness-raising activities. Habitat’s Jimmy Carter Work Project 2007 will kick off with a gala luncheon in March in Los Angeles honoring President Carter for his lifelong Humanitarian efforts.
About Jon Bon Jovi
Musician, singer, songwriter and actor, Jon Bon Jovi is most recognizable as the voice for the band Bon Jovi. Since the group’s formation in the early 1980s, Bon Jovi has sold more than 100 million records worldwide and at more than 2,700 shows in 47 countries more than 32 million fans have seen Bon Jovi in concert.
The band’s latest album, Have a Nice Day, includes the smash hit “Who Says You Can’t Go Home,” which made history as Bon Jovi became the first rock band ever to have a No. 1 hit on the country chart. The tour that followed was one of the top grossing tours of 2005-2006, playing to more than 2 million concert-goers worldwide.
As the co-owner of the AFL’s Philadelphia Soul, Jon Bon Jovi introduced a new model of sports ownership. From the inception of the franchise, the mission was to use the team to give back to the local community. Heading into their fourth season, the Philadelphia Soul organization has given away $2 million to local causes.
Bon Jovi’s charitable works focus on the issue of homelessness and include the creation of the Philadelphia Soul Charitable Foundation; the launch of a limited edition outerwear collection with Kenneth Cole New York (with proceeds benefiting HELP USA); partnering with Project H.O.M.E. in Philadelphia; and a sustained partnership with Habitat for Humanity that has thus far provided 49 families with a place to call home. For more information visit www.bonjovi.com and www.philadelphiasoul.com.
About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in Americus, Ga., in 1976, Habitat has built more than 200,000 houses in nearly 100 countries, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1 million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org.
About Hollywood for Habitat for Humanity
Hollywood for Habitat for Humanity is an entertainment industry partnership with Habitat for Humanity. Actors, screenwriters, directors, producers, musicians, and studio executives are among the thousands of volunteers who have helped build homes with people in need. Hollywood for Habitat was founded by screenwriter and director Randall Wallace (“Braveheart,” “We Were Soldiers”) to encourage the entertainment industry to support (through donations, volunteer hours and publicity) Habitat for Humanity¹s goal of ending poverty housing worldwide and making poverty housing a matter of conscience and action. Hollywood for Habitat has sponsored more than 150 homes around the world, with support from ABC, Creative Artists Agency, Disney, Endeavor Agency, Fox, The Hollywood Reporter, In Style, MGM, Paramount Pictures, Shady Acres Entertainment, Sony Pictures, United Talent Agency, Universal Studios, Warner Bros., Wheelhouse Entertainment and William Morris Agency, among other industry leaders.
About Habitat for Humanity Europe and Central Asia
Habitat for Humanity is a nondenominational Christian charity dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. It has built more than 200 000 houses; more than one million people are living in Habitat homes they helped build and own through low-cost, no-profit mortgages. We have positively affected lives in 100 countries around the globe. Habitat’s Europe & Central Asia regional headquarters are in Budapest, Hungary. The ECA region is actively fundraising, building and renovating homes with families in need.