The Publication of Habitat for Humanity International | February/March 2001
Why Habitat Builds: Homeowner Stories from Around the World
Latin America/
Africa/Middle East
Frequently Asked Questions

Glossary of Terms

Opportunities to Make a Difference

Cover Page

Notes from the Field

Founder's Message




Archive Issues

Opportunities to Make a Difference

Church Partners
Habitat for Humanity is a Christian organization that brings people from all beliefs and backgrounds together to build houses in partnership with people in need. People of many different beliefs can demonstrate their faith by working together to build. In addition to Christian churches, Jewish congregations, Islamic groups and other faith bodies have joined Habitats work, sharing the effort to eliminate poverty housing.

People of faith can support the work of Habitat through prayer, making lunches, offering devotions, raising funds and providing labor for house building, participating in Building on Faith week or forming a Global Faith Partnership with a congregation in another part of the world. Global Faith Partnerships help faith communities connect with each other through Global Village trips.

To learn how to involve your church or faith group, contact the Church Relations department at (800) 365-7990, e-mail, or visit

Global Village
As short-term mission trips, Global Village volunteer vacations provide an opportunity for participants to help build houses while experiencing another culture.

Global Village teams travel throughout the year to about 35 countries worldwide, and itineraries include house building, sightseeing, recreational activities and free time. Unlike other trips, GV teams enjoy an insiders view of the host community.

The cost to participate in a Global Village program depends on the area visited, the host affiliate and the length of the program. All Global Village trip fees include a donation to the host affiliate in addition to meals, lodging and sightseeing costs.

For more information about participating, call the Global Village department at (800) HABITAT, ext. 2549, e-mail, or visit

Corporate Partners
The corporate sponsorship program challenges corporations to work with Habitat to ensure that all people have decent, affordable shelter. Sponsors may choose a variety of avenues for involvement with Habitat, including product donations and financial support, while mobilizing employees to volunteer.

Many companies recognize that benefits from partnering with Habitat may include tax deductions and a favorable community image, but another perkimproved employee moraleis often unanticipated.

A lot of what motivates any company is that youve got to give back to the community, says Sheri Thomas, a Citigroup volunteer programs manager in Jacksonville, Fla. People feel good about where they work when their company works with nonprofits. Hundreds of Citigroup employees volunteered during last years Jimmy Carter Work Project.

To find out how your company can help, call the Corporate Programs department at (800) HABITAT, ext. 2126, e-mail, or visit

Campus Chapters and Youth Programs
Campus chapters are student-run, student-led organizations that perform three main functions: building or rehabilitating houses, educating their high school or college campus and local community, and raising funds. More than 600 campus chapters have been organized throughout the United States and 13 other countries.

Collegiate Challenge is a major event for many campus chapters; last year nearly 8,000 students from about 400 schools participated. This service program provides an opportunity for student volunteers to spend school breaks working with Habitat affiliates.

Since many states restrict construction participation to volunteers 16 years old and older, the Youth Programs aspect of CCYP helps affiliates and campus chapters to involve youth under age 16 in Habitats work. Activities such as drawing greeting cards for fund-raisers, landscaping, building birdhouses and babysitting strengthen the community.

Internationally, youth programs encompass not only activities for young children but also homeowner youth associations, Habitat student councils and Habitat clubs.

For more information, call (800) HABITAT, ext. 2220, e-mail, or visit

Women Build
Habitat for Humanitys Women Build program encourages the involvement of women in the construction of Habitat houses. Women comprise 50 percent of Habitats volunteer force; yet because of lack of training, they account for less than 15 percent of workers on the construction site. By organizing women builds, Habitat taps this resource, giving women an opportunity to contradict stereotypical roles, and increasing the number of houses that can be built.

Interest in women builds has grown internationally, with projects taking place in Uganda, New Zealand, Philippines, Kenya and Northern Ireland. More than 250 women-built houses have been constructed since 1991.

First Ladies Build is the premiere event of the program. Since its inception two years ago, 46 First Ladies Builds have taken place across the United States. Because several of the first ladies have worked on more than one house, more than 60 houses have been built through First Ladies Builds.

For more information, call the Women Build department at (800) HABITAT, ext. 2700, e-mail or visit

Construction and Environmental Resources
Habitat for Humanitys Environmental Initiative promotes energy-efficient, environmentally friendly construction while encouraging good stewardship of natural resources, and raising awareness of the environmental impact of house building. The initiative promotes sustainable building: meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

The Green Team, a network of about 1,000 volunteers at some 700 affiliates across the United States, is vital to accomplishing these goals. Green Team members learn resource-efficient construction techniques through training sessions, newsletters and technical bulletins. We want to help affiliates build a more efficient, quality house, says Nevil Eastwood, director of HFHIs Construction and Environmental Resources department.

For more information, call Habitats Construction and Environmental Resources department at (800) HABITAT, ext. 2622, e-mail Const&, or visit

Volunteering Opportunities
Volunteers play an integral role in every aspect of Habitat for Humanitys ministry. Here are some options to consider:
  • International Partners—These are volunteers who serve three-year terms in international staff positions. To learn more, contact Human Resources at (800) HABITAT, ext. 2489, e-mail
  • U.S. Partners—Volunteers fill staff positions in a variety of departments at HFHI’s headquarters in Americus, Ga. For information, contact Human Resources at (800) HABITAT, ext. 2124, e-mail, or visit
  • Habitat*AmeriCorps—This program is available at sites across the United States. For information, call (800) HABITAT, ext. 2134, or visit
  • Affiliate volunteers—Local affiliates need volunteers not only to help build, but also to serve on committees or to help in other capacities. To find the affiliate nearest you, contact the appropriate HFHI regional office (see Habitat World Online Field Notes), or visit

Get Involved
What can one person do? You can help. In addition to the opportunities listed here, there are many other ways your efforts can make a difference in Habitat for Humanity’s quest to eliminate poverty housing around the world.
  • Pray regularly for Habitat—its leaders, work and witness.
  • Financially support the work and ministry of HFHI, by using the envelope included in the print version of this magazine, donating online (, or by donating to your local affiliate. Consider making other gifts to Habitat, such as gift annuities, planned giving, matching gifts or Gifts from the Heart (/giving/gfth.html).
  • Advocate for safe and decent shelter for all by helping raise the consciousness of your community about poverty housing.
  • Read books by HFHI founder and president Millard Fuller, wear Habitat merchandise or display a bumper sticker on your car to raise awareness about Habitat. To order, call (800) 422-5914 or visit

Reprinted from Habitat World Magazine, February/March 2001.
This article may not be reproduced in any form without permission.
©2001 Habitat for Humanity International


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