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Mills Corp. and Amy Grant Celebrate 'A Place to Grow'

Mills Corp. and Amy Grant Celebrate ‘A Place to Grow’

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ATLANTA, Ga., Aug. 22 - Habitat for Humanity International joined The Mills Corporation and singer Amy Grant in Atlanta on Tuesday to celebrate ‘A Place to Grow,’ a new interactive children’s play area in Discover Mills mall that demonstrates the value of creating a safe, nurturing environment in which children can thrive and explore.

“A Place to Grow is a parable about a tiny seed looking for a safe, nurturing environment. Every child needs a safe, loving place to grow,” said Jim Dausch, president of The Mills Corporation. “As we thought about a way to celebrate A Place to Grow, our thoughts turned to Habitat for Humanity, which has been creating safe, nurturing places to grow by building houses with families around the world for 26 years.”

During the grand-opening celebration of Discover Mills’ A Place To Grow play area for children, The Mills Corporation presented Habitat for Humanity International Senior Vice President of Development Tony DiSpigno with a $60,000 check to sponsor a new Habitat house for the Baker family of Atlanta.

“At Habitat for Humanity International, we want to provide adequate housing so that every child can grow into all that God intended,” said Millard Fuller, founder and president of Habitat for Humanity International.

“We are grateful for the support and generosity of partners like The Mills Corporation to make sure children and their families have a simple, decent place to live and grow. Such a gift is an example of Habitat’s model of neighbors helping neighbors to build better communities.”

Habitat homeowner Eileen Baker said she eagerly awaits the Aug. 31 groundbreaking on her family’s new Habitat house in Atlanta. Baker and her four children - Renee, 20, Marie, 13, Victoria, 7, and Christopher, 5 - look forward to moving from their two-bedroom rented duplex in Lawrenceville, Ga., to the new four-bedroom Habitat house, which is scheduled to be completed in late November.

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Singer Amy Grant reads to children from A Place to Grow, the story of a tiny seed looking for its place in the world, during an event to benefit Habitat for Humanity International.

To qualify for the Habitat house, Baker and her eldest daughter submitted an application that included 178 pages of information and worked hundreds of “sweat equity” hours building five Habitat houses with the Gwinnett County Habitat for Humanity affiliate.

“It’s like a rags to riches story - like Cinderella,” Renee Baker said of her family’s new Habitat house. “We had nothing and now we have everything. We have a house that we are building. We have a better school for the kids. We have a better neighborhood. We have a better life.”

Singer Amy Grant kicked off the grand-opening festivities Tuesday by reading to children from a newly published children’s book, also entitled A Place to Grow. The story, by author Stephanie Bloom, details the journey of a tiny seed as it floats on the wind, searching for its place in the world. Following a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the interactive play area, children enjoyed face painting, costumed characters, balloons and a book signing.

A Place to Grow is an emerging children’s lifestyle brand dedicated to stimulating curiosity, activating exploration, nourishing self-esteem and cultivating growth on all levels, inside and out. Combining innovative, high-quality entertainment and retail, A Place to Grow is dedicated to enriching the lives of children, families and the communities in which they live.

The Mills Corporation is an innovative real estate owner, developer and manager of top consumer destinations and shopping center properties noted for large-scale, imaginative design, sales productivity, and collection of unique retail, entertainment, recreation and dining experiences. Mills is the exclusive in-mall, play-to-learn destination partner of A Place to Grow.

Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. Founded by Millard Fuller, along with his wife, Linda, Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliates in more than 3,000 communities in 83 nations have built and sold more than 125,000 homes to partner families with no-profit, zero-interest mortgages.