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Summer Youth Blitz to Build Habitat for Humanity Homes in New Mexico, Tennessee

Summer Youth Blitz to Build Habitat for Humanity Homes in New Mexico, Tennessee

AMERICUS, Ga., June 10, 2003 — Three dozen youth from 27 states will converge in Cookeville, Tenn., and Belen, N.M., to blitz build a house at each site with families in need of a simple, decent place to live during Habitat for Humanity International’s Summer Youth Blitz. Dedicated youth will hang drywall, hammer nails and hand over the keys to new Habitat for Humanity homes during the two-week building project.

“I’ve always wanted to do something as great as build houses for Habitat,” said Jessica Johnson of Cavalier, N.D., who will volunteer to work during this year’s project. “It will also be fun to meet new people from all over the country and form new friendships.”

Students, ages 16 to18, from high schools and youth organizations are participating in this year’s build. Fifteen to 20 youth and adult supervisors will work at each site building an entire Habitat house in just two weeks.

“Building a house can be an unfamiliar activity for most,” said Kathy Saad, Summer Youth Blitz manager. “However our program provides a common, non-threatening ground for building relationships and building teams.”

In the evening, the students participate in activities such as team-building games, leadership development, a local cultural event or a community dinner. The Cookeville, Tenn., project is scheduled from June 14 to 27, while the Belen, N.M., building project is slated to run from July 12 to 25.

“We welcome the opportunity to get young people excited about our building ministry,” said Kevin Cronk, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Valencia County, N.M. “It is through the hearts and minds of our young generation that we can help create the changes in our society that will forever eliminate substandard housing in our communities.”

“We are impressed that students will be traveling from all over the country to help a family have a better place to live in our community,” added Gayle Haggard, executive director of Putnum County, Tenn., Habitat for Humanity. “Our partner family is looking forward to working with youth through this program.”

Note to editor: Summer Youth Blitz is part of Habitat for Humanity International’s Campus Chapters &Youth Programs department, which is marking its 15th anniversary. Houses have been built in Alabama, Mississippi, New Mexico, Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Mexico, Trinidad, Costa Rica and Romania during past Summer Youth Blitz programs. The Pritzker Cousins Foundation is a major sponsor of Summer Youth Blitz.

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 89 nations have built and sold more than 125,000 homes to partner families with no-profit, zero-interest mortgages. http://www.habitat.org/