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Habitat for Humanity International honors King with Building on Dream

Habitat for Humanity volunteers pitch in
to make Martin Luther King Jr. Day a time of service

AMERICUS, Ga., Jan. 19, 2004 — The sounds of hammers pounding nails and buzz saws shearing wood will echo this Martin Luther King Jr. holiday as volunteers offer their day-off services at Habitat for Humanity build sites around the country.

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“Building on the Dream” is Habitat for Humanity International’s second annual celebration of Dr. King’s legacy of working to bridge racial, social and economic gaps. This year, more than 80 Habitat houses will be built around the United States to stand as a tribute to Dr. King.

“Dr. King dreamed of a world where poverty, hunger and homelessness were not tolerated because they are morally wrong,” said Millard Fuller, founder and president of Habitat for Humanity International. “Habitat volunteers are working on this day to raise awareness or to help people move out of housing that is often unsafe and inadequate and into a simple, decent place to live.”

Habitat homes will be built or celebrations held throughout the United States in Mobile, Ala.; Tuskegee, Ala.; Lynwood, Calif.; Modesto, Calif.; Redding, Calif.; Washington, D.C.; Apopka, Fla.; Daytona Beach, Fla.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Jacksonville Beach, Fla.; Lakeland, Fla.; Orange Park, Fla.; Panama City, Fla.; Pensacola, Fla.; Tallahassee, Fla.; Vero Beach, Fla.; West Melbourne, Fla.; Albany, Ga.; Americus, Ga.; Columbus, Ga.; Greenville, Ga.; Roswell, Ga.; Springfield, Ga.; Warner Robins, Ga.; Decatur, Ill.; East St. Louis, Ill.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Grant County, Ind.; Indianapolis; Des Moines, Iowa; Henderson, Ky.; Hopkinsville, Ky.; Louisville, Ky.; Baton Rough, La.; Covington, La.; LaPlata, Md.; Florence, Mass.; Nantucket, Mass.; Detroit; Flint, Mich.; St. Paul, Minn.; Independence, Mo.; Jackson, Miss.; Meridian, Miss.; Camden, N.J.; Paterson, N.J.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Ventura County, N.M.; New York City; New Rochelle, N.Y.; Rochester, N.Y.; Charlotte, N.C.; Concord, N.C.; High Point, N.C.;

Canton, Ohio; Columbus, Ohio; Lima, Ohio; Springfield, Ohio; Albany and Corvallis, Ore.; Philadelphia; Beaufort, S.C.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Franklin, Tenn.; Jackson, Tenn.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Bryan and College Station, Texas; Conroe, Texas; Dallas; Lubbock, Texas; Lynchburg, Va.; Roanoke, Va.; Spokane, Wash.; and Charleston, W.Va. People of all races, religions and cultures in these cities and states are welcome to participate in Building on the Dream.

Building on the Dream Highlights:

Harlem, N.Y.: Al Roker, from NBC’s “Today” show, will join volunteers from faith institutions, corporations, community groups and members of the AmeriCorps/VISTA National Service program to rehabilitate 10 apartments in a building that was once run down. Members of the community also will gather on the holiday to celebrate Dr. King’s life and legacy. Rey Ramsey, chair of Habitat for Humanity International’s board of directors, will speak at the event.

Tuskegee, Ala.: Members of a traditionally white Baptist church will join members from a traditionally African-American church for a service and then begin construction on Habitat homes on Jan. 18.

Jacksonville Beach, Fla.: Members of local churches will begin construction on two houses and join together to celebrate Dr. King’s holiday at Palm Presbyterian Church. Clive Rainey, director of the 21st Century Challenge program for HFHI, will speak at the celebration on Jan. 17.

Tallahassee, Fla.: Construction on a Habitat house will begin Jan. 17, and volunteers will remember Dr. King during a program later that day.

Vero Beach, Fla.: More than 300 people will raise the walls on Habitat homes and march in honor of Dr. King. Ted Swisher, vice president of U.S. affiliates for HFHI, will speak at the celebration on Jan. 17.

West Melbourne, Fla.: Members of a local church will join members of Congress to raise the walls on the city’s 101st Habitat home. Ted Swisher, vice president of U.S. affiliates for HFHI, will speak at the celebration on Jan. 19.

Albany, Ga.: Muslims, Christians and Jews will join college students and businesses to blitz build a Habitat home beginning Jan. 19. Volunteers also will join the city of Albany for its Dr. King celebration.

Americus, Ga.: Habitat homeowners will join the local chapter of the Boys & Girls Club to celebrate Dr. King’s holiday. David Williams, executive vice president and chief operating officer for HFHI, will speak at the celebration.

Greenville, Ga.: Volunteers from local churches, civic groups and businesses will gather to break ground on a new Habitat home. Emmett Moore, director of collaborative development for HFHI, will speak at the celebration.

Flint, Mich.: Students and faculty from the University of Michigan at Flint will volunteer to build a Habitat home and celebrate civic harmony in their Dr. King celebration.

Jackson, Miss.: Volunteers from churches and other organizations will break ground on a Habitat home in celebration of the King holiday.

Albuquerque and Valencia County, N.M.: Civic organizations, local churches and the University of New Mexico-Valencia campus will celebrate Dr. King’s legacy beginning Jan. 17. Dr. Victoria Peagler, director of Building on the Dream, will be the guest speaker and special guest during the weekend celebrations.

Rochester, N.Y.: Local agencies, civic groups, churches, sororities and fraternities will volunteer to build five Habitat homes on Jan. 19. Members of the community also will celebrate Dr. King’s life at a luncheon on Jan. 16.

Columbus, Ohio: Volunteers will raise walls on three houses after joining the city’s Racial Unity Service on Jan. 18.

Lima, Ohio: Volunteers from churches and businesses will work to bridge the racial gap by working together to build Habitat homes on the King holiday.

Knoxville, Tenn.: Representatives from the Tennessee Valley Authority will join civic organizations, the University of Tennessee football team and other volunteers to break ground on a Habitat house.

Bryan and College Station, Texas: Churches, city officials and other volunteers will gather to raise walls on a Habitat house. They also will pause to remember the civil rights leader with a noon celebration.

Dallas: Christians, Muslims, Jews and Bahai will join other volunteers in a groundbreaking for a Habitat home and later attend a service in honor of the life of Dr. King.

Habitat for Humanity International is a Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. Founded by in 1976 Millard Fuller, along with his wife, Linda, Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliates in more than 3,000 communities in 92 nations have built and sold more than 150,000 homes to partner families with no-profit, zero-interest mortgages.