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Many students accept Habitat for Humanity’s Collegiate Challenge

Nation’s largest ‘alternative spring break’ program kicks off with nearly 11,000 students building Habitat for Humanity homes

AMERICUS, Ga., Feb. 11, 2004 – Nearly 11,000 college and high school students will leave their school campuses during spring break to volunteer at construction sites across the country during Habitat for Humanity International’s Collegiate Challenge.

Between Feb.15 and April 18, students will hammer nails and raise walls at 225 locations. Students from the United States, Canada and Japan will replace rundown shacks with simple, decent and affordable homes in rural and inner-city areas of the United States and Mexico.

“The future of the Habitat movement lies with young people,” says Millard Fuller, founder and president of Habitat for Humanity International. “We are excited that students want to get involved in helping families who are less fortunate.”

Throughout its 16-year history, Collegiate Challenge has sent more than 90,000 students to build Habitat houses. During this time, students have raised more than $7 million through the program to pay for construction. This year alone, Collegiate Challenge students will contribute $1 million to help build 450 houses.

Highlights of Collegiate Challenge events:

Tallahassee, Fla.: During the week of March 7–12, more than 150 college students from around the country will build five homes. They will be joined by gospel performance artists Papa San, Righteous Riders and the Kenoly Brothers.

Miami: Nearly 400 students will finish 11 homes and begin laying the groundwork for nine more houses to be completed in April.

Albany, Ga.: More than 65 students per week throughout March will help finish Habitat homes already under construction and begin work on a new Habitat house.

Columbus, Ga.: During the week of March 7–12, more than 200 students will blitz build 10 Habitat homes. Students attending are from New York, Ohio, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina, New Jersey, Illinois, Florida and Missouri.

New Orleans: Throughout March, more than 200 students from Illinois, Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri, Chicago, North Carolina, Canada, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana and Washington, D.C., will help complete five houses in an inner-city neighborhood.

Jackson, Miss.: Eighty students from Ohio, Illinois, Texas and New Hampshire will help build Habitat houses in March.

Oklahoma City: More than 130 students will frame eight houses in a rural community near Oklahoma City and in an inner-city neighborhood.

Charleston, S.C.: More than 250 student volunteers per week will construct five houses with low-income families. Students will build frames, raise walls and paint.

Laredo, Texas: In February and March, 200 students from schools in the Northeast, Midwest and South will begin building five houses in a 10-house development.

Habitat for Humanity International is a 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 92 nations have built and sold more than 150,000 homes to partner families with no-profit, zero-interest mortgages.