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Habitat for Humanity founder to be honored for idealism

Habitat for Humanity International founder to be honored with City Year’s Lifetime of Idealism Award

AMERICUS, Ga., June 1, 2004 — Millard Fuller, founder and president of Habitat for Humanity International, has never been accused of lacking idealism. It was that idealism that led him to found a movement aimed at eliminating poverty housing worldwide. For his achievements in helping the world’s impoverished, he will be honored by City Year, a civic action group promoting service among youths, with its Lifetime of Idealism Award.

At an event June 3, in Boston, Mass., the group will honor Fuller and focus on the power of determination and perseverance to bring about lasting, positive change in the world. The event will be part of City Year’s cyzygy conference, “Building Democracy through National Service.”

“I am extremely grateful and honored by this recognition from City Year,” said Fuller. “Habitat for Humanity and the many dedicated people involved in this movement are using idealism and hope to lead the way to making homeownership a reality for more and more families in need of a simple, decent place to call home.”

Fuller has shown his ingenuity, tenacity and idealism through his efforts to forge Habitat for Humanity into an international organization that has built more than 150,000 homes in more than 3,000 communities and 92 countries since 1976. But his accomplishments with Habitat only came after he worked to become a self-made millionaire by the age of 29 and then gave his millions to Christian-based charities.

Fuller founded Habitat for Humanity along with his wife Linda in 1976 after they began searching for a new focus in their lives. That search led them to Koinonia Farms, a Christian commune located near Americus, Ga. While at Koinonia, Fuller worked on a housing partnership that was eventually a model for Habitat for Humanity. While living at Koinonia, Fuller was overwhelmed by the poverty in Sumter County, Ga., and decided that no one should have to live in a shack.

From that idea sprang Habitat for Humanity and the mission to eliminate poverty housing worldwide. Habitat works with families in need to build simple, decent, affordable homes that are then sold to partner families with no-interest, no-profit mortgages. The families work on their own houses and the houses of others to complete mandatory sweat equity hours. The partnership that is formed between Habitat and the families is the basis of helping those in poverty housing start a new journey to fulfilling the American Dream.

About City Year
City Year was found in Boston in 1988 and seeks to demonstrate, improve and promote the concept of national service as a means for building a stronger democracy. City Year has established programs in 14 cities and counties in the United States and is a proud member of AmeriCorps.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is a Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. Founded in 1976 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. www.habitat.org