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Youth from 16 states, Canada to build in ‘Summer Youth Blitz’

BELEN, N.M., June 8, 2004 — Habitat for Humanity’s “Summer Youth Blitz” program returns to Belen with dozens of youth from 16 states and Canada helping to blitz build two Habitat homes with families in need of a simple, decent place to live. Dedicated youth will hang drywall, hammer nails and hand over the keys to new Habitat for Humanity homes during two, two-week building sessions.

“I want to participate in the Summer Youth Blitz because I believe by helping others I can help the world,” said Amy Fong, a volunteer from San Leandro, Calif. “I’ve never been given an opportunity to be part of something so big like Summer Youth Blitz. The idea of changing someone’s life forever and building a home is unique.”

Students, ages 16 to18, from high schools and youth organizations are participating in this year’s build. Ten to 15 youth and adult supervisors will work during each session building an entire Habitat house in just two weeks.

“Youth not only build homes but also build leadership skills and friendships,” said Kathy Saad, Summer Youth Blitz manager. “Our program provides a common, non-threatening ground for young people who want to help a family in need of a simple, decent home.”

In the evening, the students will participate in activities such as team-building games, leadership development, and a local cultural event or a community dinner. The two teams of youth will travel to Belen June 12-25, and July 10-23.

“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.”

Summer Youth Blitz is part of Habitat for Humanity International’s Campus Chapters & Youth Programs department. Homes have been built in Alabama, Mississippi, New Mexico, Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Mexico, Trinidad, Costa Rica, Romania and South Africa during past Summer Youth Blitz programs. The Seedling Foundation sponsors Summer Youth Blitz.

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