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Habitat receives gift from Netherlands to aid tsunami victims

AMERICUS, Ga. (Jan. 24, 2005) – Habitat for Humanity is among the “guest organizations” that will benefit from the benevolence of nine Dutch nongovernmental organizations that work and raise funds together whenever disaster strikes. The 1 million Euro gift translates to $1.3 million dollars in the United States.

The group, in the wake of the devastating tsunami that struck communities across the Indian Ocean basin, launched a nationwide campaign to raise funds for immediate disaster response. The campaign was the most successful ever, organizers said, leading them to agree to share proceeds with “guest organizations.”

Habitat for Humanity Netherlands submitted an application for the funds, which was approved. This is the first time that the collective has shared the proceeds of their fundraising campaign with other organizations, Dutch officials said.

“This is incredibly exciting news,” said Paul Leonard, chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity International. “Throughout the world, people are coming together to lend support of all kinds – financial, material, spiritual – to the families and people who are just now beginning to put their lives back together.

“This gift speaks to the generosity of the Dutch and to the ‘we are all our brother’s keeper’ philosophy that we have seen so much of since this tragedy happened in late December. This gift will go far in our work with families there to help them help themselves to rebuild their lives, their homes, their communities.”