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Tribes to help Habitat rebuild after hurricanes

United Auburn Indians, Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians contribute $1 million toward Habitat’s hurricane rebuilding

NEW YORK, N.Y. (Sept. 27, 2005) – The Tribe of the United Auburn Indians and the Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians today donated $1 million to “Operation Home Delivery,” Habitat for Humanity International’s rebuilding program following hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

“We chose to give our gift to Habitat because of the organization’s extraordinary commitment to the rebuilding of the affected communities and families,” said Jessica Tavares, chairperson of the United Auburn Indians Community. “It is our deepest hope that our donation will help Habitat to develop long-term shelter solutions and provide hope to those most in need.”

It is the second time the Tribes have helped Habitat for Humanity in the wake of a natural disaster. Earlier this year, following the devastating tsunami that struck the Indian Ocean basin December 2004, the Tribes donated $250,000 to the global nonprofit ministry’s recovery efforts there. In Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and India, Habitat has committed to building 35,000 homes to help those displaced by the tsunami.

Specific to hurricane recovery, Jonathan Reckford, chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity said of the latest gift, “The demonstration of commitment to help the victims of Katrina and Rita is inspiring. The Tribes understand the difficult weeks and months, perhaps even years, that lie ahead, and their financial support will help us provide simple, decent and healthy shelter for as many families as we can help.”

Operation Home Delivery is Habitat’s three-pronged approach to hurricane rebuilding. First, to help affected affiliates rebuild infrastructure, second, to engage others in the effort to provide help on a level Habitat alone cannot meet, and third, Habitat’s “house in a box” concept, a short-term effort to frames homes in some communities around the country, then ship those containerized materials and components to the affected region where they can be rebuilt with families in need. The long-term goal is to move as quickly as possible to in—place construction, but that must await infrastructure development and building approvals all along the coast, from Texas to Alabama.

About the Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians
The Rumsey Tribe, founders of the Rumsey Community Fund, is located in Brooks California where they own and operate the Cache Creek Casino Resort. A federally recognized Indian tribe, the Rumsey Tribe is a sovereign government, making the establishment of its philanthropic fund unique. The Tribe receives no tax advantage for making a charitable contribution to any group. The Rumsey Community Fund is recognized as one of the first such funds formally established by an Indian tribe. For more please contact Karen Charney, executive director of the Rumsey Community Fund at 916-446-7636.

About the Tribe of the United Auburn Indians
The United Auburn Indian Community, founders of the Community Giving Program, is located in Placer County, Calif., near Lincoln where it owns and operates the Thunder Valley Casino. A federally recognized Indian tribe, the United Auburn Indian Community is a sovereign government, making the establishment of its philanthropic fund unique. The Tribe receives no tax advantage for making a charitable contribution to any group.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International, based in Americus, Ga., is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since 1976, Habitat has built more than 200,000 houses in nearly 100 countries, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for one million people. www.habitat.org.