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NCAA and Habitat for Humanity partner at the men’s Final Four to build three homes for the Gulf Coast

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Volunteers frame houses in front of NCAA’s headquarters in Indianapolis.

INDIANAPOLIS (April 3, 2006) – Dozens of volunteers from the NCAA, Habitat for Humanity and the Indiana National Guard gathered outside the NCAA National Office this weekend to build three homes that will be shipped to the Gulf Coast to assist with the rebuilding efforts following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The homes, built Sunday in conjunction with the Men’s Final Four, are Operation Home Delivery “Habitat homes in a box.” Construction of the homes took about five hours and were immediately loaded and shipped to a location on the Gulf Coast for final assembly.

“As we celebrate the end of an incredible basketball season and crowning of a new national champion, it’s important to remember that the devastation caused by last fall’s hurricanes continues,” said NCAA President Myles Brand. “We cannot forget that funds and volunteers are needed over the longterm to assist those families and communities that are trying to rebuild.”

The project is the latest development in the “Home Team” partnership between Habitat for Humanity and the NCAA that began in September with a $1 million lead gift from Division II and a $500,000 matching gift from the national office. To date, the NCAA has donated $2.5 million to the effort. The partnership will continue to provide donations through additional fundraising and volunteers for the long-term rebuilding effort on the Gulf Coast following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

“The generous support we receive from the NCAA is incredibly valuable to us,” said Chris Clarke, senior vice president of Habitat for Humanity International. “Not only does it bring immediate assistance to our efforts to address the needs of families displaced by the hurricanes, but it also gives us the opportunity to engage college-aged youth in our mission. With the support of the NCAA, we are building both houses and new relationships with our next generation of volunteers. Both are vital to our work – today and tomorrow.”

Similar “Habitat home in a box” builds occurred in Chattanooga, Tenn., at the Division I-AA Football Championships in December and at the Division II Swimming and Diving Championships in Indianapolis March 7. Future builds are tentatively scheduled this spring in conjunction with the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame induction weekend later this month in Knoxville and the College World Series.

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