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Youth across the country unite to sponsor and build Habitat for Humanity homes


AMERICUS, Ga. (April 9, 2007)
— From car washes and bake sales to clearing lots and nailing walls, youth are taking the lead in raising funds, raising awareness and building homes in Habitat for Humanity’s Youth United program.

Youth United encourages youth, ages 5 to 25, to participate in working with Habitat for Humanity to make homeownership possible with low-income families in need. Youth participants become actively engaged in advocacy, fund raising and construction. Youth United events raise more than 70 percent of the funds for each Habitat home built as part of the program.

Across the country, more than 20 homes are under construction through Youth United. Overall, more than 80 Habitat for Humanity affiliates in 30 states have Youth United projects. Youth participants, who can contribute either individually or as part of an established organization, are guided by a steering committee comprised of representatives interested in taking a more active role in the homebuilding process.

While only older youth in the program can participate in construction on the house, other youth can actively contribute to fund raising and advocacy activities, as well as hands-on activities like landscaping, painting and building birdhouses and picnic tables.

“Youth United offers an opportunity to empower youth to take action to create affordable housing with low-income families in need,” said Jeff Mutuc, Habitat’s Youth United coordinator. “The program allows youth to not only increase teambuilding and organizational skills and to gain knowledge of the many facets of building a Habitat house, but Youth United also demonstrates that anyone can tackle substandard housing in communities.”

Youth United is one of the many initiatives Habitat’s Youth Programs department uses to engage youth around the world in Habitat’s mission to provide simple, decent homes. State Farm® is the 2007 underwriter for Habitat’s Youth Programs department.

Established in 2002, more than 50 homes have been built through Habitat’s Youth United.

About State Farm
State Farm® insures more cars than any other insurer in North America and is the leading U.S. home insurer. State Farm’s 17,000 agents and 68,000 employees serve more than 75 million auto, fire, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and more than 1.6 million bank accounts. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No.22 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit statefarm.com® or in Canada statefarm.ca®.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in Americus, Ga., in 1976, Habitat has built more than 225,000 houses in nearly 100 countries, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1 million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org.