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Youth advocate for affordable housing during Habitat for Humanity’s ‘Act! Speak! Build! Week’

AMERICUS, Ga. (March 19, 2008) – More than 250 youth groups around the world will host daily advocacy events as part of Habitat for Humanity’s annual “Act! Speak! Build! Week,” March 31–April 6, 2008.

Habitat for Humanity campus chapters and school and youth groups in the United States, Sri Lanka, China, Egypt and Canada will host events that highlight poverty housing issues that affect their local communities, the nation and the world. This year’s theme is “Recognize the Need, Advocate for Change.”

“The goal of Act! Speak! Build! Week is to not only raise awareness of poverty housing issues, but to mobilize people to do something about it,” said Faith Zahn, Habitat Youth Programs coordinator. “We are extremely pleased that so many groups are committed to educating themselves and their communities about this important issue.”

As part of their week-long efforts, student groups will implement at least one of four recommended campaign activities: a large-scale advocacy letter campaign, a candlelight vigil, a low-income housing simulation or a visual representation of a current poverty statistic. Groups also will organize other awareness-raising activities, including hosting speakers, writing articles and speaking at government meetings.

For the second year, a video advocacy competition is part of the Act! Speak! Build! Week program to inspire others to take action. Filmmakers were asked to create a video message for a government leader advocating on behalf of the millions of people who live in poverty housing.

First held in 2002, Act! Speak! Build! Week is one of the many methods 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 official corporate sponsor of the Youth Programs department.

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 1976, Habitat has built more than 250,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1 million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org.

About State Farm
State Farm® insures more cars and homes than any other insurer in the U.S., is the leading insurer of watercraft and is also a leading insurer in Canada. State Farm’s 17,000 agents and 67,000 employees serve over 77 million auto, fire, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and more than 1.9 million bank accounts. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 31 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit statefarm.com® or in Canada statefarm.ca®.