National Service conference draws hundreds of Habitat for Humanity AmeriCorps members from across the country
Three-day conference provides training, building opportunities for AmeriCorps*State and National, AmeriCorps*Vista and AmeriCorps*NCCC members
TALLADEGA, Ala. (Oct. 27, 2008) – House framing and leadership development will take place during the first Habitat for Humanity National Service Leadership Conference, October 27–31, at Shocco Springs Baptist Conference Center. More than 500 AmeriCorps members currently serving with Habitat for Humanity will learn about “green” and sustainable building practices, general construction techniques, worksite management and family support, among other topics and networking opportunities. The trainings will benefit more than 100 Habitat for Humanity affiliates in 27 states and the District of Columbia, where the members currently serve.
AmeriCorps is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service and includes AmeriCorps*State and National, AmeriCorps*Vista and AmeriCorps*NCCC. Habitat for Humanity International was one of the first organizations to partner with AmeriCorps when it was founded 15 years ago.
“The Corporation for National and Community Services’ AmeriCorps programs serve as a vital part of Habitat for Humanity’s work in the United States,” said Larry Gluth, vice president of Habitat for Humanity International’s U.S./Canada Area Office. “Thanks to members’ leadership and hard work, we are able to serve many more low-income families who need access to decent and affordable housing.”
Gluth will open the conference highlighting this year’s theme, “Serve, Learn, Lead: Sustainability through Service,” while Clive Rainey, Habitat for Humanity International’s first employee and earliest volunteer, will bring the conference to a close on Friday.
Graham Green, AmeriCorps*Vista alumnus and HFHI National Service staff member, said, “This conference will build on members’ excitement and dedication, while giving them the knowledge and skills needed to lead efforts that better their communities.”
As part of the conference, seven Habitat homes will be framed by participants in a “Framing Frenzy.” The Frenzy, sponsored by The Home Depot Foundation, will provide AmeriCorps members the opportunity to build and learn about energy-efficient construction techniques. Once complete, the frames will be used to help build Habitat houses in Birmingham and Foley, Ala. and LaGrange, Ga. The homes will be built to a nationally-recognized “green” standard.
A team of AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps members, or NCCCs, based in Denver, arrived a week early to prepare for the Framing Frenzy. The NCCC team will stay to attend training sessions and help supervise.
“This project has brought building full circle for me. Our team has done interior work and rehabs but never new framing. I have learned a lot so far and am looking forward to meeting Habitat members to find out why they decided to serve. This is a great way to finish our service term,” said John Gettings, a NCCC member from Indiana.
Last year, AmeriCorps members helped Habitat for Humanity mobilize approximately 200,000 community volunteers to build 1,700 homes, while also generating more than $7 million in donations and gift-in-kind resources. Since 1994, AmeriCorps members have performed more than 5 million hours of service to help build more than 8,000 Habitat houses.
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that improves lives, strengthens communities and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. Each year the Corporation engages more than four million Americans of all ages and backgrounds in service to meet local needs through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, VISTA, NCCC and Learn and Serve America programs. For more information, visit http://www.nationalservice.gov.
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 nearly 300,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1.5 million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org.