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Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity helps keep the dream of homeownership alive for low-income families, announces 2009 commitments


The $125 million alliance between Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and Habitat for Humanity International has helped build 6 percent of U.S. Habitat homes since 2005; will build 28 homes in Gulf Coast in 2009

ATLANTA and MINNEAPOLIS (December 5, 2008) — The alliance between Habitat for Humanity International and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans continues to build hope for low-income families amidst economic difficulties as the mortgage crisis unfolds nationwide. In 2009, Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity will contribute more than $24 million to help build 314 affordable houses in 37 states and the District of Columbia. More than 225 local Habitat affiliates will build these homes alongside members of Thrivent Financial and other community volunteers.

Thrivent Financial is also announcing today an additional $1.7 million commitment to the Gulfport, Mississippi area to construct 28 new Thrivent Builds homes in 2009.

“Our work together in the Mississippi Gulf and across the United States aligns well with the values of Thrivent Financial and its members,” said Brad Hewitt, senior executive vice president and chief operating officer of Thrivent Financial. “We are committed to offering our members programs that engage their hearts, impact communities and demonstrate the value of their membership.”

Habitat for Humanity and Thrivent Financial leaders will gather with volunteers and community members on Friday, December 5, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Thrivent Lane—named in honor of Thrivent Financial’s commitment to the area—to make the announcement and to celebrate the impact of its work in the Gulf.

Leadership of the Thrivent Builds alliance has been keenly aware of the extraordinary need for decent housing in the Gulf Coast since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. In 2008, a $2.5 million commitment from Thrivent Financial resulted in 40 new Thrivent Builds homes in the Long Beach-Pascagoula-Biloxi area, with 30 completed by year’s end and 10 to be finished by the end of February 2009.

“The continuing commitment of Thrivent Financial to our ongoing need to build homes with those still in temporary housing will help us serve even more low-income families,” added Chris Monforton, chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. “We are deeply grateful to Thrivent Financial and to its members who join us in this effort. The Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity alliance has truly made a heartfelt commitment to the Mississippi Gulf Coast.”

Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity is a four-year, $125 million alliance between Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and Habitat for Humanity International. The alliance makes Thrivent Financial one of Habitat’s largest single allies and aims to increase Habitat’s annual house production by hundreds of U. S. homes per year and more around the world. In 2008, more than 320 homes were built in 42 states and nearly 100 volunteer teams traveled to other countries or to select U.S. locations, such as the Gulf Coast, to build homes for families in need. For more information, visit www.thriventbuilds.com.

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is a not-for-profit financial services membership organization helping nearly 3 million members thrive in life. Thrivent Financial and its subsidiaries offer a broad range of financial products and services including life insurance, annuities, mutual funds, disability income insurance, bank products and more. As a not-for-profit organization, Thrivent Financial brings its members together for social, educational and volunteer activities that support congregations, schools, charitable organizations and individuals in need. For more information, visit www.thrivent.com.

About Habitat for Humanity of the Gulf Coast
After Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, the need for affordable housing along the Mississippi Gulf Coast became acute. In January 2007, Harrison County HFH and HFH of Jackson County merged organizations to form HFH of the Mississippi Gulf Coast serving Harrison, Jackson and Stone counties. Since the merge, more than 250 homes have been completed with hundreds more planned in the coming years. To learn how you can help, visit www.hfhmgc.org.

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 300,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1.5 million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org.