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Thousands of youths volunteer with Habitat for Humanity during spring break

AMERICUS, Ga., (Feb. 16, 2009) – For the past 20 years, youth have traded time at the beach during spring break vacation for volunteering on Habitat for Humanity construction sites. More than 12,000 youth will continue this tradition as participants of Collegiate Challenge, Habitat for Humanity’s year-round alternative school break program.

From February to April, Collegiate Challenge participants will work in more than 200 locations across the country helping to build safe, decent and affordable houses in partnership with low-income families.

“Youth who choose to volunteer to build houses with Habitat for Humanity during their spring break are making a powerful statement about the role they want to play in helping families move into affordable housing,” said Desiree Adaway, Habitat’s senior director of Volunteer Mobilization. “We are grateful that for the past 20 years, youth have united to eliminate poverty housing across the United States through the Collegiate Challenge program.”

South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama and Texas are the most popular Collegiate Challenge destinations this year.

Throughout its 20-year history, more than 166,000 Collegiate Challenge volunteers have raised more than $15.5 million to build Habitat houses. This year, Collegiate Challenge participants will contribute $1.8 million to help build Habitat homes.

State Farm® is the national corporate sponsor of Habitat’s youth programs and has provided more than $100,000 to support several Habitat affiliates and youth groups for their outstanding work with the Collegiate Challenge program. Overall, State Farm contributes more than $1.5 million to Habitat for Humanity International and Habitat affiliates each year. They are also the sponsor of a Collegiate Challenge 20th anniversary celebration build to be held in Miami in March.

Collegiate Challenge is one of the many Habitat for Humanity youth programs designed to capture the energy and hope of young people worldwide to involve them as leaders in the work of Habitat for Humanity.

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.

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 68,000 employees serve more than 78 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. 32 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit statefarm.com® or in Canada, statefarm.ca®.