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Have hammer, will build: application process opens for fourth annual Whirlpool® Building Blocks program with Habitat for Humanity


Whirlpool kicks off nationwide search for volunteers to join annual Habitat for Humanity Community Building Blitz

BENTON HARBOR, Michigan (April 20, 2009) – Whirlpool brand and Habitat for Humanity are searching coast-to-coast for the team of volunteers who will join them in Atlanta for the fourth annual Whirlpool® Building Blocks program home-building blitz. From April 20 to May 8, 2009, volunteers can apply at http://www.whirlpool.com/buildingblocks for the opportunity to build homes and lift hearts in an effort to raise awareness of the need for affordable housing.

Affordable housing is one of the most crucial needs in this country—in fact, one in three American families spends more than 30 percent of its income on housing and one in seven spends more than 50 percent.* The Whirlpool® Building Blocks program brings together hundreds of volunteers from around the country to work hand-in-hand, turning lumber, shingles and thousands of nails into homes with qualified Habitat families. Volunteers do not need prior building or Habitat experience to apply.

“Three years, 28 homes and hundreds of volunteer hours later, we’re taking the Whirlpool® Building Blocks program to Atlanta and are on the lookout for our 2009 build team,” said Ellen Taaffe, vice president, Mass Brands, Whirlpool Corporation. “For 10 years, Whirlpool has supported Habitat for Humanity in its mission to provide families with simple, decent housing. This program is an extension of that commitment and we ask interested and committed volunteers to join us as we continue to combat substandard housing.”

From August 31 to September 4, 2009, the Whirlpool® Building Blocks build team will construct eight Habitat homes in The Avery neighborhood, a new housing development in the Clayton County area of south metro Atlanta. Atlanta is one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the country, yet it suffers from a deficit of approximately 85,000 affordable homes, according to a 2007 Georgia Tech study. The Atlanta build is a collaboration among Whirlpool brand, Habitat for Humanity International, Atlanta Habitat for Humanity and Southern Crescent Habitat for Humanity. Atlanta is the fourth city to be chosen for the program, which kicked off in Nashville in 2006, moved to Phoenix in 2007 and continued in Dallas in November 2008.

Each year, the Whirlpool® Building Blocks program recognizes an outstanding Habitat for Humanity affiliate in the United States by organizing a weeklong building blitz. Whirlpool Corporation is one of Habitat for Humanity’s largest corporate partners, donating a range and ENERGY STAR®-qualified refrigerator to every new Habitat home built in North America. Every year, thousands of Whirlpool employees volunteer their own time to Habitat builds around the country. The partnership began in 1999, and Whirlpool brand plans to support every new Habitat home built globally by 2011, through product donations, cash or volunteerism.

For more information, rules and the online application, please visit www.whirlpool.com/buildingblocks.

The Whirlpool® Building Blocks community continues to live on Facebook, enabling volunteers—past, present and future—to exchange stories, share photos and lend encouragement. Non-volunteers also are invited to follow the build’s progress via the page. To visit the Whirlpool® Building Blocks Facebook page, visit www.whirlpool.com/BuildingBlocksFacebook.

*According to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies

About Whirlpool brand
Whirlpool Corporation is the world’s leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances with annual sales of approximately $19 billion and 70,000 employees. Whirlpool brand recognizes that consumers lead busy, active lives and continues to create solutions that help consumers optimize productivity in the home. In addition to designing appliance solutions based on consumer insight, Whirlpool brand is dedicated to creating ENERGY STAR®-qualified appliances like the Duet® Steam washer, which uses up to 73 percent less water and 77 percent less energy than conventional washers manufactured before 2004—helping consumers save money and natural resources. Whirlpool is one of Habitat for Humanity’s largest corporate partners, donating a refrigerator and range to every new Habitat for Humanity home built in North America. For more information on Whirlpool brand, please visit www.whirlpool.com. Additional information about the company can be found at www.whirlpoolcorp.com.

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 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.

About Atlanta Habitat for Humanity
Atlanta Habitat for Humanity, one of over 1,600 U.S. affiliates of Habitat for Humanity International, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing affordable housing to Atlanta’s working families. Since 1983, volunteers from corporations, faith-based and civic organizations have worked in partnership with qualified homebuyers to construct quality, affordable, green homes in Atlanta, which are then purchased through no-interest, no-profit mortgages. From 1983–2008, Atlanta Habitat built more than 1,000 houses in the City of Atlanta and Fulton County. Now able to serve families in 10 counties, Atlanta Habitat celebrated the completion of its 1,000th and 1,001st houses in 2008, its 25th anniversary year. For more information about Atlanta Habitat for Humanity, please visit http://www.atlantahabitat.org or call 404-223-5180.

About Southern Crescent Habitat for Humanity
Southern Crescent Habitat for Humanity is a locally-governed, locally-managed nonprofit housing ministry, serving Clayton, Fayette and Henry counties for over 20 years. This affiliate has built more than 95 homes locally and funded an additional 51 homes outside the U.S. through tithes. The selected families must complete a rigorous screening process which includes financial qualifications as well as motivational indicators. Partner families earn between 25% and 60% of area median income, so the assistance being provided is for those who are not candidates for traditional mortgages. Southern Crescent Habitat homeowners contribute a minimum of 250 hours of sweat equity in addition to other program requirements, such as the required 50 hours of homeowner education. Their comprehensive homeownership program has proven to ensure long-term, successful homeownership.