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NFL quarterback Kurt Warner joins Habitat for Humanity, AmeriCorps to help rebuild flood-ravaged area

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (June 15, 2009) – NFL quarterback Kurt Warner and his wife, Brenda, joined more than 500 Habitat for Humanity AmeriCorps National Direct and VISTA members and alumni to help build 20 Habitat for Humanity houses in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as part of the annual Habitat for Humanity AmeriCorps Build-a-Thon. The houses are being built in partnership with families affected by the floods that devastated much of Iowa in 2008.

“As Iowans, Brenda and I have seen firsthand the devastation of last year’s floods but there is still so much work to do,” Warner said. “We believe that a safe home is so important to the long-term success of a family, and we look forward to working alongside the Habitat AmeriCorps members to join the effort to rebuild in Cedar Rapids.”

The 2009 Build-a-Thon celebrates 14 years of AmeriCorps members helping Habitat for Humanity affiliates and partner organizations build affordable houses and eliminate substandard housing. During the week-long build, AmeriCorps members from across the country will partner with Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity to help build 20 Habitat houses.

Super Bowl XXXIV MVP Kurt Warner and his wife Brenda—both Iowa natives—are volunteering their efforts on behalf of their First Things First Foundation. Since the flood, Kurt helped raise more than $675,000 from NFL colleagues and fans toward this effort. Additionally, the City of Cedar Rapids committed $1 million of funding to the project.

“This Build-a-Thon is a powerful way to highlight the need for affordable housing for victims of the Iowa flooding while also celebrating the many contributions AmeriCorps members make to Habitat and other organizations in thousands of communities throughout the country every day,” said Jonathan Reckford, chief executive officer for Habitat for Humanity International. “We are so grateful to these hard-working AmeriCorps members for their commitment to eliminating poverty housing and applaud them for their service.”

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Kurt Warner and his wife, Brenda, help Habitat for Humanity build homes during its annual AmeriCorps Build-a-Thon in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The Warners are natives of Cedar Rapids, where Habitat is building 20 homes this week.

The need for affordable housing is especially great in the Cedar Rapids area, where nearly 4,000 homes were damaged by fast-rising water during last year’s devastating floods. While 90 counties were declared federal disaster areas, Cedar Rapids was the most significantly affected area. Most of the affected homeowners did not have flood insurance. The first day of the Build-a-Thon, June 14, marks the first anniversary of the day water from the Cedar River crested, leaving nearly ten square miles of Cedar Rapids under water.

Iowa governor, Chet Culver, is scheduled to build alongside AmeriCorps members at the end of the week.

About Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity
Cedar Valley Habitat works in partnership with God and people everywhere—from all walks of life—to develop communities with people in need by building and renovating houses so there are decent houses in decent communities in which people can live and grow into all that God intended.

About Habitat for Humanity of Iowa
Habitat for Humanity of Iowa exists to serve Iowa affiliates through resource development, education and building public support. Habitat Iowa aims to eliminate poverty housing as a matter of social conscience by creating and facilitating partnerships between Habitat for Humanity affiliates and community partners, businesses and government at the state and federal level.

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 Habitat for Humanity National Service Programs

Since 1994, Habitat for Humanity AmeriCorps National Direct and AmeriCorps VISTA members have performed more than 5 million hours of service, engaged hundreds of thousands of volunteers and helped build more than 8,500 Habitat houses throughout the United States. For information about AmeriCorps programs, visit www.americorps.gov.

About the Corporation for National and Community Service
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 four million Americans of all ages and backgrounds in service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America programs. For more information, visit http://www.nationalservice.gov.