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Habitat for Humanity, AmeriCorps return to flood-devastated Cedar Rapids area to continue rebuilding

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa―Nov. 6, 2009― For the second consecutive year, Cedar Valley Habitat has been selected to host the annual Habitat for Humanity AmeriCorps Build-a-Thon. In June 2010, more than 600 Habitat for Humanity AmeriCorps*State and National and AmeriCorps*VISTA members and alumni from across the country will gather to build, rehabilitate, and renovate 20 Habitat for Humanity houses, in Cedar Rapids as part of the annual build event.

 

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Volunteers help to shingle the roof of new Habitat house during the 2009 AmeriCorps Build-a-Thon.

   
 

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Iowa Governor Chet Culver works on a new Habitat house during the 2009 AmeriCorps Build-a-Thon.

“We are excited to return to Cedar Rapids in 2010 and see a tremendous opportunity to build on the success of the 2009 Build-a-Thon by focusing on revitalizing neighborhoods directly impacted by the 2008 floods,” said Peter Rumsey, director, National Service, Habitat for Humanity International. “Cedar Valley Habitat has been a great partner as we strive to help families rebuild their lives in the aftermath of the flooding.”

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 region with nearly ten square miles under water. Most of the affected homeowners did not have flood insurance.

“There is much post-flood rebuilding work to be done in our community, particularly in the area of affordable housing,” said Jeff Capps, executive director of Cedar Rapids Habitat for Humanity. “This project is about much more than being granted a great labor pool for a week—it’s about helping us to build long-term infrastructure and engaging local partners that will continue to do the heavy lifting in the years to come.”

The 2010 Build-a-Thon celebrates 15 years of AmeriCorps members helping Habitat for Humanity affiliates and partner organizations build affordable houses and eliminate substandard housing.

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 that there are decent houses in decent communities in which people can live and grow into all that God intended.

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 350,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1.75 million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org.

About Habitat for Humanity National Service Programs
Since 1994, Habitat for Humanity AmeriCorps*State and National, 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