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2,000th home milestone reached in four years—work begins on 2,001st home

Habitat for Humanity and Minneapolis-based Thrivent Financial for Lutherans will celebrate a milestone of their $125-million alliance and kick off a new $15 million commitment to affordable housing in 2010

 

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MINNEAPOLIS (Dec. 4, 2009) – Habitat for Humanity International and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans celebrated the completion of the 2,000th house built worldwide during their four-year, $125 million alliance. This milestone home is located at 1917 Hillside Avenue North in Minneapolis.

Volunteers and other supporters attended the dedication along with Suaada Abdiaziz and Abdikalik Abdulahi, who will soon purchase the house. Those offering special remarks during the brief program included Susan Haigh, president of Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity; Larry Gluth, vice president of the Habitat for Humanity International United States Area Office; and Tim Lehman, senior vice president of Member Experience Strategy for Thrivent Financial.

At one o’clock in the afternoon, volunteers also gathered at the Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity’s panel plant and began work on the 2,001st Thrivent Builds home—a home that signifies the launch of Thrivent Financial’s 2010 commitment of $15 million to support the construction of 181 more Thrivent Builds homes in 37 states next year.

Habitat for Humanity’s relationship with Thrivent Financial brings the financial, volunteer and advocacy resources of Thrivent Financial together with the affordable housing construction leadership of hundreds of local Habitat for Humanity affiliates. During the past four years, this integrated effort resulted in more than 1,300 homes in the United States, which engaged more than 350,000 volunteers who contributed nearly 2.5 million volunteer hours to help with construction.

“Thrivent Financial’s alliance with Habitat for Humanity has improved thousands of lives around the world,” said Jonathan Reckford, chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity International. “Thrivent Financial has helped us deepen the impact of our work, and we are truly humbled by the servant leadership Thrivent and its members have displayed.”

The Thrivent Builds Worldwide program of the alliance gave Thrivent members and other volunteers an opportunity to build homes abroad or in select U.S. locations. During the past four years, approximately 4,000 volunteers forming 350 different teams traveled to build nearly 700 homes in 32 countries through Thrivent Builds Worldwide. Many of those volunteer teams did construction in two special Thrivent Builds Worldwide communities—35 homes were built this year in a holistic community in El Salvador, and 68 homes were constructed over the past two years in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

“At Thrivent Financial, we understand that decent, affordable housing is vitally important to creating economic stability for families,” said Bruce Nicholson, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Thrivent Financial. “The amazing results of this unprecedented alliance are a testament to just how much more we can accomplish—how we can strengthen communities and increase affordable housing opportunities—when we work together.”

Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, based in Minneapolis, is hosting the milestone house dedication and the kickoff of the 2,001st house. Since its inception in 1985, Twin Cities Habitat has built or rehabilitated over 750 houses, including 33 Thrivent Builds homes.

“As our country reflects on what went wrong with our economy and our housing market, the Thrivent Builds alliance represents everything that is right with America—compassion, generosity, hard work and a commitment to rebuilding our community,” said Susan Haigh, president and CEO of Twin Cities Habitat. “Thrivent embraces the hard-working values that embody Habitat’s homeownership model, and we are very excited to carry this partnership into 2010 and beyond.”

Between 1991 and the inauguration of the Thrivent Builds alliance in 2006, Thrivent Financial and its members supported the construction of 500 Habitat homes across the United States.

About Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity
Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity’s mission is to eliminate poverty housing from the Twin Cities and to make decent, affordable shelter for all people a matter of conscience. An award-winning nonprofit housing developer, Twin Cities Habitat is committed to building the quality of life, health and economic prosperity of the region by producing, preserving and advocating for affordable homeownership because homes and families are the foundation of successful communities. For more info, visit www.tchabitat.org.

About Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity
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 allies and aims to increase Habitat’s annual house production by hundreds of homes per year. To date, 2,000 homes have been built in the U.S. and more than 30 other countries. For more information, visit www.thriventbuilds.com.

About Thrivent Financial for Lutherans
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is a not-for-profit, Fortune 500 financial services membership organization helping approximately 2.6 million members achieve financial security and give back to their communities. Thrivent Financial and its affiliates 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 creates and supports national outreach programs and activities that help congregations, schools, charitable organizations and individuals in need. For more information, visit www.thrivent.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 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.