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Hundreds of Habitat for Humanity AmeriCorps members gather for National Service conference

TALLADEGA, Ala. (Oct. 25, 2011) – The 2011 Habitat for Humanity National Service Leadership Conference will focus on empowerment and education.

The fourth annual conference, which is being held Oct. 25-28 at Shocco Springs Baptist Conference Center in Talladega, Ala., is bringing together nearly 400 AmeriCorps National and VISTA members who serve with Habitat for Humanity in more than 130 communities across the United States.

The AmeriCorps members are participating in training and networking activities to further develop their leadership, knowledge and connectedness, which will equip them to have a greater impact in their communities.

“We are grateful to have AmeriCorps members working alongside us,” said Larry Gluth, Habitat for Humanity International’s senior vice president of the U.S. and Canada. “Whether building homes or mobilizing volunteers, their service helps Habitat partner with homeowners, businesses and civic groups.”

This year’s conference theme, “Service In Action,” is a recognition of the vital service AmeriCorps members perform on Habitat’s behalf and a reflection of the action that is needed to be agents of change.

AmeriCorps is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service and includes AmeriCorps State and National, AmeriCorps VISTA, and AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps. Habitat for Humanity International was one of the first organizations to partner with AmeriCorps when it was founded 17 years ago.

“We are proud to support the vital mission of Habitat for Humanity in eliminating poverty housing and homelessness,” said Corporation for National and Community Service acting CEO Robert Velasco, who will administer the AmeriCorps oath to members at the closing ceremony on Thursday. “Our collaboration has had a powerful and lasting impact over the past 17 years, and I look forward to swearing in a new class of AmeriCorps members as they embark on a year of service across the country.”

This year, AmeriCorps members will help support and broaden the impact of Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI) and its Veterans’ Initiative in communities throughout the U.S. Expanding the ways in which Habitat partners with low-income families in need, NRI is an integral component in Habitat’s efforts to serve more families. The Veterans’ Initiative will engage veterans and military families, and seek to provide employment and service opportunities for veterans.

Every day Habitat AmeriCorps members lead, engage and train volunteers on build sites, support Habitat partner families, raise funds and awareness and implement projects that focus on sustainable building, home repair, rehabilitation of existing homes and home weatherization.

Since Habitat partnered with the Corporation for National and Community Service in 1994, more than 6,000 Habitat for Humanity AmeriCorps members have performed more than 5 million hours of service, engaged hundreds of thousands of volunteers and helped build more than 12,500 Habitat houses in partnership with low-income families in need throughout the United States.

About the Corporation for National and Community Service
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than 5 million Americans in service through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America and leads President Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is a global nonprofit Christian housing organization that seeks to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. Since 1976, Habitat has served more than 500,000 families by welcoming people of all races, religions and nationalities to construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. For more information, to donate or to volunteer, please visit habitat.org, or follow us at facebook.com/habitat or at twitter.com/habitat_org, or join Habitat’s blog community at habitat.org/blog.