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Hundreds of Habitat AmeriCorps members gather for annual conference to learn and serve

TALLADEGA, Ala. (Oct. 23, 2012) – The fifth annual Habitat for Humanity National Service Leadership Conference kicked off today at the Shocco Springs Baptist Conference Center in Talladega, Ala., bringing together nearly 400 AmeriCorps members who serve with Habitat for Humanity in more than 100 communities across the U.S.

During the three-day conference, AmeriCorps members will take part 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. The activities are facilitated by experts in numerous fields related to housing and service.

“We are thankful for the commitment and service of the AmeriCorps members who serve with us,” said Peter Rumsey, director of Habitat for Humanity International’s AmeriCorps programs. “AmeriCorps and VISTA members are helping Habitat to take our efforts to greater scale, and get us closer to a world where everyone has a decent place to live.”

This year’s conference theme, “Why We Serve,” recognizes the many reasons and ways there are to serve, and those who do. Throughout the week, members will hear from inspirational speakers including: Tim Morehouse, Olympic silver medalist and AmeriCorps alum; Mary Strasser, director of AmeriCorps VISTA; and representatives from Habitat for Humanity leadership. Members will learn ways to share their stories of service and how to follow through with community engagement after their Habitat terms end.

This year’s event will also include a service-learning project, held in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Talladega. AmeriCorps members and volunteers will work in partnership with up to 11 Talladega families to repair homes on Oct. 24. 

“We are ecstatic to have AmeriCorps members participating in this project with us,” said Barbara Dunn, president of the board of directors of Habitat for Humanity Talladega. “On behalf of the homeowners of Westwood Circle, I’d like to thank the members in advance for their commitment to help revitalize this neighborhood.”

Every day, Habitat AmeriCorps members lead, engage and train volunteers on build sites, support Habitat partner families and raise funds and awareness. They focus on implementing projects that engage communities and develop sustainable building practices, including home repair, rehabilitation of existing homes and home weatherization. The end goal of these projects is to help Habitat serve more families and to ensure these hard working families have adequate and affordable housing for years to come.

AmeriCorps is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, and Habitat for Humanity was one of the first organizations to partner with AmeriCorps when it began in 1994. Since then, more than 7,000 AmeriCorps members have helped serve more than 15,000 U.S. families. Members have contributed more than 12 million hours of service, raised tens of millions of dollars in resources and mobilized more than 2.5 million volunteers.

ABOUT HABITAT FOR HUMANITY
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 www.Habitat.org , follow us at www.facebook.com/habitat or at www.twitter.com/habitat_org or join Habitat’s blog community at www.habitat.org/blog.

THE CORPORATION FOR NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than 4 million Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund and other programs, and leads President Barack Obama’s call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit www.NationalService.gov.