Oprah Winfrey Challenges Millions of Viewers to Volunteer With Habitat For Humanity
Americus, Ga. - September 18, 1997 - . .”This is something we can do!” Oprah Winfrey told her audience and nearly 30 million viewers as she explained a new partnership between The Oprah Winfrey Show and Habitat for Humanity. Oprah challenged her viewers to become part of “Oprah’s Angel Network,” a yearlong campaign focusing on hands-on ways to make a difference in the lives of others.
“Oprah’s Angel Network” plans to help build homes with Habitat in each of the 205 markets carrying ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show.” Oprah asked viewers interested in volunteering with their local Habitat affiliates to send postcards to “Build a House,” Box 81888, Chicago, IL 60681. The cards will be sent to Habitat’s international headquarters in Americus, Ga., and then distributed to Habitat affiliates. Habitat has more than 1,380 U.S. affiliates.
Noting that the average cost of a Habitat house in the United States is $40,000, Oprah also challenged corporations and local businesses to make financial donations by mailing contributions to Habitat for Humanity International, Box 1248, Americus, GA 31709.
To kick off the partnership, Oprah presented a check for $55,000–the cost of a Habitat house in Chicago– to Wayne R. Walker, chairman of Habitat’s board of directors. Oprah and her staff will work on the house in Chicago. Walker and Habitat volunteer Cynthia Kersey talked with Oprah on the show about the joy of volunteerism and the ways Habitat works with people in need.
Founded in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller, Habitat for Humanity International seeks to eliminate poverty housing from the face of the earth. An ecumenical Christian housing ministry, Habitat works in partnership with people in need, building simple, decent shelter that is sold at no profit, through no-interest loans. With more than 1,500 affiliates worldwide, Habitat is at work in 54 countries. Habitat for Humanity has built more than 60,000 houses, providing shelter for more than 300,000 people.