NCAA, Habitat partner on ‘Home Team’ for long-term hurricane relief
INDIANAPOLIS — “Home Team,” a new partnership between the NCAA and Habitat for Humanity® International, will raise funds and provide volunteer labor to assist in the long-term rebuilding efforts in the Gulf coast areas.
The “Home Team” partnership will include a $1 million lead gift from NCAA Division II, a matching gift of $500,000 from the NCAA national office, plus additional voluntary donations to be collected at all 88 NCAA national championships. In addition, the NCAA will promote Habitat for Humanity® hurricane-rebuilding efforts at all 88 national championships through customized promotional plans.
As part of the “Home Team” partnership, the NCAA also will work with various Habitat for Humanity® programs to mobilize the NCAA’s national Student-Athlete Advisory Committees in all three divisions and member coaching associations to help provide volunteer support to build houses with families in need of decent, affordable housing.
NCAA student-athletes, college and university coaches, athletics administrators and NCAA national office employees could all assist in building houses with families in hurricane-affected areas through Collegiate Challenge, Habitat for Humanity®’s alternative spring break event, and through local Habitat for Humanity® affiliates across the nation.
“This is our grassroots effort to make a difference in a catastrophic set of events,” said NCAA President Myles Brand. “Our colleges and universities and conferences, along with many of our 360,000 student-athletes, have been involved at the local level in hurricane relief since the destruction first caused by Hurricane Katrina. The NCAA now is embarking on an important national partnership with Habitat for Humanity® International to lend our support to the long-term hurricane relief effort.”
“By harnessing our resources at the national level, the NCAA and Habitat for Humanity® can give new meaning to the term ‘team building’ and make a lasting contribution by working together toward a larger, more effective, affordable and attainable housing solution,” Brand added.
“The need is so great for hurricane relief and Habitat for Humanity® cannot do it alone,” said Jonathan Reckford, chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity® International. “With the help from partners like the NCAA, we are able to provide simple, decent housing for those who would not normally qualify for conventional lending programs but are willing to help build their own home and then pay for it through a no-profit, no-interest loan. Together we can begin rebuilding the Gulf coast – one nail, one wall, one house, one family at a time.”
Kathryn A. Martin, chair of the NCAA Division II Presidents Council and chancellor at the University of Minnesota Duluth, said Division II leadership is providing $1 million for the Habitat for Humanity® “Home Team” partnership from funds designated for supplemental distribution to its member colleges and universities.
“All of our campuses have provided hurricane relief in some way, but this contribution provides us an opportunity to be part of a major national initiative and make the kind of impact that can only be made with this size of donation,” Martin said. “Division II places a high priority on service for our student-athletes, and the ‘Home Team’ program provides a meaningful and tangible way to serve those in need.”
The NCAA plans to sponsor Habitat for Humanity® houses in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, the primary locations where hurricanes Katrina and Rita caused major damage. The NCAA may also sponsor Habitat for Humanity® houses for hurricane victims who have relocated to other cities, including Indianapolis, the site of the NCAA national office.
Some of the NCAA-sponsored Habitat for Humanity® houses may be built off site and shipped where needed. Construction of these Operation Home Delivery™ projects could take place at NCAA member campuses, coaches’ association meetings and championship venues, including the 2006 Men’s and Women’s Final Fours in Indianapolis and Boston, respectively.
The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), along with coaches’ associations in the other 22 NCAA-sponsored sports, are eager to lend their support to the “Home Team” effort. Brand praised the coaching associations for already seeking out ways to provide housing relief for hurricane victims.
“The NABC is thrilled that the NCAA is taking a leadership role in the hurricane relief effort,” said NABC Executive Director Jim Haney. “The NABC stands ready to support the NCAA in its endeavor with Habitat for Humanity® and its efforts to assist many displaced Americans whose lives have been undeniably altered by this unprecedented natural disaster. We would expect that all other coaches associations would link arm-in-arm with the NCAA in a show of support as this very important effort moves forward.”
“We applaud the leadership of President Myles Brand and the NCAA for partnering with Habitat for Humanity® on the ‘Home Team’ program,” added WBCA CEO Beth Bass. “Our WBCA membership wholeheartedly supports this relief effort and hopes to have an immediate impact on the relief efforts, but we will definitely be here for the long haul with the hurricane recovery effort.”
About the NCAA
The NCAA is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and universities committed to supporting academic and athletic opportunities for more than 360,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities. Each year, more than 49,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA championships in Divisions I, II and III sports. For more information, visit www.ncaa.org .
About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International, based in Americus, Georgia, is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since 1976, Habitat has built more than 200,000 houses in nearly 100 countries, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than one million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org .