$21.7 million effort will result in more than 300 homes built this year
Habitat for Humanity International and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans are joining in a nationwide effort to create additional homeownership opportunities with low-income families, building up to 312 homes in 2006. The homes will be in addition to the more than 5,000 homes Habitat affiliates build annually in the United States and represent a six percent increase in Habitat home production.
MINNEAPOLIS and AMERICUS, Ga. (Jan. 30, 2006) – Habitat for Humanity International and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans are joining in a nationwide effort to create additional homeownership opportunities with low-income families, building up to 312 homes in 2006. The homes will be in addition to the more than 5,000 homes Habitat affiliates build annually in the United States and represent a six percent increase in Habitat home production.
The homes are part of a new alliance, Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity. The alliance makes Thrivent Financial Habitat’s largest single ally in its mission to eliminate substandard housing and rebuild communities.
The homes will be built in more than 200 communities in 43 states. This represents an estimated $21.7 million investment from Thrivent Financial in 2006 alone. During the four-year alliance, Thrivent Financial intends to invest a total of $105 million to increase annual house production by up to 500 U.S. homes per year and more around the world
“We want to reach out and help even more families each year and this can only be done through innovative alliances,” said Jonathan Reckford, chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity International. “Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is bringing not only its generous donation but also engaging its members and communities to volunteer time and raise funds for this effort.”
Habitat affiliates across the nation were invited to apply for Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity funding. A total of 265 affiliates are receiving funding based on their ability to increase local building efforts and have been paired with 388 Thrivent volunteer chapters (local volunteer groups of Thrivent Financial members). The homes will be built in large urban areas such as Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Philadelphia, Miami and San Francisco, and in medium and small communities such as Rochester, N.Y., Lima, Ohio, and Brookings, S.D.
“Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity is giving our nearly three million members and others a wonderful opportunity to not only raise roofs, but to raise hope as well with hundreds of families across the U.S.,” said Bruce Nicholson, Thrivent Financial chairman, president and CEO. “Thrivent Financial has a mission of service. This allows our members to support Habitat with both our financial and volunteer resources.”
Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity represents a unique alliance between two national nonprofit networks of 1,699 Habitat affiliates and 1,362 Thrivent volunteer chapters. In 2004, Thrivent chapters delivered more than 19 million volunteer hours of community service. The alliance combats the chronic national and worldwide problem of substandard housing. More than 13 million U.S. households use at least half of their income to pay for housing. Millions more live in overcrowded conditions or housing with severe physical deficiencies, such as having no hot water, electricity or toilet.
Reaching beyond the United States, Thrivent Builds will take volunteers around the world to build with families in need, with the goal of eventually building up to 200 homes overseas per year. Additionally, Thrivent Builds will raise awareness about substandard and affordable housing issues through the one-of-a-kind Thrivent Builds Mobile. The mobile exhibit, housed in a 48-foot-long semi trailer truck, is crisscrossing the country to give visitors a powerful experience designed to educate and call communities to action to support decent, affordable housing.
For additional information, visit www.thriventbuilds.com  to learn how to volunteer or donate.
About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International, based in Americus, Ga., 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 .
About Thrivent Financial for Lutherans
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is a not-for-profit membership organization helping 2.8 million members achieve their financial goals and give back to their communities. As a not-for-profit fraternal benefit society, Thrivent Financial sponsors national outreach programs and activities that support congregations, schools, charitable organizations and individuals in need. Thrivent Financial has main offices in Minneapolis, Minn., and Appleton, Wis. For more information, visit www.thrivent.com .
For photos or b-roll of Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity activities, contact Tara Perre (920-585-0557) or Duane Bates (229-924-6935 x2541) or visit www.thriventbuilds.com/media/index.html .