NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE — During the 2008 NCAA Convention, the NCAA, Habitat for Humanity International and Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity will team up to build a home in partnership with a hard-working, low-income family that was displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
NCAA Convention attendees, national Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) members and local volunteers will construct a Habitat for Humanity house frame on Friday, Jan. 11, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn. The build will take place in Ryman Exhibit Hall, location of the NCAA Trade Show.
While at the convention site, the frame of the home will be made into an exhibit and left on display through Sunday, Jan. 13. The home will be moved to a permanent site within the community and be completed at a later time.
This build will be the 26th house constructed through the NCAA Home Team project, which is the partnership between the NCAA and Habitat for Humanity that began after hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck the Gulf Coast.
“We cannot forget that funds and volunteers are still needed to assist communities as well as families displaced to other cities, including Nashville,” said NCAA President Myles Brand. “We are pleased that so many people are benefiting from the NCAA Home Team project.”
“This partnership is incredibly important to Habitat for Humanity because of the many resources the NCAA offers,” said Chris McCarthy, president and CEO of Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity. “The NCAA brings much needed funding and volunteers to aid families in need of housing. They also have a unique reach to America’s youth that encourages them to make a difference in their communities.”
Construction volunteers working on the project will include about 30 convention delegates and 80 SAAC members from across the country as well as volunteers from the Nashville area. One of the unique features of the Habitat for Humanity program is that while homeowners purchase these homes at no profit, they must also complete “sweat-equity” hours to be eligible, meaning the future homeowner, Beatrice Bender, will be working side by side with the student-athletes and other volunteers.
After growing up and residing in New Orleans for decades, Bender lost her home and belongings to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. She and her brother moved to Nashville shortly thereafter to begin rebuilding their lives. Her brother died in August 2007, but Bender has continued the quest for owning a home.
“His passing has made me more determined than ever to celebrate his memory by achieving that goal of homeownership,” said Bender.
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 380,000 student-athletes at more than 1,200 member colleges and universities. Each year, more than 54,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA championships in divisions I, II and III sports. Visit http://www.ncaa.org  and http://www.ncaasports.com  for more details about the association, its goals and members, and corporate partnerships that help support programs for student-athletes. The NCAA is proud to have the following elite companies as official Corporate Champions — AT&T, Coca-Cola and Pontiac — and the following elite companies as official Corporate Partners — DiGiorno, Enterprise, The Hartford, Lowe’s and State Farm.
About Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity
NAHFH is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian organization committed to providing families with the life-changing opportunity to purchase and own decent, affordable homes. The agency consistently ranks in the top 1 percent of all Habitat affiliates and has grown by seven times in size since 2002. NAHFH built a record 55 homes in 2007 — 40 locally and 15 abroad. In 2007, more than 1,100 family members, including 750 children, were served by NAHFH. Prior to becoming homeowners, Habitat partner families must complete up to 475 hours of “sweat equity” at the build site and in the classroom to earn their homes. Mortgage payments at zero percent interest range between $350 and $500 per month, including taxes and insurance. NAHFH builds ENERGY STAR Certified energy-efficient homes. To request an application or to receive more information about NAHFH, call (615) 254-HOME (4663) or visit www.habitatnashville.org .
About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built more than 250,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1 million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org .