CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (March 27, 2009) – NFL quarterback Kurt Warner and his wife, Brenda, will join more than 500 Habitat for Humanity AmeriCorps State and National and AmeriCorps VISTA members and alumni to help build 20 Habitat for Humanity houses, June 14–20, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa as part of the annual Habitat for Humanity AmeriCorps Build-a-Thon. The houses will be built in partnership with families affected by the floods that devastated much of Iowa in 2008.
“As Iowans, Brenda and I have seen firsthand the devastation of last year’s floods, but there is still so much work to do,” Warner said. “We believe that a safe home is so important to the long-term success of a family and we look forward to working alongside the Habitat AmeriCorps members to join the effort to rebuild in Cedar Rapids.”
The 2009 Build-a-Thon celebrates 14 years of AmeriCorps members helping Habitat for Humanity affiliates and partner organizations build affordable houses and eliminate substandard housing. During the blitz build, AmeriCorps members from across the country will join Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity as they help 20 low-income families. Super Bowl XXXIV MVP Kurt Warner and wife Brenda, Iowa natives, will volunteer their efforts on behalf of their First Things First Foundation. Since the flood, Kurt helped raise more than $650,000 from NFL colleagues and fans toward this effort. Additionally, the City of Cedar Rapids has committed $1 million of funding to the project.
“This Build-a-Thon is a powerful way to highlight the need for affordable housing for victims of the Iowa flooding while also celebrating the many contributions AmeriCorps members make to Habitat and other organizations in thousands of communities throughout the country every day,” said Jonathan Reckford, chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity International. “We are so grateful to these hard-working AmeriCorps members for their commitment to eliminating poverty housing and applaud them for their service.”
The need for affordable housing is especially great in the Cedar Rapids area, where nearly 4,000 homes were damaged by fast-rising water during last year’s devastating floods. While 90 counties were declared federal disaster areas, Cedar Rapids was the most significantly affected region. Most of the affected homeowners did not have flood insurance. The first day of the Build-a-Thon, June 14, marks the first anniversary of the day water from the Cedar River crested, leaving nearly ten square miles of Cedar Rapids under water.
About Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity
Cedar Valley Habitat works in partnership with God and people everywhere, from all walks of life, to develop communities with people in need by building and renovating houses so that there are decent houses in decent communities in which people can live and grow into all that God intended.
About Habitat for Humanity of Iowa
Habitat for Humanity of Iowa exists to serve Iowa affiliates through resource development, education and building public support. Habitat Iowa aims to eliminate poverty housing, as a matter of social conscience, by creating and facilitating partnerships between Habitat for Humanity affiliates and community partners, businesses and government at the state and federal level.
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 300,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1.5 million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org .
About Habitat for Humanity National Service Programs
Since 1994, Habitat for Humanity AmeriCorps State and National and AmeriCorps VISTA members have performed more than 5 million hours of service, engaged hundreds of thousands of volunteers and helped build more than 8,500 Habitat houses throughout the United States. For information about AmeriCorps programs, visit www.americorps.gov .
About the Corporation for National and Community Service
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that improves lives, strengthens communities and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. Each year, the Corporation engages four million Americans of all ages and backgrounds in service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America programs. For more information, visit http://www.nationalservice.gov .
About the Kurt Warner First Things First Foundation
Established in 2001, the Kurt Warner First Things First Foundation is a 501(c)3 public charity that serves as a vehicle for Kurt and Brenda Warner to reach out to the community and share their blessings with those in need. The First Things First Foundation is dedicated to impacting lives by promoting Christian values, sharing experiences and providing encouraging opportunities that show all things are possible when people to seek to put “first things first.” Additional information is available at www.kurtwarner.org .