ATLANTA (May 23, 2012) -- Habitat for Humanity International is honoring five U.S. Habitat affiliates and two volunteers with the organization’s “Pioneers in Excellence” awards. The award recipients are recognized for their service and innovation in helping to create simple, decent and affordable housing opportunities in partnership with low-income families.
Indian River Habitat for Humanity was selected as an Affiliate of the Year for 2011 after building, rehabilitating or repairing more than 280 homes, like the one pictured above, since it was founded in 1991.
“I am always inspired by the outstanding achievements Habitat for Humanity affiliates and volunteers share each year through the Pioneers in Excellence award program,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “Their creativity and innovation remind us all that there are still new paths to take, new ideas to consider, new methods to explore as we continue toward our goal of decent, affordable shelter for all people.”
Affiliate of the Year awards
The following Habitat affiliates are recognized in one of three population categories based on the number of families served locally and internationally through tithe contributions.
- Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity (Texas) is the Affiliate of the Year for its service in a community with a population greater than 250,000. Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity has built more than 850 homes and served as a catalyst for the revitalization of more than 20 communities since it was founded in 1986.
- Indian River Habitat for Humanity (Fla.) is the Affiliate of the Year for its service to communities of 50,000 to 250,000 people. Indian River Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1991 and has built more than 280 homes across Indian River County.
- Habitat for Humanity Bay-Waveland Area (Miss.) is recognized as the Affiliate of the Year for its service to a population of less than 50,000. Habitat for Humanity Bay-Waveland Area began operations after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in 2005. In 2008, it became an independent Habitat affiliate. To date, Bay-Waveland Area Habitat for Humanity has built more than 155 homes in Hancock County.
Clarence E. Jordan awards
Two Clarence E. Jordan Award recipients are recognized for creativity and innovation in their affiliate operations. The award honors the legacy of Clarence Jordan, the founder of Koinonia Farm, a religious community in southwest Georgia, where the idea for Habitat for Humanity was born. Award recipients are selected by Habitat affiliate voting.
- Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity (Iowa) was founded by a small group of committed volunteers in 1992. Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity exists to serve low-income families in Johnson, Cedar and Iowa Counties. To date, Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity has helped 70 families realize their dream of homeownership. In response to the flood of 2008, Iowa Valley Habitat assisted an additional 60 families through flood-relief efforts.
- Habitat for Humanity of Central South Carolina (S.C.) was founded in 1985 to serve Richland and Lexington counties, where it is it is estimated that one out of every four families lives in poverty. Since its founding, Central South Carolina Habitat for Humanity has helped more than 225 families realize the dream of home ownership.
The Clive Rainey Volunteers of the Year award
The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes individuals for their exceptional and sustained accomplishments to advance the mission of Habitat for Humanity. The award honors Habitat’s first volunteer, Clive Rainey, who made an exceptional and sustained commitment to advancing Habitat for Humanity’s mission through generously sharing his time and talents.
- William Cooke, Habitat for Humanity of St. Augustine/St. Johns County (Fla.) Cooke has been working with Habitat for Humanity of St. Augustine/St. Johns since 1997, serving in many capacities with the affiliate from board member and treasurer to bookkeeper and financial advisor.
- Rex Spivey, Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity (Texas). Rex Spivey has volunteered with Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity for more than 21 years and contributed in all aspects of the organization direction: construction volunteer and crew chief, development committee chair, board member, executive committee chair, capital campaign chair, board president and even stepping in twice to serve on staff.
About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is a global nonprofit Christian housing organization that seeks to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. Since 1976, Habitat has served more than 500,000 families by welcoming people of all races, religions and nationalities to construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. For more information, to donate or to volunteer, please visit www.habitat.org , or follow us at www.facebook.com/habitat  or at www.twitter.com/habitat_org  or join Habitat’s blog community at www.habitat.org/blog .