Habitat for Humanity International and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans celebrated the completion of the 2,000th house built worldwide culminating their four-year, $125 million alliance. This milestone home is located at 1917 Hillside Avenue North in Minneapolis.
Volunteers and other supporters attended the dedication celebration along with Suaada Abdiaziz and Abdikalik Abdulahi who will soon purchase the 2,000th house. Those offering special remarks during the brief program included Susan Haigh, president of Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, Larry Gluth, vice president - U.S. Area, Habitat for Humanity International, and Tim Lehman, senior vice president Member Experience Strategy for Thrivent Financial.
At one o'clock this afternoon, volunteers also gathered at the Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity's panel plant and began work on the 2,001st Thrivent Builds home--a home that signifies the launch of Thrivent Financial's 2010 commitment of $15 million to support the construction of 181 more Thrivent Builds homes in 37 states next year.
Habitat for Humanity's relationship with Thrivent Financial brings the financial, volunteer and advocacy resources of Thrivent Financial together with the affordable housing construction leadership of hundreds of local Habitat for Humanity affiliates. During the past four years, this integrated effort resulted in more than 1,300 homes in the United States, engaging more than 350,000 volunteers who contributed nearly 2.5 million volunteer hours to help with construction.
"Thrivent Financial's alliance with Habitat for Humanity has improved thousands of lives around the world," said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. "Thrivent Financial has helped us deepen the impact of our work, and we are truly humbled by the servant leadership Thrivent and its members have displayed."
The Thrivent Builds Worldwide program of the alliance gave Thrivent members and other volunteers an opportunity to build homes abroad or in select U.S. locations. During the past four years, approximately 4,000 volunteers forming 350 different teams traveled to build nearly 700 homes in 32 countries through Thrivent Builds Worldwide. Many of those volunteer teams did construction in two special Thrivent Builds Worldwide communities--35 homes were built this year in a holistic community in El Salvador and 68 homes were constructed over the past two years in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
"At Thrivent Financial, we understand that decent, affordable housing is vitally important to creating economic stability for families," said Bruce Nicholson, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Thrivent Financial. "The amazing results of this unprecedented alliance are a testament to just how much more we can accomplish--how we can strengthen communities and increase affordable housing opportunities--when we work together."
Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, based in Minneapolis, is hosting the milestone house dedication and the kickoff of the 2,001st house. Since its inception in 1985, Twin Cities Habitat has built or rehabbed over 750 houses, including 33 Thrivent Builds homes.
"As our country reflects on what went wrong with our economy and our housing market, the Thrivent Builds alliance represents everything that is right with America-- compassion, generosity, hard work, and a commitment to rebuilding our community," said Susan Haigh, president and CEO of Twin Cities Habitat. "Thrivent embraces the hard working values that embody Habitat's homeownership model, and we are very excited to carry this partnership into 2010 and beyond."
Between 1991 and the inauguration of the Thrivent Builds alliance in 2006, Thrivent Financial and its members supported the construction of 500 Habitat homes across the United States.