Our first ever World Habitat Week

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Kate Webb, Resource Development Coordinator
TELEPHONE: (904) 241-1222
EMAIL: Katewebb@beacheshabitat.org

BEACHES HABITAT’S 1ST WORLD HABITAT WEEK FOCUSES ON EDUCATION AND ADVOCACY
October 4 – 9

JACKSONVILLE BEACHES – In recognition of the UN-sanctioned World Habitat Day on Monday, October 4, 2010, Beaches Habitat for Humanity hosted a week of events to address the lack of decent housing around the world, including the need for affordable housing in the Jacksonville Beaches community.

The week’s events kicked off on World Habitat Day, Monday, October 4th, with a Donner neighborhood Pick Up ‘n’ Picnic based at our office in Atlantic Beach. Thanks in large part to the UNF Women’s Volleyball team, our groups of volunteers cleaned and stained a ramp for an elderly neighbor, picked up nine bags of trash from the Donner neighborhood and expanded and rejuvenated the butterfly garden at the Jordan Community Center adjacent to our office. The group also took a photo for Habitat for Humanity International’s World Habitat Day photo contest (see attached).

On Thursday, October 7th, we taught the students in our after-school program about different types of shelter and the importance of affordable housing worldwide. We also wrote poetry about the significance of a home, decorated house-shaped sugar cookies, and colored pop-up paper houses for Saturday’s event.

We celebrated the wrap to World Habitat Week with a very special house dedication and ice cream social. In addition to traditional rituals like a bible presentation to new homeowner, Jeremy Butler, the event’s near 60 attendees heard a bit more about Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative from Gary Kovar of Habitat for Humanity International. U.S. Senator Bill Nelson’s Regional Director, Michelle Barth, was presented a special framed collage recognizing the Senator for his long-standing support of the Habitat cause. Representatives from the Office of U.S. Senator George LeMieux were unable to attend but a letter from the Senator was read at the event.

“World Habitat Week taught us just how much the ability to create and inspire action is in our own hands,” says Beaches Habitat Development Director Mary Anne Christensen. “We must remain passionate about the need for decent and affordable housing for all and do everything in our power to call attention to the push for universal housing.”

About World Habitat Day
In December 1985, the United Nations General Assembly declared the first Monday of October to be World Habitat Day in recognition of the state of human settlements and the basic need for adequate shelter for all.

According to the United Nations, more than 100 million people in the world today are homeless, while millions more who face severe housing problems live without adequate sanitation or security, or with irregular or no electricity supply. World Habitat Day’s purpose is to call attention to the current global state of the human habitat and push toward adequate housing for all. We hope that by raising awareness and advocating for universal decent housing, we can dismantle and alter the systems that reinforce and entrench poverty housing, and make an affordable, decent place to live a reality for all.

About Beaches Habitat for Humanity
Beaches Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry dedicated to eliminating substandard housing in the Jacksonville Beaches. As an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, we work in partnership with local families and volunteers to build and rehabilitate simple, decent homes for qualified families in need. Recognizing the importance of education in breaking the cycle of poverty, we also offer college scholarships, after-school tutoring and rewards for academic excellence for our partner families. www.beacheshabitat.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 400,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1.5 million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org

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