From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Dallas church makes 10-year commitment to Habitat

From "NewsDesk" <NewsDesk@UMCOM.ORG>
Date Tue, 18 Feb 2003 15:53:20 -0600

Feb. 18, 2003 New media contact: Linda Green7(615)742-54707Nashville, Tenn.  

By United Methodist News Service*

Highland Park United Methodist Church in Dallas has made a $5 million,
10-year commitment to sponsor 100 Habitat for Humanity homes. The church is
also sponsoring the first completed Habitat house in war-torn Afghanistan.

Habitat for Humanity International began exploring emergency shelter needs
and opportunities for Habitat home building in Afghanistan in February 2002.
The result was an initiative in Northern Afghanistan that has since borne
fruit in Salbarun Village in the Balhk Province, about two hours' travel time
from Mazar-e-Sharif.

Highland Park financed construction of a home there and contributed partial
funding for four more. Habitat's international arm has been working since
July with villagers to build 33 homes, renovate four houses and repair 162
more, bringing all the village's housing to local standards. 

The church is also the leading sponsor of Habitat homes in Dallas. Its
100-house pledge is the largest faith commitment made to Habitat for Humanity
International's More Than Houses campaign, said Diane Wolfe of Dallas Area
Habitat for Humanity. The campaign aims to bring to 200,000 the number of
Habitat homes worldwide by the end of 2005.

The ongoing involvement of Southern Methodist University with Habitat
compelled the church to underwrite its 25th house, which is being constructed
on the campus of the United Methodist-related school Feb. 15 through March 1.
The house will be the 300th for the area Habitat and will be relocated within
Dallas when completed. The university has built three homes in the city, and
its students, faculty and staff have worked on Habitat projects in a variety
of ways.

"Construction of the 300th house is an important milestone," said SMU
President R. Gerald Turner. "Building it at SMU will help raise awareness of
Habitat's contributions to the community and SMU's long-term support of their
# # #
*Information for this story was provided by Jenni Smith of media relations at
Southern Methodist University and Diane Wolfe of Habitat for Humanity.

United Methodist News Service
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