|When in 2001 ASSA ABLOY decided to support Habitat for Humanity's mission to build houses with families in need and help eradicate homelessness from the world, we never imagined that we would be touching the lives of so many in such a profound and lasting way. This month Habitat for Humanity organizations throughout the world celebrate as the housing ministry marks a major milestone, Nov. 13 and 14, when construction begins on Habitat's 300,000th house in Naples, Fla., U.S.A., and 300,001st house in Zacapa, Guatemala, and ASSA ABLOY is extremely proud and humbled to have been a part of Habitat's journey that has helped more than 1.5 billion people.
To date ASSA ABLOY has donated approximately 375,000 locks towards this cause during our 7 year relationship with Habitat. Members of the Pemko organization have volunteered directly with building projects, giving of their time and talents to help as well. Many in the organization have also given donations over the years for these and numerous other rebuilding efforts to help those in need.
The 300,000th house represents a decade of major growth for Habitat for Humanity, which was founded in 1976. In 2000, Habitatundefineds 100,000th house was built in New York City and 100,001st house in Plains, Ga. Five years later, Habitat dedicated its 200,000th home in Knoxville, Tenn.; and 200,001st house in Kanyakumari, India.
Only one day after construction begins in Naples with Habitat for Humanity of Collier County, Habitat's highest producing U.S. affiliate, volunteers will break ground on the 300,001st house in Zacapa, Guatemala. Zacapa is a region which suffers one of the lowest levels of community and social development in Guatemala, and therefore the most in need of adequate housing. Habitat has already built a total of 1,236 houses in the region, reaching some 7,500 people.
Habitat is a worldwide movement that has a presence in nearly 90 countries, including all 50 states in the United States, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico. On average, Habitat for Humanity serves a low-income family somewhere around the world every 10 minutes through new house construction, major house rehabilitation projects and with house repairs. In 2007, Habitat served a record 49,000 families in need.
For more information about Habitat for Humanity, visit www.habitat.org.