Habitat Interfaith Build Brings Together Local Faith Traditions
Build for Unity Initiative Announced
April 30, 2016
Evansville, Ind. – Habitat for Humanity of Evansville is pleased to announce that Evansville is
one of 14 locations throughout the country who will announce a Build for Unity initiative during
the National Day of Prayer Week, May 1 – 7, 2016.
As our nation sets aside a special week for prayer, communities ranging from Appleton,
Wisconsin and Bel Air, Maryland to Atlanta, Baltimore, Boulder, Denver, Hartford, Los
Angeles, New York City, Oakland, Philadelphia, Raleigh and Sacramento will join Evansville in
announcing plans to bring together people of all faiths and walks of life to build homes with
families in need of affordable housing.
Build for Unity is a statement about shared values: diversity, inclusion and community. These
values will be expressed through two Build for Unity projects in Evansville — the 2016
Interfaith Build and a first-ever Millennial Build, where young adults, ages 20 to 35, will join
together to raise funds and later build a house with a future Habitat homeowner.
Habitat for Humanity of Evansville has a long tradition of inviting faith communities to build
relationships while constructing safe, affordable homes. In 2005 the first Interfaith Build was
held. In 2011, the tenth anniversary of 9/11 was commemorated with a Peace Build. In 2015 an
Interfaith Advisory Council was formed and a 2015 Interfaith Build with Habitat homeowner
Aireal Hall was completed.
Participating congregations, businesses and organizations in the 2015 Interfaith Build included
Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Eastminster Presbyterian Church, First Presbyterian
Church, Hindu Temple, the Islamic Society of Evansville, Temple Adath B’nai Israel, the
Unitarian Universalist Church, as well as Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana, the City of
Evansville Endowment Fund, and Tropicana and countless individual donors hailing from a wide
variety of backgrounds and religious faiths.
Rev. Dennis Davenport of Eastminster Presbyterian Church, a member of Habitat’s Interfaith
Advisory Council said, “It is appropriate that we announce the Build for Unity initiative in the
midst of Evansville’s first-ever Festival of Faiths, hosted by the University of Evansville on their
campus. The University is one of the city’s four cultural districts and students from 48 countries
study here. We want to be a welcoming, inclusive community that celebrates diversity . . . what
better way to do that than to pick up a hammer and work side by side to help a neighbor be a
Christy Gillenwater, president and CEO of the Southwest Indiana Chamber, endorsed the
Millennial Build concept, “It is imperative that we attract and retain young talent in our city.
Young leaders are confident, optimistic and ethnically diverse — and they love active, project oriented
volunteer opportunities. They’re also the most socially-networked generation. I have no
doubt that the excitement of millennials around this project will go viral.”
Alan Braun, co-chair of Habitat’s Transforming Lives, Changing Neighborhoods $6.4 million
capital campaign, said, “The Build for Unity program will get us two houses closer to our goal of
500 homes by 2018. That’s two more families who will be on the road to strength, stability and
self-reliance because of what their friends and neighbors in Evansville are helping them do.”
A large gathering of Habitat supporters gathered at the Build for Unity announcement at 11 a.m.
CDT, Saturday, April 30, Eykamp Hall, Ridgway University Center, the University of Evansville
For more information about Build for Unity — the 2016 Interfaith Build and the Millennial
Build — or to find out how to get involved, contact Sr. Jane Michele McClure at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-423-5623, ext. 26.