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25 Homes to be Built for Poor Families in One Weekend to Celebrate 25th Anniversary of Life-Changing 'Homes of Hope'

The UNTOLD Story of 100,000 Global Volunteer Homebuilders, Including VIP's

Contact: (Ms.) "Sam" Jernigan, Publicist, Renaissance Consultations, 530-362-1339 (PST), sam@MarketingAndPR.com

SAN DIEGO, Calif., March 25, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ -- Beginning in 1990, a global movement has been steadily gaining life-changing traction in transforming the lives of families in poverty via the gift of a new home — built for them entirely by diverse populations of volunteers. To date, over 100,000 individuals have donated several days of their time and labor in collectively constructing over 5000 homes for the needy in 19 countries. The volunteers themselves include a who's who of notables, among them:  the former CEO of Pepsi, Steve Reinemund, former President of Disney Studios, Mark Zoradi (currently COO of DreamWorks Animation), bestselling business authors, Ken Blanchard and Patrick Lencioni, high-profile athletes including Gold Medal Olympian, Shawn Johnson, Major League Baseball's Garret Anderson and Jose Vizcaino, and the NFL's Hunter Smith. Christened "Homes of Hope" by its founder, Sean Lambert, he reports that nearly 500 corporate CEO's along with numerous other pro athletes, entertainers, philanthropists, politicians – including U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker – among other prominent leaders have led teams of volunteer builders on these weekend-long missions. The ultimate team-building exercise, Homes of Hope (www.ywamhomesofhope.org) has attracted participation by countless groups of employees and managers along with churches, organizations, and families of all ages from 5 – 90.

In celebration of this quarter century milestone of sponsoring these hands-on "love your neighbor parties," 25 homes will be built in Baja, Mexico by yet more teams of volunteers ready to donate their time to families living in poverty — one new house to symbolically commemorate each year of the program's existence. Fifteen homes will be built for families in Tijuana and 10 in Ensenada May 22 & 23 culminating in the Grand Celebration on Sunday, May 24th at Homes of Hope's San Antonio Del Mar campus, located just south of Tijuana.

The very first house was constructed by a team from the Los Angeles chapter of Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in the poor community of El Florido, a suburb of Tijuana, Mexico. Upon gifting this initial new home to an impoverished family, Lambert's young daughter, Andrea, just three years old at the time, pointed to another family living nearby in an old abandoned bus and asked, "Daddy, are you going to build a house for the bus people too?" Moved by his daughter's plea, the ministry to which he and his wife, Janet, would subsequently dedicate themselves was born. Shortly thereafter, the young Lambert family relocated south, launching the San Diego/Baja Mexico chapter of YWAM and its primary focus, Homes of Hope. Although originally spawned as "an offering to Jesus" by Lambert, the 2-3 daylong home builds themselves are open to all, attracting Believers (including Hindus, Muslims, et al.) and the non-religious alike — anyone who wants to serve the poor is welcome. Visiting teams raise the funds needed to build the house and also work side-by-side with the family receiving the home.

Each Homes of Hope recipient family is selected exclusively based upon their need and without any spiritual prerequisite of any kind. Key factors considered in the application process are:  income, family size, present living conditions, and community input. Most importantly, the family must have title or rights to the land the house will be built upon. Once approved, they are responsible for preparing the site for the new foundation, tearing down old structures as needed, and working alongside the visiting team on the building days.

Embodying the Homes of Hope movement's exponential growth, CEO Dave Lindsey (prominent founder of Defender Direct, Indianapolis) initially brought his wife and children to build a home together in Ensenda, Mexico in 2007, saying of the experience, "This was the mission trip I had always wanted to find for our family but couldn't – till now." Working over the course of a weekend to construct the modest house and seeing the overjoyed faces of the recipient family upon its completion spurred him to next accompany his senior management team to build together, saying, "They liked it so much, we then began to bring our employees." To date, Defender Direct has sponsored more than 1000 employees along with their spouses and children to help build more then 220 Homes of Hope. Lindsey reflects, "Homes of Hope has helped change our company from a company that gives, to a company of givers." Their teams have been sent to a number of locations in Mexico as well as the Dominican Republic, and they'll be sending their first team to Uganda this summer.

YWAM San Diego/Baja is an independent 501-c3 nonprofit. Youth With A Mission (YWAM) is an international, interdenominational  Christian missions movement launched in 1960 by Loren Cunningham. To learn more about Homes of Hope's housing mission to the poor and details about the upcoming 25th anniversary celebration, please visit www.YWAMHomesOfHope.org.

Organization: YWAM San Diego/Baja (www.ywamsandiegobaja.org)

Producers/editors:

  • See comprehensive Press Room with testimonials by VIP volunteers and others, high/low res. photos, and videos of builds:  www.ywamhomesofhope.org/PressRoom
     
  • Homes of Hope Founder, Sean Lambert, is available for interviews (potential for accompaniment by VIP supporter)

Contact:  (Ms.) "Sam" Jernigan, publicist, Renaissance Consultations, sam@MarketingAndPR.com, 530.362.1339 (PST)