The Fuller Center’s Global Builders program that sends teams of volunteers around the world to help build homes for the less fortunate had a record-breaking year in 2011 with 36 volunteer teams. Then they broke the record again in 2012 and are shattering it this year with 46 teams … so far.
Well, The Fuller Center’s U.S. Builders program was not about to let the Global team be the lone record-breakers — especially since the program leaders sit only a few feet from each other at the Fuller Center’s cozy international headquarters in Americus, Ga.
For the 2013 fiscal year that ended June 30, the U.S. Builders reported 35 trips involving 576 volunteers. Those trips generated $75,665 in program revenue, $68,665 of which was passed on directly to covenant partners hosting the teams.
Of course, that’s just a fraction of the team projects hosted by The Fuller Center’s U.S. covenant partners. Overall, covenant partners hosted 126 teams involving 3,577 volunteers contributing more than 104,000 of service hours.
Most importantly to Director of U.S. Field Operations Kirk Lyman-Barner, more than 200 families were served by U.S. covenant partners. And with the additions of new covenant partners, the record-breaking growth of the U.S. Builders programs and increasing support overall, the only thing Lyman-Barner is struggling with now is containing his joy and optimism.
“People worry that in a recession, volunteers will not be able to have an impact,” he said. “We have demonstrated that the resources are still available to carry out Millard Fuller’s observation that God has given us all that is necessary to house everyone who needs a decent place to live. The housing crisis continues to be staggering, but one house at a time, serving one family at a time, we continue to be a sermon and a prophetic voice urging everyone to find the will to support this movement.”
Lyman-Barner praised the work of the covenant partners in the field, where the work is done along with most of the fundraising necessary to make the work possible.
“Millard was our greatest fundraiser — now it has switched to our heroes in the field,” he said. “With more than $3.5 million raised during tough economic times, they have responded and we know that Millard is looking down on us with great joy.”
The Fuller Center’s efforts to help Atlantic City, N.J., residents to recover from last fall’s SuperStorm Sandy was a significant factor in the U.S. Builders surge as The Fuller Center for Housing in the New Jersey Pines hosted 1,358 volunteers who flocked to help residents along the Jersey Shore. They worked on 38 projects — 27 ReNew projects and 11 Greater Blessing projects.
Among the U.S. covenant partner leaders for the 2013 fiscal year:
Most new houses: Northwest Louisiana (Shreveport) — 6
Most ReNew (extensive repair) projects: New Jersey Pines — 27
Most Greater Blessing repair projects: Ginger Ford Northshore (Hammond, La.) — 44