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'Making Change for Katrina'; New National Effort Targets More than $10 Billion in Idle Change to Build Homes in Partnership with Hurricane Victims

Submitted by: Cone Communications

Categories: Philanthropy & Corporate Contributions

Posted: Jun 01, 2006 – 12:00 AM EST

 

BOSTON- A new hurricane season begins, yet tens of thousands of Katrina victims remain without permanent homes. Hundreds of thousands of the nearly one million houses destroyed remain in ruins. Today, this dire need for affordable housing in the Gulf Coast has prompted private citizens to launch a national call to action and fundraising campaign -- Making Change for Katrina (makingchangeforkatrina.org). Making Change for Katrina is the nation's first-of-its-kind citizen-driven campaign to collect spare change and transform the idle coins into much-needed housing for families devastated by last season's Gulf Coast hurricanes. Proceeds from Making Change for Katrina go directly to Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organization that builds simple, decent housing in partnership with people in need.

According to Coinstar Inc., idle change -- unused nickels, quarters, dimes and pennies -- in United States homes adds up to more than $10.5 billion - enough to help build thousands of homes for victims of Katrina. Contributing is easy. Anyone can donate their spare change using one of the more than 12,000 coin collection centers found in supermarkets nationwide. Participants simply choose the "donate" option from the onscreen menu, select "Making Change for Katrina" as the charity of choice, pour in the coins and take the tax-deductible receipt.

"Making Change for Katrina gives everyone a chance to help," said Habitat for Humanity Senior Vice President of Communications Chris Clarke. "From the few pennies of allowance saved by a young person to the mounds of change adults empty from their pockets and purses daily, no gift is too modest or too great. We urge people everywhere to give what they can, as often as they can. Each of us has the ability to make change for families who have lost virtually everything but their hope and dreams."

Making Change for Katrina is rooted in the spirit of generosity of the American people. In a nationwide poll commissioned by Cone Inc., a Boston-based firm that links companies and causes, 64 percent of Americans gave money to aid in Gulf Coast relief efforts, and nearly 9 out of 10 of them would donate again if they knew how their dollars were going to be spent. Additionally, among those willing to support hurricane victims a second time, more than half would consider donating their spare change.

"This campaign is not about writing a check or making tremendous financial sacrifice," Cone Chairman Carol Cone says. "All people have to do is gather their idle change to make a difference. If we collect just 1 percent of the estimated $10 billion in coins secreted away in jars, drawers and pockets, we can raise $100 million to build critically needed homes in partnership with devastated Gulf Coast families. Imagine if we inspired 2 percent of the households! Our goal is to move millions to take this simple action to help thousands of families. This was the worst natural disaster in American history. It is not over. It demands an ongoing response at a national and grassroots level."

Making Change for Katrina will host a national tour to increase awareness of the dire need for affordable housing in the Gulf and to collect spare change. On June 28, 2006, the mobile tour will launch in Boston and travel throughout the United States. In addition to Boston, cities will include Chicago, Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Seattle. At each stop, volunteers will frame a "Making Change" Habitat home for delivery to pre-approved Habitat families in the Gulf.

Additional program elements include innovative youth initiatives such as an in-school curriculum created by the Discovery Educator Network and on-campus student fundraising programs through Habitat for Humanity. Online advertising, broadcast public service announcements, posters and brochures will raise awareness of the issue and engage Americans. Moreover, a Making Change for Katrina website will soon feature how-to activities and ideas to encourage community and local fundraising group participation, as well as tips for parents to introduce their children to philanthropy.

Cone, creator of the program, is serving as the project's director on a pro bono basis. Joining Cone are more than a dozen organizations, also donating their services, including brand identity, PSAs, celebrity participation, website development, grassroots marketing and communications.

To find donation centers and to find out more about Making Change for Katrina and the mobile tour, visit www.makingchangeforkatrina.org.

About Making Change for Katrina
Making Change for Katrina (www.makingchangeforkatrina.org) is a pro bono campaign that was created by Carol Cone, Chairman of Cone, Inc., the nation's leading cause branding agency. Making Change for Katrina is a campaign to collect spare change to benefit the victims of the Gulf Coast hurricanes. The recipient of this campaign is Habitat for Humanity, which has been a partner throughout the development process. Coinstar Inc., with more than 12,000 Coinstar® Centers in grocery stores throughout the United States, will serve as the primary collection partner.

About Habitat for Humanity International

Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in Americus, Ga., in 1976, Habitat has built more than 200,000 houses in nearly 100 countries, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than one million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org.

About Cone:

Cone, Inc. (http://www.coneinc.com) is a brand strategy and communications agency, which connects corporations, nonprofits and social issues. Cone is part of Omnicom, a global network of many of the world's top advertising and communications agencies.

For more information, please contact:

Kelly Faville Cone, Inc.
Phone: 978-405-3199
Duane Bates Habitat for Humanity
Phone: 229-924-6935 x2541

For more from this organization:

Cone Communications

 

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