National Lutheran News

Thrivent pledges millions for Habitat

Twin Cities-based fraternal’s gift is its largest ever

On September 8, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, the Minn-eapolis-based Lutheran fraternal financial services firm, pledged $109 million to undergird the work of Habitat for Humanity.

Habitat, based in Americus, Georgia, builds low-cost housing for families otherwise unable to afford shelter. A trademark element in the construction of a Habitat structure is ‘sweat equity,’ a concept which involves the eventual recipient of the house in the building process.
Tens of thousands of Lutherans have volunteered to help build Habitat houses over the past decades, both in Minnesota and across the country.

Thrivent CEO Bruce Nicholson said his firm’s commitment to Habitat was made because there was a desire to mobilize people around “a big idea.”

The Thrivent cash infusion will be delivered in what the fraternal is calling its “Thrivent Builds Initiative.” Key elements will include:

* Enlisting as many as a half-million volunteers to work on Habitat houses. Many or most will come from Thrivent’s 1,362 chapters.

* Covering 70% of the cost of building 500 houses annually. The other 30% will be solicited from Thrivent members. Member donations will receive a 1-for-2 match from Thrivent.

* Promoting domestic and international trips to build still more homes.

* Sending a semitrailer traveling exhibit around the country, promoting Habitat.

* Providing management support for Habitat.