State Fair Kicks off with Agriculture Sponsors Building a Home with Habitat for Humanity
INDIANAPOLIS – For the third straight year, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Indianapolis will construct an entire three-bedroom house at the Indiana State Fair – in just two weeks!
The home is being built for 23 year old Keon Ballard and 24 year old Corey Justice. Both of these young men have overcome many challenges in life, just a few of which include developmental disabilities, being on the Autism Spectrum, and spending time in various residential programs while growing up.
Keon’s guardian has been highly instrumental in facilitating the dream of homeownership becoming a reality for Keon and Corey. Habitat for Humanity is working closely with their support team to create a home that meets their sensory needs and accommodates the staff that assists the young men 24/7 in order to keep them safe, active members of the community.
Construction of this Habitat home begins opening day, August 3rd, and will continue for the following fourteen days. Nearly 500 volunteers will roll up their sleeves to meet the demanding construction schedule. Fairgoers will be able to tour the home and see the building progress on a daily basis. On August 17th, a home dedication will take place for all sponsors, volunteers and spectators.
“There is a great amount of excitement surrounding the building of this home for Keon and Corey,” said Jim Morris, President & CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Indianapolis. “The Indiana State Fair is a perfect place to come together as Hoosiers to help others in the community.”
“This is exactly what celebrating the Hoosier spirit is all about,” said Indiana State Fair Executive Director Cindy Hoye. “It’s wonderful to see so many people giving their time and talents to others in a way that has a real and lasting impact on our community.”
Dow AgroSciences and Kroger are leading the team of 24 Indiana businesses and organizations, mostly from Indiana’s Agriculture industry to build this Habitat home. Both companies sponsored the Ag Home at the Indiana State Fair for the past two years, and both have sponsored many similar projects in Indianapolis over the past decade.
“We are proud to once again partner with others from Indiana’s agriculture community to help Keon Ballard and Corey Justice realize their dream of homeownership,” said Gordon Slack, vice president, Finance and Public Affairs, Dow AgroSciences. “Our employees believe in the mission of Habitat for Humanity and look forward to volunteering with them each year. It’s a tangible way to make a difference in Indianapolis.”
“The Kroger Co. has been supporting local agricultural growers for nearly 130 years. As a food manufacturer, distributor and retailer we work very hard to support each local community we serve,” said John Elliott, Public Affairs Manager, Kroger. “Habitat for Humanity is an exceptional organization that not only provides homes for hardworking individuals, but transforms lives in a lasting way. Kroger associates are proud to volunteer with other community sponsors to build this home at the Indiana State Fair.”
Additional financial sponsors include: Cargill Foundation, Near North Community Development Corp., Ingredion (Formerly National Starch), Poet Biorefining, Farm Credit Services, Marion County Farm Bureau, Red Gold Inc., Regions Bank, Weaver Popcorn Company, and McCormick.
Financial and in-kind sponsors include: Indiana Corn Marketing Council, Indiana Pork Association, The Indiana State Fair, American Dairy Association of Indiana, Indiana’s Family of Farmers, Achieva, Baxter, Indiana Hardwood Lumbermen’s Association, Indiana Soybean Alliance, MainGate, Department of Agriculture, Country 97.1 Hank FM and FFA.
In-kind product and services are provided by: The Indiana State Fair, The American Dairy Association of Indiana, Achieva, Inc., Baxter Communications, Country 97.1 HANK-FM, Indiana Hardwood Lumber Association, Indiana State Dept. of Agriculture, The Indiana Soybean Alliance, Indiana’s Family of Farmers, Indiana FFA and MainGate.
“Hoosiers in the agriculture sector demonstrate what being a good neighbor means every day. This collaboration with Habitat is just one example of their many contributions to the state,” Lt. Governor Becky Skillman said. “I am proud to once again to participate in a build with our friends from the state’s agriculture industry.”
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Indianapolis is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry, committed to eliminating poverty housing and making decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. To accomplish these goals, Habitat invites people of all backgrounds, races and religions to build houses together in partnership with families in need. Each qualified low-income family must meet Habitat’s income and credit history criteria, as well as to invest 450 hours in budget education classes and assist with the building of other partner family’s homes, as well as their own. Each family must also make monthly mortgage payments with a no-interest loan. Since 1985, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Indianapolis has served 668 families globally relocate from substandard and poverty housing into simple, decent, and affordable homes. 400 of these families are right here in our backyard in Greater Indianapolis and 268 in Guatemala. Indy Habitat has also sent over dozen teams of staff and volunteers to help rebuild the Mississippi Gulf Coast from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Follow us on twitter @IndyHabitat or visit our website: www.indyhabitat.org.