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Habitat cracks top 10 in list of top 100 builders
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Habitat for Humanity of Effingham County has helped Habitat for Humanity International achieve the rank of No. 8 on the Builder 100 list, marking the first time the nonprofit has been among the top 10 biggest builders in the U.S. The list also shows Habitat, with 5,294 closings last year, moved up three spots in 2009 from its 2008 ranking of No. 11.
Habitat for Humanity of Effingham recently closed on the “Loving Our Neighbor” house.  Eleven local churches and more than 100 volunteers built this house for a young widow and her five sons. Local volunteers are working on three additional Habitat houses. The local affiliate hopes to complete the two houses on Rincon Stillwell Road in August.  
Students at Effingham County High School are building one house at the campus. Officials at the affiliate are looking for land on which to place this house.  
“There are so many families and especially children in Effingham County who are affected by the downturn in the local economy,” said Jimmy Rutland, executive director of the local Habitat affiliate. “That’s why we have undertaken the effort to finish four houses this year.  The need and the opportunity to help are great. It is important that we continue to reach out and help families in need of safe, affordable housing.”    
In 2009, Habitat affiliates repaired 710 homes nationwide, up from 621 homes in 2008. Around the world, Habitat for Humanity helped 61,005 low-income families by building 23,657 new houses and rehabilitating or repairing 37,348 houses. 
Builder magazine’s annual Builder 100 List compiles data provided by the nation’s builders, including their closings. “Habitat for Humanity affiliates have been working in more than 1,500 communities in the U.S. to ensure that more than 5,200 families had a new or renovated affordable home to live in last year,” said Mark Andrews, senior director of U.S. Operations for Habitat for Humanity International. 
“We could not have accomplished this work without the sustained support of local leaders, volunteers and donors.”
Habitat for Humanity of Effingham County is an independent affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. The Effingham affiliate only serves families living in Effingham County. All money is donated by Effingham County residents, businesses and churches. 
Local volunteers have completed 14 homes since 1996. Volunteers are trying to complete three more homes this year. 
For more information, or to donate or volunteer, visit
Since its founding in 1976, Habitat for Humanity International  has built, rehabilitated, repaired or improved more than 350,000 houses worldwide.