Wednesday, January 16, 2008


The House That Love Built: The Story of Millard and Linda Fuller, Founders of Habitat for Humanity and The Fuller Center for Housing

Bettie B. Youngs, Ph.D., Ed.D.
Publisher Hampton Roads Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-57174-546-0

The House That Love Built is the story of Millard and Linda Fuller, founders of Habitat for Humanity, the largest nonprofit housing ministry in the world. It is a journey that spans more than forty years, from Millard's upbringing, to Millard's and Linda's serendipitous meeting, through a crisis that almost ended their marriage but providentially led them to give away their vast fortune, through the early years and humble beginnings of their housing ministry, to the years of Habitat for Humanity's phenomenal growth, and the eventual heart-wrenching takeover that led to the Fullers' dismissal from the same ministry they had birthed and nurtured. It is also the story of their spectacular rebound to establish the Fuller Center for Housing and their ongoing mission to eradicate poverty housing from the Earth.
Their story is a big one, and a remarkable one. Rare is the person who meets the Fullers or hears of their amazing journey and isn't inspired by them. They've built homes for a million of the world's poor, amassed more than sixty honorary doctorates between them, and won hundreds of awards. In 1996, Millard was presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom the highest civilian honor a person can receive. In the nation's capital, behind the U.S. Treasury building, a large bronze emblem embedded in the sidewalk bears the Fullers'images and honors them as prestigious Points of Light recipients.

From the day Millard Fuller was first inspired to start Habitat for Humanity, he has strived to show the world that making decent shelter available to the needy is a matter of conscience and action, and he ceaselessly challenges people to join in the movement. Over the years, he has traveled tirelessly across the country and around the world to rally people into realizing that every community has the wherewithal "the talent, the resources, and the tools" to eradicate poverty housing, if only they have the will. And Millard was determined to show them how to make this happen. The results were no less than phenomenal. By 2005, under Millard and Linda's leadership, some one million more people had a decent place to call home. But Millard has never been one to gloat about the greatness Habitat has achieved. When some were quick to proclaim that Habitat was a smashing success, Millard would smile and say, Habitat has worked in more than 100 countries, but it still isn't in ninety other countries. We may have helped a million people find adequate shelter, but some billion more people are still in need.

Despite its great success "or perhaps because of it" by 2005, Habitat for Humanity had experienced a shift in its Christian underpinning and philosophy. Millard's ethics and movement mentality no longer appealed to a new board of directors who saw the Habitat as a business "an international conglomerate with a brand value of $1.8 billion. Millard̢۪s insistence on maintaining Habitat's status as a ministry and movement would stand in the way of organizational change" and it would cost them the organization that was such an integral part of their lives.

Committed more than ever to their cause of building homes for those in need, they established The Fuller Center for Housing and continue what they call "Kingdom work" their ongoing mission to develop partnerships and raise resources to build homes for those in need of a simple, decent place to live.

Until this writing, the complete story of the Fuller's experiences has remained untold. Through understanding what happened inside Habitat's own house, and the Fullers' struggle and love through it all, you will come away with a renewed admiration for the visionary founders of Habitat for Humanity and the heart with which their organization was born. You will come to understand why the Fullers battled to keep Habitat as they had envisioned it unabashedly grassroots, stirring the hearts of people everywhere to respond to God's call to put love into action. And as Millard Fuller says, Every house is a sermon of God's love. It has been my privilege to tell their story of success, crisis, and changing direction; of renewing faith, finding purpose, and fulfilling destiny; of personal courage to stand for and fight for what really matters. It is my hope that The House That Love Built will give you a glimpse into the lives of two remarkable people, and be awed at the nobility of the human spirit.

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Please give the readers a brief bio on you the person and the writer.

Bettie B. Youngs, Ph.D., Ed.D., is the author of thirty-two books translated into twenty-four languages including The House That Love Built: The Story of Millard and Linda Fuller, Founders of Habitat for Humanity and the Fuller Center for Housing which is currently in production for a major motion picture.

Dr. Youngs is a former Teacher-of-the-Year; a former professor of graduate studies of Administration and Management; and a consultant to business, industry and education. Dr. Youngs is a frequent guest on television and radio talk shows, including The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, CNN, Oprah, Good Morning America and The View. Time magazine, U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, The Washington Post, Redbook, Working Woman, Parents magazine and the National Association for Secondary School Principals (NASSP) have all recognized her work.

Though Bettie's earlier work focused predominately on education and developmental issues for youth, family and educators, in recent years she is best known for her series of poignantly written short-story books that clearly and warmly elucidate the human spirit, captivating the American psyche and winning her wide-range appeal with audiences young and old alike. Popular books include Values from the Heartland; Gifts of the Heart: Stories That Celebrate Life's Defining Moments; Woman to Woman Wisdom: Inspiration for Real Life; Oh, Baby! 7 Ways a Baby Will Change Your Life the First Year (recipient of the 2007 Parents Choice Awards), and, the nationally award-winning 10-book self-help series for teens: Taste Berries for Teens: Inspirational Short Stories and Encouragement on Life, Love, Friendship and Tough Issues.

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What would you like your readers to take away from your book?

To be inspired by a couple who have been among the most important figures in the 20th century.

What inspired this book?

A long-standing admiration for the Fullers, and their work.

Any exciting things happening before or during the time period while the book is releasing?

It was signed to a major motion picture.

How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)

1 comment:

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