On Monday, August 16, Habitat for Humanity announced a surprise partnership with the eccentric music artist Cher, in promoting Habitat’s new charitable community initiative called “Raise the Roof.” According to Habitat’s recent statement, Cher has agreed to serve as honorary chair for “Raise the Roof” – national house-building program involving artists of all music genres.
Cher was involved in the launching of Raise the Roof last spring; Cher’s concert performers and crew ‘secretly’ teamed up with Habitat to build a Habitat House in her name during a tour stop in Minneapolis for her birthday. Cher was then escorted to see the house built by her crew as well as meet the single mother and her children who will be living in it.
“This was such an incredibly special gift and one that really touched my heart,” Cher said. “It’s a cause all artists can get behind because it provides an opportunity to make a tangible, tremendously powerful impact on someone’s life and in the communities where they entertain.”
According to Habitat, “This creative and very moving tribute to Cher sparked the idea to involve more artists and construct more homes across the country while these artists are on tour.”
Since then, Raise the Roof joined hands with performers such as Blink 182, John Mayer and Linkin Park. The Dave Matthews Band has been scheduled to help build a Habitat house later this month in Houston.
More often than not, Raise the Roof houses are funded by the Clear Channel Entertainment, corporate sponsors, Habitat supporters, fans and the artists themselves. Throughout the program, the touring artists, volunteers with Habitat for Humanity and a few lucky fans help build a home in a city under the artists’ name.
According to Clear Channel’s senior vice president Kimberly Bowron, Cher’s position as the honorary chair would go beyond mere involvement in building one house: she would be ‘lending her name for life.’
“Music artists have a record of charitable service that sets the bar for other entertainers and we are so happy that Cher has agreed to lend her name and support to this effort,” said Bowron, who works at corporate culture and philanthropy at Clear Channel Entertainment. “With her leadership backing Raise the Roof, we know that the program will be a big success for Habitat.”
Chris Clarke, senior vice president of Communications for Habitat for Humanity called Cher’s involvement an “inspiration”.
“Cher’s involvement is such a privilege and it is certainly an inspiration to our volunteers, the families who benefit from this program, and the other artists who become involved said Clarke. “We were so enthusiastic when the initial house build was proposed to honor Cher. Having her graciously extending this opportunity beyond that one home just shows what a big heart she has.”
Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI), based in Americus, Ga., is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian organization dedicated to eliminating substandard housing and homelessness worldwide and to making adequate, affordable shelter a matter of conscience and action. By the end of 2005, Habitat will have built its 200,000th house and more than one million people will be living in Habitat homes they helped build and are buying through no-profit, zero-interest mortgages. www.habitat.org
Habitat's ministry is based on the conviction that to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ we must reflect Christ's love in our own lives by loving and caring for one another. Our love must not be words only -- it must be true love, which shows itself in action. Habitat provides an opportunity for people to put their faith and love into action, bringing diverse groups of people together to make affordable housing and better communities a reality for everyone.
For more information or to get involved with the Raise the Roof™, call 713-693-8263 or go to www.habitat.org.