NEW ORLEANS, April 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- On most days, Aldon Lightfoot works with fellow longshoremen to load and unload ships at the Port of New Orleans. Today, Lightfoot worked alongside seven members of an elite class of athletes – Heisman Memorial Trophy winners – to build a Habitat home for his growing family.
The house of Aldon Lightfoot and Kimberly Jones and their three children will be built with help from a construction crew that includes celebrated Heisman Trophy winners John Lattner (1953, University of Notre Dame), Johnny Rodgers (1972, University of Nebraska), George Rogers (1980, University of South Carolina), Mike Rozier (1983, University of Nebraska), Danny Wuerffel (1996, University of Florida), Eric Crouch (2001, University of Nebraska) and Mark Ingram (2009, University of Alabama).
This unique collaboration grew out of existing relationships among Nissan and its partners Habitat for Humanity and the Heisman Trophy Trust. Together, the three organizations will team up with New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity to build a home in partnership with the Lightfoot family.
"Nissan is committed to improving the communities where our employees and customers live. Joining with Habitat for Humanity and the Heisman Trust, who share this mission of community service, is an ideal extension of our partnership with both organizations," said Nissan Marketing Vice President Jon Brancheau. "We are grateful to these athletes for joining in this one-of-a-kind partnership to build this house alongside a New Orleans family."
The "Heisman House" concept launched by Nissan in 2011 highlights its sponsorship of The Heisman Memorial Trophy, which is awarded annually to an outstanding college football player. The campaign gathers many of the most celebrated college football players of the last 30 years into the fraternal order of the Heisman House.
"We are proud to partner with our premier sponsor, Nissan, these former Heisman winners and Habitat for Humanity on this worthwhile project," said William J. Dockery, President of the Heisman Trust. "When most people hear the word Heisman, they immediately think of the trophy and college football. Many do not realize the mission of The Heisman Trust is to support the underprivileged and underserved. This is just another example of the work the Heisman Trust is doing all year long."
Partnering with New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity, the Lightfoot family will move into their new three-bedroom Habitat home in Central City from a one-bedroom apartment. The family includes a daughter, 8, two sons, ages 5 and 2 months, and a new baby on the way.
"We are grateful for Nissan's long-time support in helping to make affordable housing possible and for extending an opportunity for the Heisman Trophy Trust and athletes to get involved in our work," said Kymberly Wolff, senior vice president of Development at Habitat for Humanity International. "We look forward to continuing to partner together to help families fulfill their dreams of home ownership."
Nissan invites all its stakeholders to support Habitat for Humanity. Point-of-sale materials in dealerships and communications to consumers share information about its Habitat partnership. NissanUSA.com visitors can click through to Habitat's site to make a donation or find volunteer opportunities across the country. Grants from Nissan help sponsor Nissan volunteers who build homes through Habitat's annual Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project, provide Nissan vehicles to Habitat affiliates and support sustainability summits for affiliates and their communities.
Nissan's national partnership with Habitat dates to 2005, following hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Since 2006, Nissan has contributed more than $9 million to Habitat for Humanity. Nissan employees have helped to build more than 62 homes across the United States, and the company has donated 111 vehicles to support Habitat's mission.
About Nissan North America
In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year in 2010, 2011 and 2012 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com and www.InfinitiUSA.com or visit the Americas media sites NissanNews.com and InfinitiNews.com.
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan's second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 248,000 employees globally, Nissan provided customers with more than 4.9 million vehicles in 2012, generating revenue of 9.4 trillion yen ($US 118.95 billion) in fiscal 2011. With a strong commitment to developing exciting and innovative products for all, Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of 64 models under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. A pioneer in zero-emission mobility, Nissan made history with the introduction of the Nissan LEAF, the first affordable, mass-market, pure-electric vehicle and winner of numerous international accolades, including the prestigious 2011-2012 Car of the Year Japan and 2011 World Car of the Year awards. For more information on our products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit our website at http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/.
About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is a global nonprofit Christian housing organization that seeks to put God's love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. Since 1976, Habitat has served more than 600,000 families by welcoming people of all races, religions and nationalities to construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. For more information, to donate or to volunteer, please visit www.habitat.org, or follow us at www.facebook.com/habitat or at www.twitter.com/habitat_org or join Habitat's blog community at www.habitat.org/blog.
About New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity
New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity, an independent affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. NOAHH builds new houses in partnership with sponsors, volunteers, communities, and homeowner families to eliminate poverty housing in the New Orleans area while serving as a catalyst to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. Since its inception in 1983 NOAHH has served over 3,200 families and has just begun construction on its 500th new home for a low-income family in need of adequate shelter. www.habitat-nola.org
About The Heisman Trophy Trust
The Heisman Memorial Trophy annually recognizes the outstanding college football player in the United States. Winners epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance and hard work. The Heisman Trophy Trust ensures the continuation and integrity of this award. The Trust, furthermore, has a charitable mission to support amateur athletes and to provide greater opportunities to the youth of our country. Our goal through these endeavors is for The Heisman Trophy to symbolize the fostering of a sense of community responsibility and service to our youth, especially those disadvantaged or afflicted.
SOURCE Nissan North America