After an EF-4 tornado devastated Lee County, Alabama, on March 3, East Alabama Medical Center began mobilizing quickly to help the community recover, but they needed someone to lead home construction efforts. They turned to a nonprofit they trusted, even though it did not operate in Lee County — the Chattahoochee Fuller Center Project, our very successful covenant partner based in founder Millard Fuller's hometown of Lanett, Alabama.

Led by Executive Director Kim Roberts and her fearless passion for service, they accepted the challenge. They committed to build three houses. Then there were six. Then we brought the 2019 Millard Fuller Legacy Build to Lee County for 11 more. There are now 18 new Fuller Center homes in Lee County that stand as monuments of hope in an ongoing recovery.

Hundreds of volunteers from the local community and across the nation — even a few from outside the U.S. — worked in record heat Sept. 29-Oct. 4 to build those 11 Legacy Build homes. Among those documenting the effort was a film crew from Crown Media, which has produced an hour-long special based on the recovery effort, the build week and some of our Fuller Center partner families' emotional stories — including those who lost family members in the tornado.

"Project Christmas Joy" airs at 9 p.m. EST tonight on Hallmark Drama. If you do not have Hallmark Drama through your cable provider, it also is available from satellite providers DirectTV and Dish, as well as from streaming services such as Sling, PlayStation VUE, Frndly TV and Philo. The special will be rebroadcast on Friday, Dec. 13 at 6 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 15 at 9 a.m.; and lastly on Christmas Day at 8 p.m.
Not all disasters make news

Our work helping families recover from a tornado in Alabama — as well as from hurricanes that recently hit Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico and North Carolina — was in the spotlight throughout 2019. Yet, every family living in poverty housing is facing a disaster. When you support our year-end campaign, you are helping us address the disaster of poverty housing across the U.S. and around the world in 2020. You are building homes and planting seeds of hope.
Bolivia: This is all about the kids

Study after study confirms what your common sense already tells you about children who grow up in decent housing: Children from decent homes are usually happier, healthier and have better educational outcomes than those who grow up in poverty housing conditions. Our partners in Bolivia are focused on educational outcomes as they ramp up building at their El Alto project in the highlands of this beautiful country.
First partners in Maine, Utah

Our affordable housing ministry is truly growing through a growth spurt and we now have partners in 28 states — including our first in the states of Maine and Utah. Each of these two most recent covenant partners were spurred by cyclists who got to know us through our Bicycle Adventure. This past summer our riders had a build day in American Fork, Utah (pictured), where our new Fuller Center of Utah County is now based.
Go on a Global Builders trip in 2019? Enter our photo contest

Our Global Builders make a tremendous difference in the lives of families who need simple, decent places to live. They provide valuable free labor, and their visits to these off-the-beaten-path locations also boost local economies. They also provide unique looks at these wonderful sites. You'll be able to vote soon on some amazing images as our annual Global Builders Photo Contest is now taking entries.