North Carolina home builder Tom Gipson, a member of the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County in North Carolina, has been selected as the winner of the Ultimate Volunteer contest on the ABC television show The View. He was scheduled to appear on the show on Oct. 19.
Gipson was selected from 10 national finalists for the Ultimate Volunteer award, which cited him for founding the nationwide Builder Blitz program in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. In 2006, he recruited more than 1,000 home builders to construct 459 Habitat homes in a single week - the largest one-week blitz build in Habitat's 30-year history. Another 269 homes were built in 2008, despite the housing downturn.
"This whole thing is about the more than 1,500 builders who have stepped up to the plate to help build these homes," Gipson said. "It speaks so well of the generosity of our industry."
The national finalists were selected from the more than 1,000 nominees, and the winner was chosen after a week of online public voting. The contest recognizes "someone who selflessly gives to others, who asks for nothing in return and inspires others to volunteer."
Gipson's work with Habitat began in 2002. That year, he worked with Habitat for Humanity of Wake County and recruited 11 home builders to build 12 Habitat houses in one week. He then brought his concept to the national level, traveling to more than 60 cities at his own expense to recruit builders for the 2006 Builder Blitz.