Tom Gipson, president of Raleigh, N.C.-based Thomas Gipson Homes, and BUILDER have been awarded the William D. Littleford Award for Corporate Community Service by American Business Media.

Giving significantly of his time and resources for three years, Gipson organized Habitat for Humanity’s Home Builder Blitz, a five-day event in 2006 that drew 1,000 builders and trade partners to approximately 130 sites nationwide. The 459 houses that were built that week marked the largest single event in the organization’s history. He then followed up with a second builder blitz in 2008. Even with the housing market in crisis, builders nationwide participated in building another 263 homes. The value of the homes built so far is approximately $50 million.

“I’m deeply honored to be recognized on behalf of the thousands of building professionals who participated in the Builder Blitz,” Gipson says. “They’re the heroes.”

Another builder, Jeff Rutt, president of Keystone Custom Homes in Lancaster, Pa., tied for first runner-up in the awards program; he founded Hope International, a micro-credit organization that has made small loans to more than 200,000 entrepreneurs in 13 countries.

Both builders were featured in the February 2008 issue of BUILDER as winners of the Hearthstone BUILDER Humanitarian Awards, which recognize home builders who model and inspire philanthropy.

“We’re very pleased to win these awards and be able to share them with Tom and Jeff,” says Denise Dersin, editor-in-chief of BUILDER. “It gives us an opportunity to present coverage of builders that people don’t often see. Many of them give back to their communities in a really big way. It also gives other builders a chance to see what one person with a vision can accomplish.”

Gipson says he will donate--and match--the $3,000 cash prize from the Littleford Award to Habitat for Humanity International for use in the next home builder blitz, tentatively scheduled to occur in 2011.

The awards, announced at a luncheon Wednesday in Chicago, recognize companies, organizations, or individuals involved in active community service programs aimed at alleviating critical social problems. The award program was established by William D. Littleford, chairman emeritus of BPI Communications, to raise the visibility of the business media editorial product, to encourage increased coverage and recognition of community service success stories, and to motivate other organizations to apply such solutions in their own communities.

In his comments at the luncheon, Gipson thanked Hanley Wood and BUILDER for its support of the builder blitz and challenged the attendees to use the power of the press "to help make our world a better place for us all."

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Chicago, IL.