On Sunday, the nation joined former President Jimmy Carter in celebrating his 99th birthday, and today a record number of volunteers are honoring him in a way he understands well—by getting to work.
Habitat for Humanity’s 37th Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project, hosted this year by Habitat Humanitarians and country music superstars Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, kicked off on October 2nd, in west Charlotte.
Having retired from public life, this marks the first time President Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter have not been present at the week-long blitz build that bears their name. Since 1984, when they put Habitat for Humanity on the map with their first volunteer build, they have helped build and improve over 4,300 homes alongside more than 104,000 volunteers.
“We know that there is no better way to honor the Carters’ legacy than by donning our hard hats and getting to work,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “They exemplify what servant leadership looks like, and we are humbled and gratified to have the opportunity to continue modeling the example they have set for us.”
This year’s build event is Brooks’ and Yearwood’s 13th with the global housing nonprofit. They first volunteered with Habitat in 2007 in New Orleans to help build post-Hurricane Katrina Habitat homes on the Gulf Coast.
“There are no words to describe the immense joy and sense of duty we feel in honoring President and Mrs. Carter’s legacy of service,” Brooks and Yearwood said. “We hope that we can be a source of inspiration for generations – young and old – as we lend our hearts and our hands to build homes, community and hope here in Charlotte, and around the world.”
The 2023 build event is taking place at The Meadows at Plato Price, a historic neighborhood where an all-Black school that served as a transformative education and civic space for the Black community in the early 1900s through the mid-1960s once stood.
Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region broke ground on the project in the fall of 2021; the entire 39-home project is expected to be completed by early 2025. The extra hands onsite for the Carter Work Project are expected to accelerate the construction schedule—and Habitat homeowners getting into their new homes—by more than a year.
This is a return to Charlotte for the Carter Work Project; it was first held in the city in 1989 when volunteers helped build 14 homes in Optimist Park. Additional information about Carter Work Project, historical photos and videos are available at habitat.ngo/cwpphotos. New photos will be added throughout the week.
Carter Work Project is generously supported by more than 75 sponsors, including the project’s Diamond sponsors—Bank of America, Lowes, and Wells Fargo—each of which committed at least $1 million in funding, and Platinum sponsors—the City of Charlotte, MasterBrand, Mecklenburg County Government and U.S. Bank, each of which donated $500,000 toward the project.
About Habitat for Humanity International
Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity found its earliest inspirations as a grassroots movement on an interracial community farm in south Georgia. Since its founding in 1976, the Christian housing organization has since grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in more than 70 countries. Families and individuals in need of a hand up partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves.
Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit habitat.org.