The country's most famous peanut farmer came to Jacksonville Wednesday to lend his encouragement and building skills to Habijax's efforts to build 100 houses in 17 days.
Each year since 1984, President Jimmy Carter has devoted a week to building with Habitat for Humanity. In that time, the annual Jimmy Carter Work Project has grown to involve thousands of volunteers building hundreds of houses.
Although many years have passed since the beginning of the JCWP, the rewards have not diminished. "God blesses us beyond our expectations," Carter said. "It's difficult for people like you and me who are rich to know how to share it. Habitat, above any other organization I know on earth, gives us a chance to break through that shell."
Carter's sentiments were echoed in remarks by others volunteering at the build Wednesday.
"What you are witnessing today is an expression of community." -- John Delaney, Jacksonville mayor
"[Owning a decent home] is not the American dream. It's the dream universal." -- Jack Kemp, former secretary of the U.S. department of Housing and Urban Development
""Habitat isn't charity. It's working with people to enable them to have a good life." -- Millard Fuller, founder and president of Habitat for Humanity International
Everything that was said seemed to express the same feeling Carter spoke of when he said, "If I had to pick one word to summarize Habijax or Habitat, it would be 'blessing.'"