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Jimmy Carter Work Project 2003
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his Rosalynn work together installing siding on the house they were helping build in Valdosta.
Key day!

Finish work on the homes that have been built this week, house dedications and closing ceremonies will wrap up Jimmy Carter Work Project 2003 at all three sites today.

Anniston, Ala.: The houses are rapidly nearing completion, and volunteers and homeowners alike are in the mood to celebrate. Luckily for them, an award-winning Christian music group is ready to help them do just that!

Third Day will perform at Anniston’s closing ceremonies, and will also perform a benefit concert after the closing ceremonies tonight at Jacksonville State University’s stadium.

Anniston volunteers are invited to attend the concert for free, but must pick up a ticket at the on-site store. Only one ticket per person will be given, and you must have your JCWP nametag to pick up your ticket. For free admission at the stadium, you must have both your ticket and nametag. Additional tickets will be $17 at the gate.

LaGrange, Ga.: An intense mid-afternoon thunderstorm sent volunteers and homeowners running for cover Thursday—and to prove the quality of their work, they took shelter in the very houses they’ve built this week.

With tile, cabinet and trim installation under way, the 19 houses under construction at Hillside Place neared completion. Finishing touches such as flooring, water heaters and attic ladders were making their way in houses by early afternoon Thursday as volunteers finished siding and painting.

Evelyn Williams, homeowner of house #16, had already hung baskets of flowers over the porch railing and expressed in simple words the pride felt by LaGrange homeowners as their houses near completion:

" I want my children to come and see it," she says. “They’re going to love it.”

LaGrange’s closing ceremonies promise to wrap up a week of building the same way it started—with lots of noise.

Here are some highlights of today’s celebration:
  • Twenty-two Habitat families will be recognized and given symbolic keys to their new houses.
  • Troup/Chambers County HFH will officially “pass the hammer” to a representative from Mexico, host of the JCWP 2004.
  • Robert Ray, a former Broadway star and Atlanta Cabaret member, will perform.
  • Following the closing ceremony, all volunteers are invited to a “cast party,” featuring music by PAPA and fireworks. Festivities begin at 8 p.m. at Calloway Auditorium.

Valdosta, Ga.: Soon, saw horses will give way to bicycles, and the smell of sawdust to the smoke from backyard barbeques as families begin moving into the houses built this week. And like grass through the hardpan, a community will grow from a simple foundation.

Toward that end, volunteers had completed exterior work by lunchtime Thursday, and many had turned their attention to the houses’ interiors, where today they will be installing doors, painting and putting in base trim, setting sinks, lights and cabinets.

We’re going to work tonight, and if things go half-way according to plans, we’ll be ahead of schedule by Friday morning,” said Will Ruttencutter, construction project manager. “We’ll finish landscaping on Friday and then start cleaning up for the dedications.”

A house dedication and closing ceremony will conclude this week’s activity in Valdosta. Construction work will halt at 3 p.m. today to allow for the dedication ceremony. Each house will hold its own dedication with the house leaders facilitating. Volunteers and homeowners will convene at 5:30 p.m. at Lowndes High School for dinner. A closing ceremony will follow at 7 p.m. While a satellite feed will connect all three sites in a single ceremony, each site will have a program specific to its location.

The Valdosta site will include the following highlights:
  • The Sharper Brothers, a gospel singing group.
  • One homeowner will share her thoughts on the week.
  • The Valdosta affiliate will announce that part of its tithe will go to support the Kenneth Kaunda Build in Africa. These tithe dollars will be enough to build three houses there.

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