Daily Diaries from the Carter Work Project 2008

Daily diary

Habitat for Humanity International writers and editors will find and share personal stories of families, volunteers and happenings throughout the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project. Check out their diary entries throughout the week.
Daily Diaries from the Carter Work Project 2008 -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1

A week of blessings
Ken Ladner nails in front porch rails at 249 Nixon Street. A construction supervisor for Habitat for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Ladner served simply as a fellow volunteer during this year’s Carter Work Project. “That last day saying goodbye … that always means the most to me,” Ladner said.


Love and building
Russ Cubbin and Mary Lou Bowman, a husband-and-wife team from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., are co-house leaders on the home of Tiffany Miller in Pascagoula. The two are longtime Habitat volunteers and have been married for seven years, after first meeting on a build site in Broward County.


Heart, soul and Habititus
Volunteers come with goals and generosity. Ajay Bhatt, 28, wants to learn everything he can about Habitat. "I want to be able to go back and help nonprofits become more efficient, but still be able to keep their heart and soul, too. Habitat is good about that balance."


'Warm is wonderful'
Fee and James Boehm traveled from their home in Chicago to join daughter Katie, an AmeriCorps volunteer, on this year’s Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project. On Tuesday, mom (pictured here) and dad were painting trim molding in a sunny back yard on Holly Circle, while daughter Katie was working across the street.


Construction begins
As the first day of building and rehab got underway, walls were raised, windows and doors were replaced, and Habitat houses started to take shape. In Pascagoula, President and Mrs. Carter built alongside senators, musicians — and, as a special surprise, even a few members of their Secret Service detail got in on the action.


Registration day
Future home partner Chad Winstead, of Gautier, Miss., hands volunteer materials to Fred Wacker, COO of The Home Depot Foundation.

Here are the diary writers:

Shala Carlson is managing editor of Habitat World, the flagship publication of Habitat for Humanity International. A native of Louisiana, Shala was living on the Gulf Coast when hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit. She has edited Habitat World for two years. This is her second Carter Work Project. She will cover Pascagoula.


Phillip Jordan is a writer/editor with Habitat for Humanity International. A native of Tennessee, he moved to Alabama for college and spent several years working as a journalist at various newspapers. As a writer at Habitat, he provides content for international programs and contributes to several Habitat publications. This is his first Carter Work Project. Phillip will cover Biloxi.


Shawn Reeves has worked as a writer for Habitat for Humanity International since 1998, striving to tell the story not only of the vast need for decent shelter, but of the partnership solution Habitat builds upon the world over, including all along the Gulf Coast. He first came to Habitat from Shelby, N.C. He will travel the coast to write a story comparing what he observed on a similar trip just after hurricanes Katrina and Rita.


Susan Stevenson, editorial manager, is a former newspaper editor and reporter. Her career started in her home state of Ohio, but she has worked for newspapers in Michigan, New York, Texas and Georgia. (Some of these newspapers still exist.) For this her second Carter Work Project, Susan will write and edit in Biloxi and Pascagoula.


Teresa K. Weaver is a senior writer/editor at Habitat for Humanity International, based in Atlanta. A native of Jackson, Miss., she worked for 26 years as a newspaper writer and editor before joining Habitat in the summer of 2007. She writes a monthly book column for Atlanta magazine. Teresa will cover the Gulfport rehab project.