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Jimmy Carter Swings Habitat Hammer For 17th Year

Americus, Ga.- Sept. 5, 2000 - Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter will dedicate September 9-17 to the Habitat for Humanity International house-building project that bears his name.

The Carters will lead thousands of volunteers and partner families participating in the annual Jimmy Carter Work Project (JCWP) to build 157 Habitat homes in partnership with families in need in New York, Florida and Georgia.

As President of the United States, Jimmy Carter was deeply committed to social justice and basic human rights. He and his wife Rosalynn left the White House in search of meaningful ways to contribute in these areas. They have found a perfect match for their ideals in the housing ministry of Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI).

“I get a lot more recognition for building houses than I ever got for the Camp David Accord or for Salt II or for all our projects in Africa or Asia or anything I do now since I left the White House,” says Carter, HFHI’s most famous volunteer. “I can walk down the aisles of airplanes talking with people and invariably the number one thing that everybody says is, ‘Tell me about Habitat.’”

The former First Lady describes her work on a Habitat project in Everything to Gain, a book co-written by the Carters: “I didn’t think I could use a hammer and I didn’t want to use a hammer. At first it took me 15 or 20 strokes for each nail, but before the week was over I could drive one in with only four or five strokes!”

For almost two decades, the Carters have devoted a week of their time to build homes and raise awareness of the critical need for affordable housing. The JCWP is held at a different location each year and attracts volunteers from around the world. The Carters have built more than 800 homes with volunteers and partner families in 14 states and four countries.

Dedicated to eliminating poverty housing, Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry founded by Millard Fuller along with his wife, Linda. HFHI and its 1,916 affiliates in 67 nations have built and sold more than 95,000 homes to partner families at no profit with zero-interest mortgages.