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Nobel Peace Prize Winner Joins Thousands of Volunteers for Habitat for Humanity's Jimmy Carter Work Project

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Joins Thousands of Volunteers for Habitat for Humanity’s Jimmy Carter Work Project

Volunteers To Build 92 Houses In Alabama, Georgia In One Week

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AMERICUS, Ga., May 27, 2003 – Former U.S. President and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, will join thousands of volunteers from around the world in Anniston, Ala., and LaGrange and Valdosta, Ga., during Habitat for Humanity International’s Jimmy Carter Work Project 2003.

The three work sites will host an expected 3,500 volunteers building homes in partnership with 92 new homeowners and their families during the week of June 6 – 13. In addition, Habitat affiliates around the country will be building that week in support of the JCWP 2003.

This will mark the 20th year in which the Carters have built in partnership with families in need of simple, decent housing. Since 1984, the Carters have personally worked on homes that house more than 2,000 families around the world in communities such as Los Angeles, New York City, Houston, Miami, Hungary, the Philippines, South Korea and South Africa. Since 1976, Habitat for Humanity has built more than 125,000 houses worldwide with families in need.

“We are excited about the growing global effort to alleviate the curse of homelessness,” said Carter. “Habitat for Humanity has successfully removed the stigma of charity by substituting it with a sense of partnership. The people who will live in the homes work side-by-side with the volunteers. The experience broadens everyone’s perspectives.”

Kent Conine, president of the National Association of Homebuilders and other notable leaders are scheduled to join President Carter and Habitat for Humanity Founder Millard Fuller at the JCWP opening ceremonies in Anniston, Ala., on Sunday, June 8, at 6 p.m. (CDT).

After years of building overseas, the JCWP returns to the United States this year, taking Habitat for Humanity’s mission to end poverty housing to America’s rural South. While many past Jimmy Carter Work Projects have been in major metropolitan areas, such as Houston, Los Angeles or Miami, this year’s communities were selected because of their commitment to rid their neighborhoods of substandard housing.

By shifting their grass-roots efforts from ‘ “one house, one family at a time” to focus on building a legacy of better housing for the entire community, Anniston, LaGrange and Valdosta serve as models of HFHI’s 21st Century Challenge program, which calls on cities around the United States to commit to eliminate poverty housing. To date, more than 100 cities are in one stage or another of accepting the 21st Century Challenge. In connection with the builds in Anniston, Ala., and LaGrange and Valdosta, Ga., other cities around the country will build simultaneously as a part of the 21st Century Challenge. These cities include Durham County, N.C., Carbarrus County, N.C., St. Tammany West, La., Port Charlotte, Fla., Jacksonville, Fla., Houston and Kansas City, Mo.

“We are taking Habitat’s mission to a new and higher level with this year’s Jimmy Carter Work Project. We want to dramatize the huge need for adequate housing and the viable solution of the 21st Century Challenge,” said Millard Fuller, HFHI’s founder and president. “We have selected these three communities for this year’s Jimmy Carter Work Project because they are among the first U.S. cities to formally commit to ridding their neighborhoods of substandard housing by accepting the 21st Century Challenge.”

Included in the mission to help end substandard housing, Lowe’s Companies Inc. and Whirlpool Corp. have joined forces as the “Premier Sponsors” for the JCWP 2003, uniting the major retailer and manufacturer to build simple, decent houses.

“The partnership between Whirlpool and Lowe’s is a fantastic opportunity for our two companies to contribute our combined strength to building adequate, safe housing with communities in need,” said Robert Tillman, Lowe’s CEO and chairman of the board. “Our two companies are united in the goal of inspiring hope and building lives–one home at a time–through this dynamic partnership with Habitat for Humanity International.”

“We know that the best way to truly understand Habitat for Humanity’s important mission is to experience it first hand–to participate in a local build, to meet families who have benefited from the program and to see what the Jimmy Carter Work Project is all about,” said David Whitwam, Whirlpool CEO and chairman of the board. “We are thrilled to have teamed up with Lowe’s to make it possible for Americans around the country to see what Habitat for Humanity is all about, to help make the JCWP a reality and to help families in need achieve the dream of homeownership.”

Note to editors:

Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. Founded by Millard Fuller, along with his wife, Linda, Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliates in more than 3,000 communities in 87 nations have built and sold more than 125,000 homes to partner families with no-profit, zero-interest mortgages. http://www.habitat.org/.

A video news release with b-roll will be available June 9. Log onto http://www.habitat.org/newsroom for details. A press conference with President Carter, Millard Fuller and others will be held Monday, June 9 at 10 a.m., in Anniston, Ala. Media credential forms required in advance, call 229-924-6935, ext. 2910.