Americus, Ga. - Dec. 11, 2001 - Former President Jimmy Carter will build Habitat houses in Valdosta and LaGrange, Ga., and in Anniston, Ala., during the annual Jimmy Carter Work Project 2003, Habitat for Humanity International officials announced Tuesday.
“We are taking Habitat’s mission to give people a hand up out of poverty to America’s rural South,” said Millard Fuller, Habitat’s founder and president. “We selected three communities for the 2003 build because they are among the first U.S. cities to formally commit to ridding their neighborhoods of substandard housing.”
The 2003 build, which is scheduled for June 8-13, will mark the 19th year for the annual Jimmy Carter Work Project. The former U.S. president and his wife, Rosalynn, have built Habitat houses alongside thousands of volunteers and homeowners during one week each year since 1984. In August 2001, the Carters led 10,000 volunteers to South Korea, where they built 136 houses for families in six cities.
“We have become small players in an exciting global effort to alleviate the curse of homelessness,” President Carter said. “Habitat 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, so they feel very much that they are on an equal level.”
The Jimmy Carter Work Project 2003 is teaming with another Habitat program—The 21st Century Challenge, which calls on cities around the United States to commit to eliminating poverty housing from their communities. The 70 Habitat houses to be built in Anniston, Valdosta and LaGrange will serve as models of the 21st Century program for other cities.
The build in Anniston, Ala., is a homecoming for Habitat’s founder Fuller, who grew up on a farm between Lanett and Lafayette, Ala. After graduating from Auburn University and the University of Alabama Law School, Fuller set up a successful law practice in Montgomery. Fuller later donated his fortune to charity and founded the nonprofit housing ministry in 1976. The Anniston HFH affiliate will build at least 40 new houses during the 2003 work project.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary year, 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 2,000 communities in 83 nations have built and sold more than 100,000 homes to partner families with no-profit, zero-interest mortgages.