AMERICUS, Ga. - August 8, 2001 - President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura Bush, helped the Evans family build their own modest, affordable home today, Wednesday, Aug. 8, in Waco, Texas, joining heads of state around the globe participating in Habitat for Humanity International's World Leaders Build event.
It was the second time in two months that President Bush volunteered on a crew with Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI). Joining President Bush were federal housing secretary Mel Martinez; Texas Gov. Rick Perry; David Williams, HFHI executive vice president and chief operating officer; Waco Habitat for Humanity Executive Director John Alexander; and local volunteers.
"President and Mrs. Bush worked hard this morning," Williams said. "Together, they showed the power of compassion and a true spirit of volunteerism. With volunteers like them, we can eliminate poverty housing worldwide." At the same time the president was working up a sweat in Waco, White House staff members were testing their carpentry skills at a Habitat build site in Northern Virginia.
"Neighbors helping neighbors. No president should ever take that value for granted," Bush said. "That's why Laura and I are here." said Martinez: "Habitat for Humanity is doing more and more to help people live the American dream."
This week in South Korea, HFHI founder and president Millard Fuller, former President Jimmy Carter, South Korean President Kim Dae Jung and 9,000 volunteers are building 136 homes. The World Leaders Build program has boosted the construction of 1,175 houses globally. President Bush is one of more than 29 current and former heads of state.
When asked how she felt , Gladys Evans said, "I was so excited when I found out he was coming to work on my home. It's a wonderful thing."
Celebrating its 25th Anniversary year, Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing around the world. Founded by Millard Fuller, along with his wife, Linda, Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliates in more than 2,000 communities in 79 nations have built and sold more than 110,000 homes to partner families at no-profit, with zero-interest mortgages.