Our Better Angels: New book by Habitat for Humanity CEO presents seven virtues that will change your life and the world

Book inspired by Habitat’s work includes moving foreword from former President Jimmy Carter

NASHVILLE (Oct. 8, 2019) — Kindness, community, empowerment, joy, respect, generosity and service. Those are the seven simple virtues that Our Better Angels — a new book by Habitat for Humanity International CEO Jonathan Reckford — tells us can change our lives and the world. The book, published today by St. Martin’s Essentials, is inspired by stories Reckford has seen and heard in his 14 years leading the world’s leading housing nonprofit.

Jonathan Reckford sitting in wood framed house holding Our Better Angels book.

Habitat for Humanity International CEO Jonathan Reckford, pictured here at a Habitat build site in Atlanta, authored Our Better Angels, available for purchase today. Additional photos for media use are available online.

The book was inspired by an essay written by Jimmy Carter following Hurricane Harvey in which the former president called on us to seek out our better angels in turbulent times. President Carter provides a moving foreword to the book.

“Rosalynn and I have always believed in doing whatever we can for as long as we can to help those around us and to change this world for the better,” President Carter wrote. “One of the ways we’ve been able to do that most consistently has been through our involvement with Habitat for Humanity. This book is full of the kind of transformative stories that we’ve seen again and again in our more than 35 years of building with them around the world.”

Our Better Angels book cover.

During his time as CEO of the leading global housing nonprofit, Reckford has seen firsthand how simple acts have the power to change lives around the world. Reckford presents the seven virtues and shares uplifting stories to inspire hope and change within people and their communities. The stories in Our Better Angels will resonate with a wide spectrum of readers who are yearning for compassion and community in a time of division and divisiveness.

“In a world that is divided and disconnected — where so many are struggling with problems seen and unseen — these virtues answer the question of what we owe each other,” Reckford said. “This book helps readers find their own better angels and then go out to make their neighborhood, community or workplace a brighter place.”

Reckford’s proceeds from Our Better Angels will go directly to Habitat for Humanity to support its work in the United States and around the world.

For more information or to purchase the book, visit habitat.org/betterangels.

Praise for Our Better Angels

Our Better Angels brings to light the basic virtues of kindness, generosity, respect, empowerment, community, joy and service that we all have within us. We are grateful to Jonathan Reckford for sharing such moving stories about transformation, and for showing how easy it is for all of us to choose to help and strengthen others, rather than to hurt and weaken them. This book is for humanity: Read it whether you’re a kid, a grandparent or anyone in between. It will spark an instant realization of how even the smallest acts of kindness or respect can fundamentally change someone’s path for the better.” – Drew and Jonathan Scott, The Property Brothers

“It has been our honor to work with Habitat for Humanity and see these seven virtues in practice. When we look outside of ourselves, we experience a glimpse of who we can be. Jonathan’s book reminds us to love one another. Amazing things happen when we do!” – Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks

About Jonathan Reckford

Jonathan Reckford has served as chief executive officer for Habitat for Humanity International since 2005. Under his leadership, the global housing organization has grown from serving 125,000 individuals per year to more than 8.7 million people in 2018 alone. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Reckford earned his MBA from Stanford and went on to managerial positions at various Fortune 500 companies. Reckford also served as executive pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Edina, Minnesota. In 2017, Reckford was named Influencer of the Year by The NonProfit Times.

About Habitat for Humanity

Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity began in 1976 as a grassroots effort on a community farm in southern Georgia. The Christian housing organization has since grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in more than 70 countries. Families and individuals in need of a hand up partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit habitat.org.