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Habitat for Humanity of Durham honors former first lady Rosalynn Carter

November 30, 2023

Habitat for Humanity of Durham, along with the global Habitat for Humanity community, is deeply saddened by the passing of former U.S. first lady Rosalynn Carter, who was a champion and strong voice for affordable, decent housing for all. For more than three decades, she and President Jimmy Carter donated their time and leadership to Habitat each year to build and improve homes around the world. She died peacefully on November 19 at her home in Plains, Georgia, at the age of 96, with family by her side.

In honor and remembrance of Mrs. Carter, Durham Habitat will host a wall raising ceremony on Friday, December 8. The gathering will take place at the construction site of a future Durham Habitat home at 825 S Alston Ave. Community members are invited to join us in celebration of her positive spirit and fierce determination to improve housing conditions around the world.

“We grieve the loss of Mrs. Carter and our prayers are with President Carter and their family. Mrs. Carter has helped change the lives of thousands of homeowners, empowered countless women and inspired millions of people. Over the years, she has blessed us with her compassion for serving others and commitment to improving housing conditions,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO, Habitat for Humanity International. “The Carters lent a hand to Habitat for Humanity as a young, fledging organization and created global awareness of our work and of our mission. We are grateful for the incredible impact she and President Carter have had on Habitat and on the families who have benefited from their shining example.”

After leaving the White House, the Carters planned for meaningful ways to continue their commitment to social justice and basic human rights. Their first volunteer experience with Habitat for Humanity was in March 1984 near their home in Americus, Georgia, where Habitat for Humanity was founded. Later that same year, the Carters joined Habitat volunteers in New York City’s Lower East Side to renovate an abandoned building in partnership with families in need of affordable housing. That marked Habitat for Humanity’s first Jimmy Carter Work Project, which was later renamed to the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project. Since then, President and Mrs. Carter have worked more than 104,000 volunteers across the U.S. and in 14countries to build, renovate and repair 4,390 Habitat homes. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has served more than 46 million people around the world.

In 2016, Habitat named President and Mrs. Carter as the inaugural Habitat Humanitarians for their extraordinary dedication to service in alignment with Habitat’s vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.