Annual weeklong ‘Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project’ kicks off on World Habitat Day in October

ATLANTA (April 13, 2010) — Habitat for Humanity’s 27th annual “Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project” will kick off a week of building, rehabilitating and repairing homes. Build activities begin on World Habitat Day, Oct. 4, as part of a worldwide effort to highlight the need for stable communities and healthy housing.
“Rosalynn and I are pleased to join Habitat for Humanity volunteers in six communities this year to help raise walls on new homes and improve existing housing,” said President Carter. “More than 75 homeowners will realize new or improved housing conditions as a result of this week.”
The Carters will work with volunteers in Washington, D.C.; Baltimore and Annapolis, Md.; Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn.; and Birmingham, Ala. In each location, volunteers will participate in a combination of building new houses and improving existing homes.
This year’s Habitat for Humanity Carter Work Project is in conjunction with the United Nation’s World Habitat Day. Annually, on the first Monday of October, people around the world join together to advocate for the need and importance of housing and to exchange ideas. This year, Habitat will highlight the needs of communities in recovery in the United States and will focus on the critical link between health and housing overseas. As part of its awareness-raising emphasis, Habitat for Humanity International is expanding its 2010 World Habitat Day into weeklong events.
“Habitat for Humanity and its partners will increase our efforts to help struggling communities both in the United States and around the world so that even more families have an opportunity to live in decent homes,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “We are grateful that the Carters and volunteers are joining us in this important work. Whether we are building new houses, or rehabilitating and repairing existing structures, we want to find the best way to make a significant and positive local impact.”
To achieve this, Habitat for Humanity’s new “Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative” aims to support local Habitat affiliates to serve more families by responding to community needs with an expanded array of products as part of community development that enhances quality of life. Habitat affiliates and their partners will decide on the work carried out locally, but the initiative’s services may include new house construction, rehabilitation of vacant properties (including foreclosed properties), house repairs for existing low-income homeowners, weatherization to make houses more energy-efficient and affordable, and community planning partnerships to ensure more services are available to further stabilize communities.
“Since Habitat’s founding, we have been rehabilitating and repairing homes in our efforts to serve families,” said Reckford. “However, for us to make an even deeper impact on neighborhoods across the country, we want to partner with other groups to improve communities that are facing a number of challenges.”
Along these same lines, Habitat for Humanity’s Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project for 27 years has been a catalyst for increasing the work being done in local communities and empowering people to bring hope, stability and housing solutions.
President and Mrs. Carter are Habitat for Humanity’s most famous volunteers and give a week of their time each year to help Habitat build, renovate or repair homes and raise awareness about the need for affordable and decent housing. Similar to Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, the Carters joined Habitat for Humanity in 1984 to help renovate a decaying building in New York City’s Lower East Side. Today, the building is part of a thriving, reinvigorated and dynamic community. Since that first build, the Carters and thousands of volunteers have worked with Habitat for Humanity across the United States and in Mexico, Canada, Hungary, South Africa, South Korea, India, the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, China, Laos and Vietnam.

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