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Rosalynn Carter Wall Raising Tribute

On Saturday, December 16, 2023, more than 100 volunteers came together to raise the walls of seven (7) homes to honor the life and legacy of an American first lady and one of Habitat’s most devoted volunteers: Rosalynn Carter and her selfless dedication to Habitat for Humanity’s mission.

When former first lady Rosalynn Carter volunteered at her first build in 1984, she was sure she wouldn’t be much of a handywoman.  “I told Jimmy that I would help with the food, that I was not going to do hammering,” she said. But that’s not what the day had in store for her. Rosalynn said, “Jimmy asked me and some other women to pry up some linoleum from the floor. Just before we finished, somebody brought some boards for us to nail down. The first day, I was hammering.”

Rosalynn Carter led, and role modeled, a life of compassion and grace. She possessed a heart filled with the desire to help others. And a faith that drove her to pick up a hammer and help build a better world. Rosalynn believed, “This is something that brings together people who have everything they need and those who don’t have so many things we take for granted.”

Her ever-deepening commitment to Habitat would go on to change her life, as well as the lives of thousands of homeowners across the globe. “You come to know the homeowner and love the homeowner and their family. It makes you aware and care about the people and hope they have good lives and good homes. It has made me a better person.” Said the former first lady.  She was always seeking the chance to speak, with trademark quiet kindness, to the real people and families who found themselves living inside the very issues that she was working so hard to address. Gracious, elegant, fiercely passionate about helping others and unafraid to tackle any new task, Mrs. Carter set an example for so many to emulate.

Together the Carters donated their time and voices to help Habitat build alongside families across the globe. They traveled 167,279 miles worldwide, building with future homeowners and fellow Carter Work Project volunteers and raising awareness for Habitat’s mission.

The Carter Work Project has touched lives around the world by:

  • Helping build, repair and rehabilitate 4,417 houses.
  • Working alongside 106,100 volunteers.
  • Building in 14 countries.

We draw strength from her unshakeable belief that, together, we could — and should — make this a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Her impact was unmistakable. “Mrs. Carter’s leadership and actions resonated throughout the globe, shaping the lives of countless as a leading advocate housing for all and support of humanity in its truest form. We remain inspired by her vision and tenacity and carry forward her life of purpose to make homeownership possible.”  said Charlie Buchanan, Habitat Tucson CEO.

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