Habitat for Humanity International kicked off its week-long, 35th annual Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Works Project at the University of Notre Dame on Sunday.
Former President Jimmy Carter told hundreds of volunteers, future homeowners and donors with Habitat for Humanity that he never intended to be a part of Habitat for Humanity as long as he’s been. But the 94-year-old Carter says it’s been a profound experience.
“At the end of the Habitat Project, we always feel Rose and I got more out of it than we put into it. It’s been a great blessing to us,” he said.
The Works Project oversees hundreds of volunteers alongside local affiliates during a week long building blitz in alternating national and international locations. St. Joseph County, Indiana was selected this year, in part because it’s home to Leroy Troyer, who has worked with Carter and Habitat for more than 30 years. Troyer was also one of the founding members of the St. Joe County Chapter. Carter says during build weeks, he refers to Troyer as his “boss.”
CEO of Habitat International Jonathan Reckford says Habitat’s goal is to bring attention to housing issues in communities across the country and around the world.
“The principals are the same in all context. The house looks a little bit different if it’s in Cambodia, versus in Manhattan, or if it’s here in Mishawaka,” Reckford said, “But the way that we work with families is incredibly similar.”
Twenty-eight new homes are set to be built in Mishawaka with an additional 17 houses to be remodeled in South Bend during the week.