Thank you, Mrs. Carter

November 19, 2023

Habitat-Carter Photo 12 - 2008 - Biloxi, Mississippi

Our Habitat for Humanity family has lost one of our most avid volunteers and advocates today, with the passing of former First Lady Rosalynn Carter.

10599969534_12aa3d8692_oHabitat East Bay/Silicon Valley was the proud host of the 2013 Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project. When the First Lady worked at our construction sites in Oakland and San Jose, you could not have guessed that she was once dubious about the idea. Her first volunteer day with Habitat was in 1984, and she is quoted as saying, “I told Jimmy that I would help with the food, that I was not going to do hammering.” By day’s end, however, she indeed found herself wielding a hammer – as she would many times thereafter as she volunteered alongside the President and more than 104,000 other Habitat volunteers and homeowners in 14 countries, on 4,390 homes.

Rosalynn Carter was more than one of Habitat’s most passionate volunteers, andHabitat-Carter Photo 42 - 2019 - St. Joseph County, Indiana more than a First Lady – first in Georgia and then in the White House. She was a tireless advocate on a range of humanitarian issues, with a particular focus on mental health. After she and her husband left the White House in 1981, they went on to found The Carter Center, through which she worked for decades to champion important causes worldwide. She was a mother of four, a grandmother and great-grandmother, a deacon, a writer, a board member, and more.

“Meeting and working with First Lady Rosalynn Carter will always be one of the highlights of my life,” said Janice Jensen, President and CEO of Habitat East Bay/Silicon Valley. “As a woman, a humanitarian, a volunteer, an advocate, a prominent thinker – Mrs. Carter was a genuine inspiration to me, and I feel we are all blessed for her example.”

Rosalynn Carter once said of volunteering with Habitat, “It has made me a better person.” While it is hard to imagine that of someone who has led such an exemplary life – we at Habitat are grateful to have had her at the forefront of our movement for nearly 40 years.

Please join us as we mourn, and as we send wishes of love and courage to the Carter family in their grief.

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