40 Years of Impact: The Carters and Habitat Denver

Most people believe that former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn are the founders of Habitat for Humanity. However, the Carter’s didn’t get involved with Habitat until March of 1984. Since then, they have become some of the largest fundraisers and most notorious spokespeople for our organization.

The Carter’s first visit to Denver was during 1988. Smiles flooded the faces of five partner families as Carter came and congratulated them during their home dedications on South Irving Street. One homeowner explained that their Habitat development has turned into ‘one big family’ in that they all get along very well together and help each other. For a moment, Carter thought that all 15 family members there were related, but he enjoyed the laugh after the situation was explained to him. “Habitat Denver has successfully removed the stigma of charity by substituting it with a sense of partnership,” shared Carter.

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter are also involved in actual homebuilding as well, hosting their annual Carter Work Project in a different location around the world every year. The first build was in in September of 1988 when the Carters led a Habitat work group to New York, serving 19 families in need of safe, affordable housing.

In 2013 Habitat Metro Denver hosted the Carter Work Project and in just five days more than 2,000 people built 11 new and repaired 15 existing homes in Denver’s Globeville neighborhood. The Carter’s are still staying busy with their next project being hosted in Nashville, Tennessee, in October 2019.

President Carters’s Letter of Support 1984

Dear Friends,

My wife Rosalynn and I have received numerous invitations to become involved in many fine organizations. We have chosen to join Habitat for humanity, and I want to tell you why.

Habitat seeks to help people to help themselves. It is not a hand out. Simple, decent houses are built and sold at no profit and no interest to needy families. They are then challenged to faithfully make no payments to return the original capital and, furthermore, to go beyond that requirement to help others as others have helped them.

Habitat is largely run by volunteers. It is a people-to-people work and gives volunteers an opportunity to do “hands-on” Christian service. I have worked on the building crew in Americus. It is a great feeling to make a difference with your own hands.

Habitat is totally interdenominational, supported by Christians of all persuasions.

Habitat is an idea that is incredibly timely and urgently needed in many areas of our own country and in much of the rest of the world.

I have accepted membership on the Habitat Board of Directors; Rosalynn is on the Board of Advisors. Both of us totally believe in what Habitat for Humanity is all about. I urge you to learn more about this new venture of faith and to become involved, too. We need you!

In Christian Concern,

Jimmy Carter