ATLANTA (Nov. 19, 2023) — Habitat for Humanity is deeply saddened by the passing of former U.S. first lady Rosalynn Carter, who was a champion and strong voice for affordable, decent housing for all. For more than three decades, she and President Jimmy Carter donated their time and leadership to Habitat each year to build and improve homes around the world. She died peacefully on Sunday at her home in Plains, Georgia, at the age of 96, with family by her side.
“We grieve the loss of Mrs. Carter and our prayers are with President Carter and their family. Mrs. Carter has helped change the lives of thousands of homeowners, empowered countless women and inspired millions of people. Over the years, she has blessed us with her compassion for serving others and commitment to improving housing conditions,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO, Habitat for Humanity International.
“The Carters lent a hand to Habitat for Humanity as a young, fledging organisation and created global awareness of our work and of our mission. We are grateful for the incredible impact she and President Carter have had on Habitat and on the families who have benefited from their shining example.”
After leaving the White House, the Carters planned for meaningful ways to continue their commitment to social justice and basic human rights. Their first volunteer experience with Habitat for Humanity was in March 1984 near their home in Americus, Georgia, where Habitat for Humanity was founded. Later that same year, the Carters joined Habitat volunteers in New York City’s Lower East Side to renovate an abandoned building in partnership with families in need of affordable housing. That marked Habitat for Humanity’s first Jimmy Carter Work Project, which was later renamed to the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project. Since then, President and Mrs. Carter have worked with more than 104,000 volunteers across the U.S. and in 14 countries to build, renovate and repair 4,390 Habitat homes. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has served more than 46 million people around the world.
“At Habitat we are extremely sad to hear about former US first lady Rosalynn Carter’s passing. Through their work, both Rosalynn and President Carter helped thousands of people. Not only were they willing to put their names to good deeds, they actually rolled up their sleeves and did the hard work. Every year they would do a Habitat build, sometimes working in extremely hot and humid conditions, so they could deliver a house for the people that need it most. They always led by example and inspired hundreds of volunteers to follow in their footsteps. We are forever grateful for all the lives they changed.” – Nicole Stanmore, Habitat Australia CEO.
In 2016, Habitat named President and Mrs. Carter as the inaugural Habitat Humanitarians for their extraordinary dedication to service in alignment with Habitat’s vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.
Habitat for Humanity will be celebrating Mrs. Carter’s life of service with local observances. To learn more or to share a tribute, visit habitat.org.