Volunteers Treasure Memories of Carter Work Projects

Two long-time Wichita Habitat for Humanity volunteers have some incredible memories of working alongside Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter during  Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Projects. These life-changing Work Projects were created by the Carters in 1984. You can see a timeline and photos here.

Lorrie Beck has volunteered on 12 Carter Work Projects

Lorrie said that Carter always reminded volunteers that he was not the focus of the build. “Our focus was to always be on the Habitat for Humanity homebuyers,” she said. “We were NOT to skip away from the house we were working on to go looking for him so we could snap a picture of him in action! We were to stay dedicated to the purpose of the build: making someone else’s life a little bit better through the construction of a simple, decent, affordable home.”

Lorrie Beck and the team of volunteers at the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project Dedication in Haiti in 2011.

Bill Bauck served on Five Carter Builds

“He always made it a point to talk to every volunteer there,” Bill said. When Bill was in Vac’, Hungary, Carter showed volunteers on his team how to install windows.

Bill’s favorite part of every Carter Work Project was the devotions President Carter shared. “They focused on the need for housing,” he said. Lorrie agreed: “His words were always powerful and uplifting and gave proof of his complete faith in a loving God. ”

Bill Bauck installing windows with former President Carter in Vac’, Hungary.

Wichita Habitat gained a dedicated volunteer, thanks to President Carter

When Bill volunteered on the Carter Work Projects it was arranged through his employer. His company sponsored a home during the Carter Work Projects. But the builds were more than a week or so away from the office for Bill, they were life-changing. “He (Carter) inspired me to get involved with Wichita Habitat,” said Bill, who’s volunteered with us since 2001.

Nothing could slow Carter down

“What I most admired about the Carter Work Projects was President Carter’s steadfast presence and faith,” Lorrie said. “He was at every build, even if it was a multi-city or multi-country build, he and Rosalynn visited every site. He and Rosalynn attended every dedication – even in Nashville when he had had a serious fall the night of the Opening Ceremony, which required a visit to the ER and stitches. He arrived for the Opening Ceremony and he stayed on-site for the entire week. “