MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn are not afraid of a little hard work.
Despite battling cancer, the 91-year-old former president is focused on housing equality throughout the United States. He jumped right in on a Habitat for Humanity build for a single mother in Memphis on Monday.
New homeowner Arlicia Gilliams, 25, could not believe President Jimmy Carter was coming to help build her house.
“Stop playing! But the twinkles in their eyes said, ‘You truly ... you're not pulling my leg, you're not pulling my leg at all, this is really happening,’” she said.
As Habitat for Humanity's most well-known volunteer, Carter is also one of the most dedicated.
“I think a basic human right for every human being no matter where they live on Earth is to have a decent place to live,” said Carter.
Traveling the world, he and his wife Rosalynn have worked tirelessly to make a difference through Habitat for Humanity.
“Those poor people are just as smart as I am,” he said. “And their family values are just as good as mine, and they're just as ambitious, they just need a chance.
A chance he'll continue to fight for. He was diagnosed with cancer in April, but even after surgery and continued treatment, he says he'll keep fighting.
“As long as I feel good and I'm able, I want to continue on as I always have,” Carter said.
“Maybe slack off a little bit, I'm a little weak after I get a treatment but I feel fine.”
And to the Carters, it's worth the time, and the effort, and the travel to give someone else the opportunity of a lifetime.
It was announced on Monday that Memphis will be the site of Habitat for Humanity’s 2016 Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project. It will take place in the city’s Uptown neighborhood, Aug. 21-27, 2016. They'll take part in building 21 homes in that project.