“Cherry Blossoms” – Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project

“We’ve enjoyed the exciting projects that we’ve had, which Rosa said has been the best way we’ve ever found to show our Christian faith in practice. I know that all of you that [have] helped us…will help us this week,” – Jimmy Carter

Eight months ago, the company I work for released an email encouraging us to submit our name to get a chance to work at a once in a lifetime event for an organization our company exhaustively supports called Habitat for Humanity.  The event involves two special individuals who has been in the public eye.  Their names are Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter. The former U.S President and First Lady are coming up to Canada to build houses for families unable to afford buying homes.  The event also meant celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday.  As a present, the Carters decided to bring the 34th Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project making the cities of Edmonton and Winnipeg  as the main two host sites for such a remarkable event. I decided to throw my name into the hat and didn’t expect to be picked out of hundreds of employees in our company to work for such a prestigious event.

The opening ceremony for the event began on July 9 and while at the ceremony, the event made me think about what it means to volunteer. When life gets overwhelming, we tend to forget there are people less fortunate than us.  Some people don’t have the luxury of owning a home, a car or even buy food because they don’t have enough income.  I have done other volunteer work, but this event was a proud accomplishment for me. Not because it is being hosted by Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, but I am given an opportunity to give back to really make a difference towards a community.  Being picked to work for this event is an absolute honor where I get to spend my day helping a family achieve their goal getting their first home.  I looked around the room humbled and filled with gratitude surrounded by people who made their way to dedicate their personal time to work at this event.  These volunteers didn’t just come from Canada, but they came from all over the world.  The admiration I have for the courageous people that came to work  the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project, Habitat for Humanity are volunteering for the first time and some have been volunteering for the 34th time.

The ceremony was filled with warm praises and gratitude from the guests of honor sharing the experience they received when they arrived.  Mrs. Carter showed her excitement for everyone working the event and said the ceremony program was wonderful, she can’t even stand on one foot.  She thought of Canada’s north was about snow, but talked about a beautiful farm they passed through on the way.  President Carter paid Canada a heartfelt thank you to our Canadian embassy’s involvement rescuing US hostages involved in Iran that happened during his term and the incident brought the two countries together.  The Carters are the epitome of two people achieving so much by giving back to anyone who has very little with such admirable strength, humility and kindness.  I am looking forward of going to work my shift onsite for Habitat for Humanity this Friday, July 14 and represent the Carters.  My steel toe runner shoes are ready to go.

“It is never a duty or an obligation. It is always a blessing to be involved with Habitat for Humanity,” – Rosalynn Carter

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