SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - A Habitat for Humanity chapter in South Mississippi is offering prayers of support for former President Jimmy Carter, who has done so much to support the organization over the last three decades. On Thursday, the 90-year-old shared details of his cancer diagnosis.
Habitat for Humanity Mississippi Gulf Coast officials says they're grateful to Carter for being a champion of human rights, including the right to decent, affordable housing.
"One of the things he really promoted and one of the things I think why he really appreciated Habitat was that it really fought against the stigma of charity," said Chris Monforton, CEO. "We weren't just giving homes away. The families were working side by side with President Carter or any other volunteer."
For nearly 40 years, volunteers with Habitat for Humanity has helped build houses for families who otherwise couldn't afford to be homeowners. In 1984, Carter became a volunteer and Habitat's most vocal supporter.
Since Hurricane Katrina, Carter has made three trips to South Mississippi, the last time being in 2008.
"President Carter has been this amazing champion for all sorts of human rights issues, but particularly with Habitat, he has brought focused attention to housing needs in the different communities that he works with," said Monforton. "He's very humble, and one of the things that I absolutely respect about him is that he is the same person every time you talk to him. That character and morals and his beliefs, they don't waiver."
As Carter prepares to start his cancer treatment, those at Habitat want him to know he is in their thoughts.
"First and foremost, our hearts and our prayers go out to President and Mrs. Carter," said Monforton. "It's heartening to hear him say that he is accepting of his prognosis. Watching him on TV, it doesn't seem like it's changed him. He epitomizes this humble spirit of servant leadership."
The former president says he's going to cut back on some of his international humanitarian work.