Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn will be working on one specific house while they’re in Winnipeg to support Habitat for Humanity.
On July 13 and 14 the couple will join volunteers at the construction site on Lyle Street where 21 houses are being built as part of Habitat for Humanity and the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project.
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A total of 25 houses are taking shape in Manitoba as part of a total 150 homes across the country to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary.
For months Todd Gauthier and his daughters Chloie and Carmin had been vising the Winnipeg construction site snapping pictures of what they thought was going to be the house they would purchase through Habitat for Humanity Manitoba.
But a surprise message from Habitat for Humanity revealed that Gauthier’s home will be the one the Carters will help build.
Gauthier was stunned by the realization that he would be working side-by-side on his future home with the former president and his wife.
Global News had cameras rolling as Gauthier watched the video reveal.
“Your house has been designated the Carter House,” Dr. Mark Rodgers, president and CEO or Habitat for Humanity Canada.
“It’s going to be a place of scraped knees and board games at the kitchen table. It’s going to be a place where there’s great joy and great love. In fact when you build your home with the Carters it will be known as the house that love built,” Rodgers said.
“The idea of owning a house is something I’ve dreamed of doing for many years,” Todd Gauthier said.
Before Gauthier began chipping away at the 500 hours of sweat equity required by each Habitat for Humanity partner family, he had already worked on a habitat build site.
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The feeling now is quite different.
“It’s still kind of surreal,” Gauthier said.
The Carter’s visit in July comes 24 years after the former U.S. President visited Winnipeg for his first Habitat build outside the United States.
“It’s very unusual for them to go somewhere they’ve already been so the fact that they’re returning to Winnipeg is a double honour for us,” Sandy Hopkins, CEO Habitat for Humanity Manitoba said.
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While Gauthier’s daughters who are just 9 and 7-years-old, might not grasp the significance of owning a house built by the Carters, their dreams right now are of a place to call their own.