Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn joined over 1,000 volunteers in Edmonton on Monday for the Habitat for Humanity Carter Work Project.
The Carters are travelling across Canada this summer to help build 150 homes for Canada’s 150th anniversary of confederation.
Country stars Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood were also on site at the Edmonton build on Monday.
“You feel better when you leave than you did when you got here, no matter how tired you are,” Brooks said. “It’s awesome.”
Watch below: Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood explain why they continue to volunteer with Habitat
The 39th president of the United States — who will turn 93 in October — said working with Habitat for Humanity is always rewarding.
“We get more out of it than we put into it,” he said. “We’ve been married three days plus 71 years… Habitat brings us together.”
“One day I asked Jimmy: ‘When are we going to retire?’ and he said: ‘What are we going to do? Just sit here and do nothing?'” Rosalynn said.
The Carters will be focusing their efforts in Edmonton and Winnipeg, but the Carter Work Project will be a Canada-wide effort, with almost 50 communities in every province and territory helping to reach the goal of building 150 homes.
This is the biggest building project ever for Habitat for Humanity. In the Capital Region, 75 Habitat homes will be built in the Laurel neighbourhood in southeast Edmonton and Fort Saskatchewan.
The province is providing $4.1 million to partially fund the project while the City of Edmonton is donating land for 58 of the houses. The development will ultimately be named Carter Place, in honour of the former president.
“The homeowners are chosen entirely by the local affiliates so in the Edmonton area,” Carter said. “We do require — on a worldwide basis — that the homeowners put in at least 500 hours of work on their own home or on their neighbours’ homes and that they pay full price for the house.
“We don’t give away anything except love and care and concern for them. We try, here in Edmonton, to make sure that none of the families have to pay more than 25 per cent of their annual income on their home mortgage.”
Watch below: A closer look at the Carter Work Project, which spans two communities
The project will run from July 9 to 14, with closing ceremonies taking place in Winnipeg.