Remembering Rosalynn: Worker shares how former First Lady inspired many to work with Habitat for Humanity

Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 5:01 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Tributes continue to pour in for the former First Lady. Including at the organization her and former President Jimmy Carter worked closely with.

Rosalynn Carter helped build several homes with the nonprofit, Habitat for Humanity.

Habitat for Humanity called the former First Lady one of their most ardent and dedicated volunteers. The group says she worked on more than 4,400 homes alongside more than 100,000 volunteers.

Many on staff at the Savannah location say Rosalynn Carter was their inspiration.

Coastal Empire Habitat for Humanity development manager Ava Mattox keeps a letter from Rosalynn Carter and former President Jimmy Carter in her office. Mattox received it shortly after beginning her work with the group.

“Congratulating me and welcoming me to Habitat,” Mattox said.

She’s one of several people here who say they were inspired by the former First Lady’s volunteer work across the globe with Habitat for Humanity, helping to build houses for those in need.

“To me, former First Lady Mrs. Carter means kind of seeing the good in the world and knowing that there is hope,” Mattox said. “While homes are what most people see, it’s also bringing the community together and connecting with one another.”

While Rosalynn Carter was known for being a vocal advisor to her husband during his presidency, it was their work outside of the White House that Mattox says motivated her most.

“They were still doing this when they were out of office. So, it does kind of give you, I don’t know if it’s hope, or a vision of people are still coming together and giving each other a hand up,” Mattox said.

As the world remembers Rosalynn, Mattox says her dedication to service and the homes she helped build will live on for years to come.