DENVER (CBS4)– Former President Jimmy Carter picked up a hammer, screwdriver and power saw on Wednesday as he helped complete Habitat for Humanity homes in Denver.
Carter was joined by his wife, former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, as well as country music superstars Garth Brooks and his wife Trisha Yearwood.
“If I had my dream I just wish that Habitat would no longer be necessary 30 years from now and that the federal government in all countries and state and local people would take that responsibility as one of the primary goals in life in meeting people’s basic human rights,” said Carter.
Hundreds of other volunteers joined them on the job site where 11 new town homes are being built.
The location for the newest Habitat for Humanity homes in Denver is the Globeville neighborhood located off 51st and Sherman. In addition to building the new homes they will also help repair more than a dozen others.
Brooks and Yearwood have been helping build homes for the charity for the past eight years.
“This is all about love, you know. When you actually get out here and swing a hammer or use your drill or frame a wall. It’s a wonderful feeling and I’m working right alongside the homeowner which is what we do, so they’re taking pride in building their own home. It just makes you feel good,” said Yearwood.
“It’s just another form of love. Another form but it doesn’t matter as long as we have good, safe housing in whatever shape it comes in,” said Brooks.
“I’m so happy that this is being done for us. I never dreamed of getting a house like this,” said Patrick, who is helping build his own home.
Patrick and his wife Charity will soon be first-time homeowners. The couple emigrated from Ghana two years ago with their three children.
“We cannot wait to go into this house,” Patrick said.
“This is not a giveaway program,” Heather Lafferty with Habitat for Humanity said. “Families have to work hard. They do at least 200 hours of sweat equity.”
Lafferty says 2,000 volunteers are getting their hands dirty this week.
“We take people with no skills, lots of skills, whatever,” she said.
“This will be the first year in which Habitat has built 100,000 homes,” Carter said.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock was also among the volunteers.
All of the homes are expected to be completed by the end of the week and families should be able to move in in early December.
Each year since 1984 the Carters have spent a week working on Habitat projects around the world.