Habitat’s Carter Work Project in Bay Area Begins!


president-jimmy-carter-rosalyn-carter-work-project-habitat-for-humanity-east-bay-silicon-valleyThis morning marks the beginning of the 30th anniversary Carter Work Project (CWP), Habitat for Humanity’s annual large-scale volunteer event, and I am ready for the roller coaster ride about to launch here in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I volunteered to be a “Social Media Volunteer” in San Jose for the week-long service event. Mostly I’ll be doing what I always do as a journalist, interviewing people, taking photos, and writing stories, only on the fly around San Jose. I’ll also be sending bits of content to the people in charge of Habitat’s media for tweets and other social media posts throughout each day.

I’ve wanted to be a volunteer for the CWP for more than 20 years, but family, work, finances, and distance have all been a factor in not signing up. The special service and fundraising event is held in a different location every year, in the U.S. and abroad. When I heard this past spring that the CWP was coming to the Bay Area, I jumped at the chance to help.

One underlying reason why I’ve wanted to volunteer for a CWP is that my family and I have been fans and supporters of Habitat for Humanity since the late 1980s. Like Habitat, we believe a decent place to live is a basic human right. In addition, I’ve been intrigued by the idea of being a part of a massive concentrated service project. Today 20-plus years of “gee I’d like to be a part of that” turn into a reality.

President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn kicked off the week at a gala event in Oakland last night, and this morning the two are working at the Brookfield Court Development, a project of Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley. They are being joined by hundreds of volunteers there, while hundreds more are starting work here in San Jose. I’ll be chasing around those volunteers all day, as well as interviewing some of the families that will be helped by the Carters when they come to San Jose on Tuesday.

After working in San Jose, Carter, 89, and his wife, 86, fly to Denver for projects there, and finally to New York City, where the CWP first took place 30 years ago.

My goal is to blog here each evening about the day’s events. They may be short posts; today and tomorrow my day starts at 6:30 a.m., giving a hand at the registration booth. I’ll also try to tweet and post to Facebook at times throughout the day. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.