PLAINS, Ga. (WJBF) — Following the announcement of former President Jimmy Carter’s election to enter home hospice care, people continue to reflect on his life of service.
Representatives from the Carter Center in Atlanta, a nonprofit established by President Carter in 1982, visited his hometown of Plains to bring awareness to the causes he was close to.
Over the past few days, the common themes we keep hearing from people who know President Jimmy Carter include compassion, hard work, service and humility. Now, at 98 years old, Carter is the oldest living former US president.
Many people we spoke to say his popularity soared after his term and continues to help humanity even today with the Carter Center’s efforts.
From Plains to politics, the 39th US president, Jimmy Carter accomplished a lot even after he left the White House.
“It was very humbling to travel with President Carter. we were in awe. He had access to power and resources to influence the world but here he was showing and helping humans and local communities,” said Adam Weiss, Director of the Guinea Worm Eradication Project at the Carter Center.
Dedicated to his faith, Carter led Sunday school services at the Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, built homes for Habitat for Humanity well into his 90s, and authored more than 30 books.
From a state senator to serving as Georgia’s governor, Jimmy Carter was relatively unknown when he entered the White House. He used the train depot in Plains as his campaign headquarters. But many experts say it was his time after the White House that propelled his popularity.
The Carter Center was set up in the 1980s to monitor elections, eradicate disease, and help those who were less fortunate, not only in the US but around the world.
“Growing up in Atlanta you learn a lot of the carter center. After his presidency, he has blossomed for a lot of good around the world,” said Justin Balsam, who previously cooked for the Carters in Atlanta.
Serving one term in Washington, he created a legacy for generations ahead.
“His impact was even bigger than his term in the White House. I think he pushed things like eradication and things like health as a human right. Putting those things on the map for the common person,” Balsam continued.
The Carter Center says in 1986 there were 3.5 million people each year with Guinea worm and last year that number was down to 13.
We reached out to his grandson and as of this morning, there are no major health updates other than that he is resting, recovering and enjoying his time with his loved ones in Plains, Georgia with the support of family and friends.