Ky. woman recalls Jimmy Carter helping to construct her home
RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) - This President’s Day, many Americans are keeping former President Jimmy Carter top of mind as he entered hospice care this weekend.
The impact President Carter had on the nation is tremendous, but he also left a permanent mark on families in central Kentucky.
Rossetta Salazar vividly remembers the year 1997. Her life was changed forever after Habitat for Humanity blessed her with a new home, and the experience was made even more special when former President Jimmy Carter came to roll up his sleeves and help with the build.
“He was here every single day. He was here from 6 in the morning until they decided to quit when it was almost dark at night,” Rossetta said.
Within a week, what started as an empty plot of land was transformed into Rossetta’s forever home. Rossetta had lived and taken care of her family in the house for the last 25 years.
Rossetta still wears the t-shirt, commemorating the visit, and says about a decade ago; the neighborhood was able to erect a plaque in honor of Carter.
It was a process Rossetta says she’ll never forget and that his visit made a world of difference.
“Well, it was a blessing when he shined his light over here,” Rossetta said. “I do mean a blessing, and his light was shined. There were people who would never come to this neighborhood had they not known President carter was here, and I know that for a fact.”
Rossetta says she makes it a point to send him a birthday card every year.
“I sent him a get-well card this morning, but he is going to be truly missed by a whole lot of people,” Rossetta said.
Rossetta says she never made it to Washington D.C., but shaking the hand of a former president was a once-in-a-lifetime feeling, and now she gets to call this labor of love home every day.
At least two other homes were also built around Rossetta’s. President Carter also helped work on some homes in Berea.
Carter is the longest-living president in U.S. history.
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