ABOUT THE BOOK
Everyone has heard of Habitat for Humanity, the faith-based housing initiative that has built homes for more than a million of the world’s poor. Many are familiar with its founders, Millard and Linda Fuller. But few know the amazing love story behind the movement—a story that began accidentally and will conclude in a world forever changed by its impact.
By age 29, Millard Fuller was a self-made millionaire. But that success came at a cost. He never took a family vacation, had kids he barely knew, and a lonely wife who was about to leave him. Ultimately, realizing that he was about to lose what really mattered, Fuller reconciled with his wife and rearranged his priorities.
In 1965, the Fullers gave away their personal fortune and dedicated their lives to serving others, eventually founding Habitat for Humanity in 1976. In this capacity, the Fullers traveled the globe, receiving the praise of prime ministers and presidents, sharing meals with prisoners, and appealing for funds and volunteers. More important than any accolade or award were the homes they built and the hope they gave. The Fullers have done more for the cause of housing the poor than any other couple in history.
Eventually, a struggle for the reins of the most beloved nonprofit of our times would result in the firing of Millard and Linda by Habitat International’s board of directors. This certainly didn’t mean the end to their vision—the Fullers would rebound, continuing to support local Habitat affiliates and beginning The Fuller Center for Housing, determined to pursue their dream of building for people everywhere simple, decent places to live.
It was my honor as President of the United States in 1996 to present Millard Fuller with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, our country’s highest civilian award. Millard and Linda Fuller have changed philanthropy. Instead of just asking for money, they asked people to swing a hammer. In so doing, they have built countless houses, strengthened communities, and empowered people of modest means to literally build a better future. This important book chronicles their remarkable quest to make a difference, one home at a time. —William Jefferson Clinton, 42nd President of the United States
Over the past thirty years, my life has intersected with the Fullers as far back as Civil Rights days in the South and continuing through other significant junctures. I have followed with admiration as Linda and Millard expressed their love for God, each other, and humankind by creating Habitat for Humanity, an organization one of my own daughters was privileged to work with in Africa for a period of time. This comprehensive story of the Fullers is, indeed, a book whose time has come . . . to inspire more of us to give our all. —The Honorable Andrew Young, former Ambassador to the United Nations
Millard and Linda Fuller have changed neighborhoods, changed attitudes, and, most significantly, changed countless lives. None of us who were part of the Renaissance Weekend 2000 Habitat Blitz Build will ever forget Millard’s sunrise dedication of what had been constructed in five days, America’s first new house of the new millennium. Like that house, the Fullers’ lives are testimony to the power of conviction, tenacity, and friendship. —Philip Lader, Attorney, Charleston, SC; Former U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s
Bettie Youngs’s book is a wonderful adventure with Millard and Linda Fuller. It richly tells the story of how love between two souls turned into a mission filled with love, a mission which has built homes for those in need throughout the world. We can all learn from this tale and thus enrich our lives and the lives of those around us. Enjoy this truly amazing story. —Neil Shulman, MD, Author, Doc Hollywood; Associate Professor, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA
Among the distilled wisdom in the Old Testament Book of Proverbs are these words that describe the life of Millard Fuller: “Without vision, the people perish.” Visionary leadership is the antidote for the apathy of our world! It is the quality for which our world is starving. Millard Fuller is a man of great vision who does not believe in the word “can’t.” He believes that ALL THINGS are possible to those who believe. But visionaries are not always appreciated in their own time. So when Millard and his wife Linda started Habitat for Humanity, many called them foolish. But their vision inspired people of all ages to imagine a world where all human beings would have the dignity of having a roof over their heads. I have built Habitat homes with Millard and Linda and have seen firsthand the life-transforming power of their vision. I encourage you to read this poignant and inspiring story of a couple who dares to take incredible risks to follow their dreams and make them a reality. —Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, former U.S. Ambassador to Finland; Former Board Member, Habitat for Humanity International; Chair, American Red Cross
Millard and Linda Fuller are two of the most inspiring people I have ever met . . . inspiring in what they say and in the way they have lived their lives. Their ministry of providing decent housing for poor families around the world for over thirty years is a story that needs to be heard—and understood. This book spares no detail in telling that remarkable, historical story. —William V. Muse, former President, Auburn University, Auburn, AL