Rosalynn Carter's Caregiving Award

A friend invited me to the Carter Center's Winter Weekend which was held in Florida in February.  I was able to meet former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, and learn about all the work they both continue to do to try to make the world a better place for the rest of us.  President Carter decided he did not want to profit personally from his presidency (he would have been able to make millions by giving speeches, but he didn't go down that road).  He instead created the Carter Center which focuses on advancing human rights and alleviating unnecessary human suffering.  The Carter Center has nearly eliminated the guinea worm and river blindness in Africa and Latin America  - these are both conditions that can be prevented just by educational initiatives but had been overlooked by others.

President Carter also writes at least one book a year.  My Dad just sent me President Carter's most recent book, titled "A Remarkable Mother", about Lillian Carter.  She was a Registered Nurse and after her husband died, she invented a new life for herself.  She joined the Peace Corps at age 68 (she saw a TV commercial advertising "Age is No Barrier" and applied).  Then she worked as a housemother for the K.A. fraternity at Auburn University and later helped friends open a nursing home in Blakely, Georgia.  She kept on living life - and working - long after she was old enough to collect Social Security. 

Lillian discovered she had breast cancer which had spread to her pancreas in the summer of 1983 and passed away in October of that year.  She was fortunate to not have a long battle with the disease, and also fortunate to have a daughter-in-law who served as an advocate for caregivers.

Rosalynn Carter adopted caregiving as her initiative while at the White House and has continued to be a supporter of the needs of caregivers (she has written a few books, too, including some on caregiving).

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2008 Rosalynn Carter Caregiving Award.

Here is the scoop:

The purpose of the award is to recognize leadership in implementing innovative and creative partnerships between community agencies and caregiving researchers that bridge the gap between science and practice. The partnerships reflect best practices in providing effective caregiver supports to professional, family, and volunteer caregivers.

The award winning team will be announced at the RCI's Annual Conference, October 23 and 24, in Americus, Georgia.

First Lady Rosalynn Carter will present the team with a cash award of $20,000, to support efforts in implementing effective caregiver interventions at the community level.

For more information, visit:


Comments (3) -

  • kathi

    6/12/2008 11:59:17 AM | Reply

    This couple has been working tirelessly to make our world a better place.  What an admirable job they've done since they left the public sphere.  They are true "public servants."  And how timely is this award!  With the millions of babyboomers on the horizon, we surely need some innovative ideas on caregiving.  This website is a good start!

  • Jeanne Behncke

    6/15/2008 6:40:16 PM | Reply

    Jimmy Carter ends his book, Living Faith, by saying, "As we expand our lives and do things that are challenging, innovative, and unpredictable, we can know what it means to be filled with joy and peace that passes understanding.
    A few times in life, a "good and lovely" adventure wouldn't hurt."
    Too often as people age they become so absorbed in themselves and their maladies that they make that their whole life.  It is only when we forget about ourselves and help others around us who are in need that we are able to really feel a sense of accomplishment and a reason for living.
    As Rick Warren states in his book, The Purpose Driven Life, "You were put here on this earth to make a contribution.  You were created to add to life on earth, not just take from it."
    Certainly the Carters are doing that and we should all realize that service is the pathway to real significance!

  • Carol D. O'Dell

    6/17/2008 5:31:00 PM | Reply

    What an honor it must have been to meet the Carters!
    They inspire me to give more, do more, make my corner of the globe a brighter place.
    Rosalyn's dedication to caregiving "before caregiving was cool" and her continued dedication to this cause is not only admirable but necessary in order to achieve reachable goals for better care and resources to families and communities who are in need.

    ~Carol D. O'Dell
    Author of Mothering Mother: A Daughter's Humorous and Heartbreaking Memoir
    available on Amazon


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