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Star-studded start to Day 1 of Habitat's Carter Work Project

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The rain made for a soggy start to the Habitat for Humanity build in north Nashville on Monday.

Former President Jimmy Carter and wife Rosalynn are in the Music City with the goal of building nearly two dozen homes in one week.

Great progress was made on Monday despite the soggy start.

The homes started out as slabs of concrete. At the end of the first day, the walls are up on the new homes.

Volunteers and future homeowners will be finishing 21 homes in five days.

A rainy day kicked off the Habitat for Humanity build in north Nashville on Monday. Jimmy Carter was in Music City with a crew to build nearly two dozen homes in a week.

Volunteers started the day with a devotion given by Carter.

The project is named for he and his wife, who have bene volunteering with Habitat for Humanity for decades.

It’s especially poignant to see them out working on Monday, in part because the president took a fall at his Plains, GA, home on Sunday morning, leaving him with quite the shiner.

“Yesterday I fell at my home, but I still feel good enough to build homes,” said President Carter.

President Carter is the oldest living president, turning 95 on Oct. 1. His age is not slowing him down.

He’s also joined by some other big name support.

Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood are big supporters for Habitat for Humanity and were out building on Monday. They have supported Habitat for Humanity for more than a decade.

“For us, they’re an example of the human beings we want to be, the husband and wife we want to be. The Christians we want to be,” said Yearwood.

Brooks said this particular build holds a special place in his heart.

“It’s cool to see people coming to this town. They’re coming to the city of love,” said Brooks. “Of all the Habitat builds, this one is my favorite because I’m sleeping in my own bed.”

Country music star Eric Paslay, who has been joined by his wife on the build site, opened the day with a song.

Music is a constant theme all week, what Habitat is calling a love letter to President Carter, who is a big fan of music.

The couple even surprised News4’s Shelby Sansone during a live shot on News4 at Noon.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and First Lady Maria Lee also participated in the build on Monday. For Maria Lee, it’s her third Habitat home build in six months.

At the end of the day, the Stratford High School marching band led the volunteers in style, giving everyone a celebratory feeling after a long and messy day.

The build site was filled with hundreds of volunteers hared at work. They didn’t mind the rain or the mud, the motivation was too strong.

“Just working with the homeowners and the other volunteers,” said volunteer Mike Hosey. “It’s hard work, but as my dad always said, hard work isn’t a problem, having to work is a problem. I don’t have to be here, but I love the hard work.” is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, 4WARN weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from News4 Nashville.

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Tracy Kornet is an award-winning anchor, host and writer. She joined News4 in September 2014.

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