Alabama Not Just Football: 30 Amazing People Who Were Built By Bama

24 of 30

Embed from Getty Images

Millard Fuller

Millard Fuller was the founder and former president of Habitat for Humanity International. He was also a 1960 graduate of the University Of Alabama School Of Law.

A successful businessman, Fuller was a self-made millionaire in his twenties. In 1968, he and his wife gave up their wealth to focus on Christian service. They moved to Koinonia Farm, a farming community in south Georgia. The farm soon expanded and became Koinonia Partners as the community took on more projects.

One major project was partnership housing, based on Fuller’s belief that in most cases poverty could be better served by capital than by charity. They established a donation-based “Fund for Humanity,” which would be used to purchase materials for volunteer laborers to construct simple homes. The families who moved into the homes would repay the fund at 0% interest, and those payments could be used to construct more homes.

In 1973, the Fullers moved to Zaire to implement their partnership housing principles in Mbandaka, a poor city in western Zaire. A 100-house development was built in the center of the city and sold to families using the Fund for Humanity. In 1976, Millard Fuller and his family returned to the United States.

The first Habitat for Humanity projects were in San Antonio, Texas. The projects were successful and the concept quickly took hold in the impoverished Appalachian region. By 1981, Habitat had affiliates in 14 states. In 1984, Habitat for Humanity gained the support of former President Jimmy Carter. He would become the organization’s most valuable volunteer, contributing capital and hours.

In 1996, President Bill Clinton presented Millard Fuller with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Millard Fuller died in 2009, but Habitat for Humanity continues his work throughout the world.

Next: Kirani