Melinda Gates presented the award, along with a short video about the Carters.
“For almost a century now, from their childhood homes in Plains, Georgia, to the White House in Washington, through the roughly 4,000 homes they’ve built for the needy with their bare hands, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter have shared their hearts. Not just with each other, but with the world,” Melinda Gates said.
Alexander said the Carters have shared their own health challenges this year with the public, “and they did so typically with straightforward honesty. And in doing so, they offered us one more lesson in dignity and grace. Tonight they are exactly where they want to be, together at home in Plains, Georgia.”
His family announced in February that Carter had decided to enter hospice care at home. In May, the Carter Center said Mrs. Carter has dementia. She has spent decades tirelessly advocating to address mental health issues and to remove the stigma around related illnesses.
Alexander invited the audience to help celebrate Carter’s upcoming birthday on Oct. 1. He will turn 99. The Carter Center website is accepting photos and birthday wishes that will be used to create a birthday mosaic. She said Carter is seeing the greetings as they are posted online.