Linda Fuller still swings a hammer like she did in 1968 when she started building homes in southwest Georgia.
She can't move as fast as she used to or do heavy lifting. Arthritis has set in.
But she still swings.
Though Fuller, co-founder of Habitat for Humanity International and the Fuller Center for Housing, turned 75 in February, Fuller Center partners, volunteers and supporters will be celebrating her the entire year by working on homes and raising money for new projects.
About 65 volunteers are set to participate in a "Lind-A-Hand" build Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 983 Matthews Drive.
Lunch will be served at noon, and those gathered will sing "Happy Birthday" -- with a cake -- to honor Fuller.
The Fuller Center's Macon branch is hosting the effort and will provide a family with an affordable home financed interest free.
Linda Fuller, who plans to travel from her home in Americus to Macon, will be given a proclamation and other items, said Dianne Fuller, the center's executive director and Linda Fuller's daughter-in-law.
Saturday culminates decades of work that Linda Fuller and her late husband, Millard, began long ago when they found themselves at Koinonia Farm in Americus, an egalitarian farming community founded in 1942 that centered its precepts on the teachings of Jesus.
The Fullers planned to spend just a couple of hours visiting friends, but they stayed in Americus for a month. They met Koinonia founder Clarence Jordan and the idea took root. They began building their first houses in rural southwest Georgia.
The Fullers spent three years in Zaire building homes. They founded the Habitat for Humanity organization in 1976 when they returned home and worked with the organization until 2005.
They founded the Fuller Center for Housing later that year.
"As my husband said: 'God hasn't told us to quit building houses," Linda Fuller said.
The Fullers' body of work is staggering. Habitat for Humanity has built or renovated 400,000 homes worldwide for more than 2 million people, and The Fuller Center has built homes in 60 U.S cities and 17 countries. Millard Fuller died in 2009, but Linda kept working.
"I've known Linda for many, many years, and she is a beacon of hope to families in need. She quickly warms up to the families we work with and makes them a part of her life," said David Snell, The Fuller Center's president.
Before their nonprofit ventures, Linda Fuller earned a degree in elementary education at Huntingdon College in Alabama, and her business-savvy husband became a millionaire.
But the success strained their marriage, nearly ending it. From the crisis came a new direction. Millard Fuller sold his half of a marketing firm to his partner. The couple sold all their personal possessions and gave most of the money to Christian mission projects.
"We decided rather than seeking what we want, we're going to seek what God wants us to do," Linda Fuller said.
The Matthews Drive project won't be the end of the celebrating. The Fuller Center is working to raise $75,000 to build five homes in Nepal, two in Haiti and fund another renovation in Macon.
As of March 17, the fund has raised nearly $30,000, Dianne Fuller said.
"I'm in the stage where I'm trying to get rid of stuff, not get more stuff. I certainly don't need any presents," Linda Fuller said. "I just wanted to use the milestone birthday to do what I've been doing for years and years and that's help people have a decent place to live."
The Fuller Center's efforts will go to help people like the Reddings -- the family that will move into the Matthews Drive home.
The Redding family learned they would get the home a month ago after going through an application process that included background and credit checks, said Adrienne Redding.
The move will provide much needed space for Redding, her husband and their three children: Aaliyah, 9, Tyhir, 7, and Thomas 5, who have been living with Redding's mother in an apartment.
"They are very giving and kind people, especially Miss Dianne (Fuller). I just love her because she's so nice," Redding said. "I just want to say a big thank you from me and my family."