Recent News

Thirty-Two Volunteers Donate Time for MLK Day of Service

Manatee County Habitat for Humanity received a $5000 grant from State College of Florida to be used for the MLK Day of Service on January 18, 2016. Manatee Habitat used grant money to paint a house in Washington Park with its Brush with Kindness program. Over 32 Manatee Habitat Young Professionals, SCF Collegiate School's National Honor Society, and Washington Park community members contributed their time to the cause.

To volunteer with Manatee Habitat, contact Stephanie Hansum at 748-9100 ext 104 or  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

MLK Day of Service

Volunteer of the Month: January 2016

Michelle PolitoManatee Habitat would not be able to accomplish our vision and mission without the assistance of our most precious asset-our volunteers. Because we value our volunteers, Manatee Habitat will begin featuring one outstanding volunteer each month.

Our January spotlight highlights Manatee Habitat volunteer Michelle Polito.  Originally a native of Connecticut, Michelle and her husband relocated to a warmer climate in 2005 and currently reside in Parrish. Michelle retired after a 36 year career at IBM, performing many tasks during her tenure, including Finance and Project Management.  Manatee Habitat is not her first volunteer opportunity. In Connecticut, she utilized her experience to teach non-profits Project Management skills. In addition to Habitat, Michelle also spends her time volunteering at Art Center Manatee.  When she is not serving her community, Michelle likes to throw pottery, paint and travel. When asked why she chose Manatee Habitat, Michelle stated that she likes the Habitat organization's mission of helping families achieve their dream of home ownership. Michelle volunteers in the ReStore and supports the administrative staff with events.

If you would like more information on how you can impact your community through volunteering with Manatee Habitat, please contact our volunteer coordinator, Stephanie Hansum at (941) 748-9100 Ext 110 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Manatee Habitat Partners with Boar's Head to Build Home for Veteran

Boars Head EmployeesManatee County Habitat for Humanity is partnering with Boar’s Head Brand® to build a Habitat home for a local veteran and his family. Boar’s Head Brand employees began working alongside future Habitat homeowner Sgt. Juan Garcia on Saturday, Sept. 26, to construct the four bedroom home in Palmetto, Florida. In addition to their corporate sponsorship, Boar’s Head Brand has committed to providing 200 hours of volunteer labor to help build the home.

"Boar’s Head is a great partner," said Diana Shoemaker, Executive Director of Manatee Habitat. "Their commitment to this project exemplifies the company's desire to serve others and positively impact our community. It is a great match with the mission of Manatee Habitat, and we are thrilled to be working with them to assist Juan in obtaining his dream of building and purchasing his own home."

Twenty-two employees from Boar’s Head Brand worked on siding, roofing, painting and caulking, and more will perform additional tasks during two additional volunteer Saturdays in October. Children of employees also contributed to the day by providing baked goods and snacks for volunteers. At the end of the day, a Boar’s Head Brand Distributor provided hot lunches to the volunteers, including some of Garcia’s future neighbors.

"Boar’s Head Brand is proud to support Manatee County Habitat for Humanity, and is dedicated to giving back to the community where our employees work and live," said Elizabeth Ward, director of marketing and communications for Boar’s Head Brand.

Sergeant Garcia served in the Army as Armor Unit for over 10 years and was stationed in Kuwait, South Korea and Germany, and was also deployed to Iraq for 13 months. In addition to working full time, Garcia recently completed his associate degree from State College of Florida, and is currently working on his bachelor degree in criminology at the University of South Florida. The home is expected to be completed by mid-November so his family can be in their new home for Thanksgiving and the holidays.

Manatee Habitat Receives #GivingTuesday Proclamation

heart-4-givingManatee County Habitat for Humanity accepted a proclamation on behalf of #GivingTuesday at the Board of County Commissioners Meeting on Tuesday, December 1, 2015, at 9am. The proclamation designated December 1st, 2015 as a "DAY OF GIVING," celebrating philanthropy and volunteerism in Manatee County.   

Manatee Habitat for Humanity celebrated #GivingTuesday with the launch of the #Heart4Giving campaign which challenges citizens to create a video on why they give back to the community. This provides an additional opportunity to recognize the tremendous impact of individual giving in Manatee County. Manatee Habitat encourages citizens to serve others throughout the holiday season and the entire year. Individuals are encouraged to participate through the Manatee Habitat website and social media: Facebook:   Twitter:

#GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, to kick-off the holiday giving season and to inspire people to take collaborative action to improve their local communities and to give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they support. 

Why I Donate: Volunteering turns into a Passion

debra-p-blogDebra Pashkowsky arrived at a Manatee County Habitat for Humanity jobsite in 2012, just weeks after she handed in her resignation at her former desk job at the County Clerk’s office. “I always knew I was going to volunteer at Habitat when I retired,” noted Debra. After falling in love with Habitat that first day, she began volunteering regularly. She is a well-rounded Habitat volunteer; working on the Family Services Committee, in the administrative office, and she has also been out on the jobsite.

Early on in her time with Manatee Habitat, Debra was introduced to the Women Build program.  Women Build, underwritten by Lowe’s, is a program of Habitat for Humanity International that empowers women to address the crisis of children in poverty by building homes with families in need. Women volunteers lead all aspects of projects - including construction, fundraising and marketing. Debra was so motivated by the new construction skills she was learning, and so inspired by all of the Habitat families around her who were fulfilling their dreams of homeownership, that she decided to pursue one of her lifelong dreams for herself.

Utilizing the skills she learned on the jobsite, Debra began woodworking and repurposing old furniture and pallets. Soon she was creating furniture, art, fixtures, decor and more. “I never thought I would be using power tools,” she said, “and now I have a garage full of them!” Debra was enjoying her projects so much that she decided to open her own business, named Shoppe No. 5. “I started taking classes at Suncoast Technical College, learning how to start my own blog and Etsy business,” she stated, noting that her inventory will be available soon on her site,
View some of Debra’s pieces on Instagram.

Debra’s first stop when searching for materials is, of course, the Manatee Habitat ReStore. “I tell everyone to go to the ReStore when looking for anything,” she laughed, “I comb through both stores all the time. I want everyone to donate to Manatee Habitat if you can. Donate time, donate money, donate to the ReStore... just donate. I see all of these homeowners’ dreams coming true. Now mine is, too, because of Habitat.”