Bank OZK Commits to Donating $380,000 to Manatee County Habitat for Humanity

Bank OZK has committed to funding one Manatee County Habitat for Humanity home every year for the next three years­­, totaling approximately $380,000 in donations. The money donated this year funded a house for prospective homeowner, LaShawn’te, and her three children. 

Pictured (left to right): Justin Zaleski, SVP, Regional Executive, Community Banking, Bank OZK; Kerry Ward, Market President, Commercial Banking, Bank OZK; Bernie Quinn, President/CEO, Manatee County Habitat for Humanity; Emily Lane, Development Director, Manatee County Habitat for Humanity

An early childhood educator and single mother of four, LaShawn’te currently lives in a rental home with three of her children. With a skyrocketing housing market, her rent has increased every year since they moved in.

Thanks to Bank OZK, LaShawn’te and her children will move into their 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom home our Palmetto Triangle community in the summer of 2023. In addition to funding three homes over the next three years, the bank’s employees will also volunteer their time at the construction site to help build each house they sponsor.

“Bank OZK is committed to the communities we serve and the financial health of our neighbors in Manatee County,” said Kerry Ward, Market President, Commercial Banking. “Homeownership creates stability and serves as a significant wealth-building tool. We are proud to

support Manatee Habitat with this contribution so they can continue to provide deserving families like LaShawn’te’s with safe and affordable housing.”

Bank OZK has supported us for the past five years in the form of discounted office space rent. This year they decided to take the partnership to the next level by making the largest corporate commitment to our affiliate since our founding in 1994.

“When we decided to scale up to building 10 homes a year, we knew that it would take the help of our corporate partners,” said Bernie Quinn, President and CEO of Manatee Habitat. “We’re so grateful that Bank OZK believes in our mission enough to help us reach our ambitious goal.”

With the constantly rising cost of land and building materials, we rely on donations like these from our corporate partners to help get more and more local families into safe, affordable homes.