Publix Charities: Supporting Habitat for Humanity

Published May 2017

Through dedication and hard work, dreams can come true.

That’s what Celeste Dowell of Tennessee wants to demonstrate to her two daughters, and that’s what she told Wilson Habitat for Humanity about why she applied for their homeownership program.1 For her and many others, the dream of affordable housing has become a reality thanks to their local Habitat for Humanity affiliates.

Dowell’s home, dedicated in June of 2016, was fully funded by a grant from Publix Charities, along with 39 more Habitat for Humanity homes built throughout the Southeast last year. Then, in December, Publix Charities announced its largest gift to affiliates yet: a $5.5 million donation. As a result, over 120 affiliates are receiving support and 61 families are getting ready to move into their new homes.

Publix Charities began its support of Habitat for Humanity in 1989. Since then, the foundation has made many contributions to help people who have gone through a rigorous application process to obtain a place to call their own.

In addition to completing hours of “sweat equity” building their home or the homes of others, home applicants must demonstrate the ability to pay a mortgage and property taxes. They typically meet regularly with representatives of their Habitat for Humanity affiliate throughout the process. Some hold more than one job, and many have children at home, but successful applicants share a strong determination to make it work.

Alissa Smith of Gastonia, North Carolina received the exciting news on a Tuesday in early December 2016. Smith, a mother of four who had applied a few months prior, thought she was attending a routine meeting. Instead, she was led into a room with cake, balloons, and several Habitat for Humanity of Gaston County representatives and Publix associates waiting to deliver the news. “I’m still in shock,” Smith said after the surprise was revealed. “I don’t know anything else to say, other than thank you.”

The atmosphere in the room was very happy and supportive. “Alissa has worked so hard and is so worthy, and we are so proud of her,” said local Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Mary Harris.2

Fast forward to a warm day in April 2017, when volunteers in green shirts gather around to hear how they will contribute to the project before them: Their local Habitat for Humanity affiliate is now building a home funded by Publix Charities’ 2016 donation. The volunteers are Publix Super Markets associates, here to make a difference in their community. When the new residents move in, they will be greeted with a fully stocked pantry courtesy of Publix. The same goes for every home Publix Charities has sponsored for the year.

It takes time and materials to build a Habitat for Humanity home, but it also takes people who care. Publix Charities is proud to support affiliates throughout the Southeast as they continue to do great work, as well as to thank the Publix associates who will give their time and talents to help make a dream come true for the new homeowners.

“Every family deserves an opportunity to have a roof over their heads and food on their table,” said Carol Jenkins Barnett, president of Publix Charities. “My father established our foundation in 1966 with a strong desire to see our communities thrive.” Over fifty years later, his legacy of giving lives on.

1 “Wilson Habitat Dedicates 66th Home.” Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville.

2 Barrett, Michael. “Publix Pays $75,000 Mortgage for Single Mother’s New Habitat Home.” The Gaston Gazette: December 6, 2016.


It’s more than a house. It’s where the heart is.

Publix Charities is donating $5.5 million to provide support for over 120 Habitat for Humanity affiliates, and to fund 61 new homes in our communities. Publix Super Markets will help make each house a home by greeting the new homeowners with fully stocked pantries.

Publix Charities began its support of Habitat for Humanity in 1989 with its first contribution to Habitat for Humanity of East Polk County (Winter Haven, FL). The foundation has continued its support, contributing a total of $4 million to more than 80 affiliates in 2015. Now, Publix Charities is pleased to make 2016 the year of its largest gift to Habitat for Humanity affiliates yet. The following will each receive a portion of the donation, and the highlighted organizations will receive enough to fund at least one full home:

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Alabama

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Birmingham
Habitat for Humanity of Morgan County
Wiregrass Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of Coffee County
Alabama Shoals Habitat for Humanity
Gadsden Etowah Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of Madison County
Habitat for Humanity Southwest Alabama
Montgomery Habitat for Humanity
Auburn Opelika Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of Baldwin County
Troy-Pike Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of Tuscaloosa

Florida

Arcadia-DeSoto County Habitat for Humanity
Beaches Habitat for Humanity
Manatee County Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity Hernando County
Flagler Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of Seminole County & Greater Apopka
Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County
Habitat for Humanity of Citrus County
Habitat for Humanity of East & Central Pasco County
West Volusia Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of South Palm Beach County
Nassau Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of Broward County (2 homes)
Habitat for Humanity of St. Lucie County
Habitat for Humanity in Okaloosa County
Alachua Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of Jacksonville (Habijax)
Habitat for Humanity of the Upper Keys
Habitat for Humanity of Key West & Lower Florida Keys
Habitat for Humanity of Osceola County
Habitat for Humanity of Lake City/Columbia County
Lakeland Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of the Middle Keys
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami (2 homes)
Habitat for Humanity of Collier County
West Pasco Habitat for Humanity
Southeast Volusia Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity Lee and Hendry Counties
Habitat for Humanity Marion County
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Orlando
Clay County Habitat for Humanity
Putnam Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of Brevard County
Habitat for Humanity of Bay County
Pensacola Habitat for Humanity
Charlotte County Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County
Habitat for Humanity of Walton County
Habitat for Humanity Sarasota
Habitat for Humanity of Highlands County
Habitat for Humanity of St. Augustine / St. Johns County
Habitat for Humanity of Martin County
Big Bend Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of Hillsborough County
Habitat for Humanity South Sarasota County
Habitat for Humanity of Indian River County
Habitat for Humanity of Lake-Sumter
Habitat for Humanity of East Polk County

Georgia

Athens Area Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity in Atlanta
Augusta/CSRA Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity Glynn County
Habitat for Humanity of Northeast Georgia
Columbus Area Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of Conyers/Rockdale
Habitat for Humanity of Hall County
Greene County Habitat for Humanity
Southern Crescent Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of Camden County
Macon Area Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity—Meriwether
Newnan-Coweta Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity—Coosa Valley
Habitat for Humanity—North Central Georgia
Coastal Empire Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of Northwest Metro Atlanta
Gwinnett County Habitat for Humanity
Thomasville-Thomas County Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity—DeKalb
Valdosta-Lowndes County Habitat for Humanity
Houston County Habitat for Humanity

North Carolina

Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte
Cabarrus County Habitat for Humanity
Our Towns Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of Gaston County
Habitat for Humanity of Matthews
Habitat for Humanity of Craven County
Habitat for Humanity of Wake County
Habitat for Humanity in Cleveland County
Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County

South Carolina

Aiken County Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of Anderson County
Hilton Head Regional Habitat for Humanity
Charleston Habitat for Humanity
Central South Carolina Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity Georgetown County
Habitat for Humanity of Berkeley County
Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County
Sea Island Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of Lancaster County
East Cooper Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of Horry County
Habitat for Humanity of North Augusta
Pickens County Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of York County
Habitat for Humanity of Spartanburg
Dorchester Habitat for Humanity

Virginia

Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity (2 homes)

Tennessee

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga Area
Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville—Dickson Division
Habitat for Humanity Williamson-Maury
Knoxville Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville—Wilson Division
Rutherford County Area Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville—Davidson Division


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The Homes Where Their Hearts Are

Publix Super Markets Charities is proud to welcome families into new homes funded by our 2015 donation of $4 million to more than 80 Habitat for Humanity affiliates.

We asked one new homeowner what excited her most about having and building her own home, where she will continue to raise her two very active boys, ages 11 and 13. She replied that she values the privacy, security, and pride that come with homeownership. Publix Charities is pleased to have helped provide such an opportunity for her, her sons, and many more families throughout the Southeast.


Forty New Homes.
Forty New Beginnings.

In 2015, Publix Super Markets Charities announced a donation of $4 million to more than 80 Habitat for Humanity affiliates across the Southeast. Now, we’re excited to share the progress as 40 new homes funded by this donation are built.

As you can see in the video, Publix Super Markets associates are generously volunteering their time to participate in the building process where possible, and Publix donates groceries to fill the pantries of the new homes that Publix Charities sponsors.

For recent updates on other Publix Charities initiatives, visit the Latest News section.


$4 Million Donated to More Than 80 Habitat for Humanity Affiliates

Publix Super Markets Charities is committed to meeting the basic needs of the communities it serves through additional financial support for housing. In honor of founder George W. Jenkins on what would have been his 108th birthday in 2015, Publix Charities announced a donation of $4 million to more than 80 Habitat for Humanity affiliates across the Southeast.

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Now, we’re excited to share that you can follow the progress as 40 new homes funded by this donation are built.

Where possible, Publix Super Markets associates participate in building the houses as part of the Publix Serves campaign—an opportunity for Publix associates to gather together to make a difference in their communities. Publix donates groceries to fill the pantries of the new homes that Publix Charities has sponsored.

Publix Charities began its support of Habitat for Humanity in 1989 with its first contribution to Habitat for Humanity of East Polk County (Winter Haven, FL). The foundation has continued its support, donating more than $1.1 million to Habitat for Humanity affiliates in 2014. The $4 million contribution to Habitat for Humanity affiliates in 2015 is more than three times the amount previously given in any year.

“Every family deserves an opportunity to have a roof over their heads and food on their table,” said Carol Jenkins Barnett, president of Publix Super Markets Charities. “My father established our foundation in 1966 with a strong desire to see our communities thrive.” Fifty years later, his legacy of giving lives on.