Publix Charities supports Habitat for Humanity’s mission to provide a “decent place to live”

house frame

Habitat for Humanity builds houses in 70 countries around the world, but its presence is felt most strongly in the United States, where Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter started the nonprofit. The goal is simple: to ensure every person has a decent place to live.

“Habitat for Humanity is vital because it addresses fundamental human needs, promotes social stability, contributes to economic development, and empowers individuals and communities,” said Kailey Truczinskas, PR and event marketing coordinator for Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region. “By providing shelter, this nonprofit organization creates a foundation upon which individuals and families can build better futures, leading to a stronger and more stable society overall.”

Publix Super Markets Charities was a proud sponsor of the 2023 Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project, which Truczinskas called “a monumental weeklong endeavor.” More than 2,000 volunteers, including husband and wife Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, built 27 new single-family homes in The Meadows at Plato Price and New Pineola Road in the Charlotte area. Their efforts expedited the completion of those two projects by a year.  It was the 13th year Brooks and Yearwood had worked on the Carter Work Project. 

group helping to build a house

“The event highlighted the ongoing need for accessible housing, emphasizing Habitat for Humanity’s commitment to ensuring everyone has a decent place to live,” Truczinskas said. “The 2023 Carter Work Project symbolizes unity and hope, illuminating the path toward a future where safe and affordable housing becomes a reality for all.”

In addition to helping fund the Carter Work Project, Publix Charities’ contribution will be used for future construction, critical home repairs, and financial literacy programs, said Tracey Rouse, partnerships manager for Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region. “Publix Charities’ support allowed the 27 homes to be built earlier than planned, which means 27 families will experience the strength, stability, and self-reliance that comes through affordable homeownership much sooner. It demonstrates Publix Charities’ commitment to the Charlotte community and allows Habitat for Humanity to broaden our impact to provide affordable homeownership solutions to more families in our region.”

Volunteers are critical to the mission. In the 2022–2023 fiscal year, volunteers donated more than 73,000 hours to Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region. Publix Super Markets District Manager Michelle Nygren was one of those volunteers. “It is always rewarding to give back. It is more personal and touches you emotionally as you connect with the needs of everyday lives in our communities,” Nygren said. “The feeling that you are personally making a difference and knowing that this is one step closer to making Publix the premier grocer in the world—to blend your beliefs both personally and professionally—is a win-win.”

two women in hard hats building a house

This project was especially important because the homes are built on land that holds a storied past, which helps preserve its historical significance.  “The Plato Price School in West Charlotte served as a vital institution within the African American community. By developing The Meadows at Plato Price on this land, the community can honor the legacy of the school and its cultural importance to the neighborhood,” Truczinskas said. “After the Plato Price School closed in the 1960s due to desegregation, the land remained unused. Utilizing this vacant land to build homes not only revitalizes the area but also maximizes the potential of the space for the benefit of the community.”

“Building homes in historically minority communities promotes social and economic equity. It provides affordable housing opportunities for families in these neighborhoods, ensuring that they have access to safe and stable living environments,” Truczinskas said. “This can contribute to the overall improvement of the residents’ quality of life, fostering a sense of pride and belonging within their own community.

“There are no words to describe the immense joy and sense of duty we feel in honoring President and Mrs. Carter’s legacy of service,” Brooks and Yearwood told Habitat for Humanity. “We hope that we can be a source of inspiration for generations—young and old—as we lend our hearts and our hands to build homes, community, and hope here in Charlotte, and around the world.”

person working on a house