Each year, Habitat for Humanity New York City engages thousands of New Yorkers to build and preserve safe, decent and affordable housing for our neighbors.
Our volunteers are not professionals – that’s not why they are there. Habitat volunteers are simply citizens of our city who care enough about the people in it to give their time, their sweat and their heart to make sure that we all have the chance to afford a home. Habitat NYC thinks that each one of these passionate, caring individuals is a superhero, and each year, we take a moment to recognize the most exemplary volunteers at our Habby Awards.
|CAMPUS CHAPTER AWARD
St. John’s University
Founded in 1999, the St. John’s University Campus Chapter is the longest standing at Habitat NYC. In the past two years, the group has increased membership and presence on campus, and has become one of the biggest organizations at St. John’s. The chapter received the St. John’s Organization of the Year award in 2015 and 2017, as well as the Collaboration Award, awarded by the St. John’s Student Government.
|CORPORATE VOLUNTEER AWARD
Nadia Seebrath, Delta Air Lines
Nadia has volunteered with Habitat NYC for the past 10 years, accruing over 500 volunteer hours. She has also built with Habitat in India, Thailand, Chile, Cincinnati and Mississippi. Nadia has been employed by Delta Air Lines for the past 24 years, and currently works as a coordinator in the Delta tower at LaGuardia airport. Her favorite part of volunteering with Habitat NYC is being able to contribute to a life-changing experience for many families. She is thrilled to see them receive the keys to their new homes!
Pastor Joseph Mantovani
Pastor Joe is the pastor at St. Jacobus Lutheran Church (ELCA) and Rainbow Christian Preschool in Woodside, Queens. St. Jacobus is a 150 year old congregation with a strong history of education and community.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Pastor Joe attended Brooklyn College and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. He lives with his wife and their cat, Matilda – a stray rescued from the church playground, in Elmhurst, Queens. Pastor Joe has volunteered at the Restore for almost two years, starting within a few weeks of the grand opening. He was excited to find an opportunity to work with and support Habitat, whose history and mission he always found inspiring.
|BEYOND SWEAT EQUITY AWARD
Jose Lantigua has been volunteering for Habitat NYC for almost one year. The majority of his volunteering has been at the ReStore, where he has assisted with cleaning, fixing furniture and painting. His favorite part of volunteering with Habitat NYC has been the feeling of knowing that he is helping others.
Soon Jose and his family will move into their brand new Habitat condo in Brooklyn.
|VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
Paul is a Construction Crew Leader whose dedication to volunteering has impacted countless lives. He began volunteering with Habitat NYC after Hurricane Sandy; jumping straight into action, Paul volunteered with our Critical Home Repair program in Breezy Point, the Rockaways, Staten Island and Coney Island. He now works in Brownsville and Southeast Queens. As a retired school teacher, Paul has the patience and skills necessary to work with volunteers, AmeriCorps and site staff from all walks of life.
|RICHARD WONG FAITH IN ACTION AWARD
The Queens Coalition
The Queens Coalition, launched in January 2017, is a group of Queens-based faith and community organizations. The Coalition is committed to raising financial support and mobilizing volunteers to help rehabilitate and transform 20 dilapidated single-family homes in Queens.
The Coalition’s members include Sacred Heart of Jesus Roman Catholic Church, Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church, Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Academy, American Martyrs Roman Catholic Church, Grace Episcopal Church, Sisters of Charity and St. Robert Bellarmine Knights of Columbus.
|COMMUNITY PARTNER AWARD
Sondra worked as a Loan Originator for the Mortgage Division of M&T bank for 13 years. But to Habitat NYC and the homebuyers we served together, she was far more than that. Sondra was an advocate, a confidant and a powerhouse for Habitat NYC homebuyers. She supported many families as they went through the daunting process of becoming a first time homeowner – a rock when times got tough. She was also there to celebrate homebuyers’ successes and was an open ear and an open heart for their concerns, worries, trials and tribulations. We are all so much better for knowing and working with Sondra.
Sondra passed away in July 2016, and Habitat NYC lost a true friend and great champion of affordable housing. From this year on, the Community Partner award will be known as the Sondra Roach Community Award.
|CORNERSTONE VOLUNTEER AWARD
Annelies de Vogel
Annelies is from Rotterdam, The Netherlands, but spent a good deal of her life abroad. She has lived in the US since June 2014. She has built (and dug) on Habitat build sites in Hungary, a Roma community in Slovakia and at a Jimmy Carter Work Project in Michigan. Later she went on a Women Build week in India, organized by Habitat for Humanity Netherlands. Annelies lives in Jersey City with her husband and three plants. She has two sons, one who lives in Rotterdam, and the other in Uppsala, Sweden.
|WOMEN BUILDER AWARD
Jamie is the founder of Styling Your Space, an Interior Design & Lifestyle brand, which has led her to create impact in the way her clients live. Design goes beyond aesthetics and Jamie’s unique design approach – SOULutions For Better Living™ – supports her clients to live better through the implementation of positive habit formation. Jamie believes individuality give design life, and by aligning client’s energies to that of their space, an undeniable connection rises.