For 45 years Pasquale Manna worked as a florist in his own business, but after passing down his company to his daughter Manna needed something to devote his time to during his retirement. He was actually ‘recruited’ to be a volunteer while walking past one of the Habitat ReStores. Manna approached one of the Habitat workers and asked them “How’s everything going? When are you opening?” and she replied “When we get volunteers like you.” – and so started his journey here at Habitat.
“I knew Habitat was the perfect place for me… I get to deal with people which is something I love! After having been in business for so long, talking with people and being in contact with others is something I really enjoy. You learn everything – there’s always room to learn”.
Manna works on the floor at the Mississauga ReStore, mainly working with customers, answering questions, and providing any assistance they may need. He also uses his business skills and experience to track the ReStore sales and its merchandise. Manna admits that one of the biggest challenges he’s faced while volunteering is that it can be pretty hard to please everyone, but that you just have to try the best you can. But despite the challenge, he continues to express how much he loves what he does at the ReStore. After having volunteered for just over a year Manna has said that in his time here he has gotten the opportunity to learn more about Habitat’s involvement in the community. He has realized so much more about Habitat, so much he didn’t know before.
Something about Habitat that really resonated with him was the common desire to help eliminate the poverty in the world and bring more diversity and equality to our communities. But he said that ultimately the biggest source of inspiration is his life was his wife of 55 years. Saying when he initially felt skeptical about retiring and being a volunteer, his wife encouraged him to embrace this new phase of his life. Because of this, Manna always aims to be a role model for the younger, newer volunteers, “to be a good example for a good future”.