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Blogs and Stories

July 20, 2020
Amy Wade Carotenuto

A Smile that a
Mask Cannot Hide

For over a decade Manikam "Manny" Confusione has been the smiling face that welcomes customers as they enter Flagler Humane Society. Manny volunteers at our greeter desk 4 to 5 days a week. He is, for most of our visitors, the face of Flagler Humane Society and we are so blessed to have him. When he is not at FHS, he also volunteers at Flagler County Sheriff’s Department performing some light office duties as brightening everyone’s day there too.

Born in India, Manny was welcomed to the United States as a child by his adoptive parents, Sonny & Fran Confusione. Manny became part of their large family with other adopted siblings. The family always had pets and Manny says he is both a dog person and a cat person.

Manny has never let Cerebral Palsy slow him down. From his wheelchair, he helps donors bring in bags of pet food, he brings in the mail from our mailbox. Yesterday I saw him delivering a huge box back to our medical department. The box was bigger than Manny, yet he found a way to set it on his lap and get it to where it belonged.

During the height of the COVID19 crisis, when FHS wasn’t fully open to the public, Manny did not volunteer. We were happy that he was staying safe, but we missed him terribly. The day Manny came back to work was a day of celebration at FHS.

Manny has one of the best outlooks on life that you’ll ever see. His outgoing, upbeat personality and his laugh are contagious. Seems like everyone knows and loves Manny. Amy Beilman, former board President and the first humane society person to meet Manny says “Manny is a fixture at FHS. He is a one of a kind volunteer and a one of a kind human with a smile that lights up the room.”

Life may not have been the easiest for Manny but this 38 year old man is an inspiration to us at the shelter. We should all be more like Manny. The world would be a better place.

If you would like to come meet this celebrity, please stop by the shelter. You may come for a Manny autograph & leave with a kitten or pup!