FGCU, Wells Fargo team up for Make a Difference Day
Close to 200 volunteers from Florida Gulf Coast University and Wells Fargo joined forces to help out at six area organizations in observance of national Make a Difference Day.
About 125 FGCU students, alumni, faculty and staff teamed up with 70 Wells Fargo employees to garden, paint, pack groceries, walk homeless dogs, clear nature trails and more at organizations in Fort Myers, Bonita Springs and Naples.
"Service is part of our DNA at Florida Gulf Coast University," said FGCU President Wilson G. Bradshaw. "Our students have given more than a million hours of service to the community in the past 15 years. Service is not just what we give, but also what our community receives."
Laura Worzella, Wells Fargo area president, addressed the volunteers, talking about the cooperative effort and how the two organizations' symbols - FGCU's eagle and Wells Fargo's stagecoach - were linked to each other and to the purpose of the day.
"They are two symbols of American history that give people something to believe in," she said. "Our organizations are getting together and making a difference in our community today. Today is the day you are giving people something to believe in."
Volunteers split up into six groups to carry out the following projects:
- Help beautify the Bonita Nature Place.
- Work in the native plant garden and record residents' stories at Cypress Cove Retirement Community in Fort Myers.
- Help paint the building of the Gulf Coast Humane Society in Fort Myers, beautify the grounds and walk dogs.
- Work in Harry Chapin Food Bank's Fort Myers warehouse preparing food packages for distribution throughout Southwest Florida.
- Paint the FGCU Family Resource Center and help improve the grounds.
- Assist students with their community garden and wormery at Eden Autism Center in Naples.
Bradshaw, Worzella, Wells Fargo regional president Carl Miller and Melissa Buchanan, the company's national manager for volunteerism made the rounds of the sites, pitching in and thanking volunteers for their efforts.
USA Weekend Magazine created Make a Difference Day in 1992 as a way to illustrate the importance of voluntarism and the impact it can make. On Make a Difference Day millions of people around the country step up to call attention to the vast needs not-for-profit organizations have and the many ways there are to help.