Dec. 22, 2014
The employees of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection demonstrated their holiday spirit this year by giving to those less fortunate. The individual division and district offices organized gift-giving drives to help spread the holiday cheer.
“These donations demonstrate that our employees are not only committed to the work they do, but also to making the communities they live in a better place,” said Interim DEP Secretary Cliff Wilson. “I am proud to work alongside such generous people.”
The Florida Coastal Office, Division of Environmental Assessment and Restoration and Division of State Lands each adopted a family through the Christmas Connection charity. Christmas Connection is an organization that specifically serves Northwest Florida families. The program focuses not only on toys and gifts for the holidays, but also other necessities the families need. The Florida Coastal Office raised money and bought their adopted family a washer and dryer.
The Southwest District office in Tampa sponsored 83 children through the Redlands Christian Migrant Association Childcare Center. District employees delivered the gifts to the children last week — and even Santa made an appearance.
The Office of Operations and Division of State Lands participated in the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program. Through this initiative, employees provided gifts for 22 children.
The Northeast District in Jacksonville collected more than 50 toys for a local non-profit organization, Dreams Come True. This First Coast organization is dedicated to fulfilling the dreams of children, ages 2½ to 18 years, who are battling life-threatening illnesses and have been referred to this organization by their physician. The toys collected will be given by this organization to children needing a gift of cheer during the Christmas season.
Within the Division of Waste Management, the permitting and compliance assistance section collected more than 100 toys for Toys for Tots. This is an annual endeavor for this group of employees.
Several staff members and their families in the South District’s Fort Myers office are making personal donations this year, including “Shoebox Ministry” where they collect school supplies and other trinkets which are sent overseas for distribution through the Samaritan’s Purse initiative.
Department employees are grateful to be able to help those less fortunate this holiday season.