FPL’s Power to Care Week celebrates 16 years of community volunteering
Feb 27, 2024
FPL's Robert Clum plants native sea oats at Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula State Park in Broward County

Hollywood, Fla. – A year ago, Robert Clum volunteered with Florida Power & Light Company’s (FPL) Power to Care day to dig holes and plant native sea oats on the struggling dunes of Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park in Broward County. This year he returned, proudly showing his wife and daughter how his hard work paid off. Those tiny plants had grown into a knee-high barrier that helps fight back beach erosion.

“It’s so rewarding being out here doing something for the community,” said Clum, who works as an IT manager. “This is a continuation of what we started last year and a great opportunity to keep on restoring.”

Wearing their bright green Power to Care t-shirts, more than 30 FPL volunteers and their families joined the Clum family, just a short walk from last year’s sea oats to learn from Adopt-a-Dune founder Lee Gottlieb. He explained how the native vegetation they would be planting creates a natural barrier that encourages beach goers to use the park’s single beach access. One native plant, the coontie, attracts the endangered atala butterfly.

For city of Hollywood Commissioner Caryl Shuham, this volunteering opportunity means finding environmentally correct ways to ensure dunes, shorelines and beaches are protected.

“It warms my heart to see so many volunteers come out today,” said Shuham. “The city of Hollywood and I appreciate so much what FPL does for our community, and we are very, very lucky to have this partnership.”

During FPL’s Power to Care Week, now in its 16th year, volunteers assisted local organizations as part of the company’s commitment to power strong communities and support initiatives that make Florida an even better place to live, work and raise a family.

This year, FPL volunteers participated in more than 20 projects across more than 10 counties. Here is a roundup of a few of this year’s Power to Care events across the state:    

Riviera Beach – Volunteers painted the homes of local seniors selected by Paint Your Heart Out Palm Beach County. The organization helps elderly, disabled and low-income families with children by painting the exterior of single-family homes with the Solid Waste Authority’s recycled paint, at no cost to the homeowner.

 

St. Augustine – Volunteers worked with the St. Johns Housing Partnership to paint the home of a senior resident who received flooring and kitchen upgrades from the organization, which creates bridges between the public and private sectors to help revitalize neglected homes and neighborhoods.

 

Sarasota – Volunteers spent the day at Resilient Retreat in Sarasota, building a meditation garden, including laying rock, cutting back vegetation and landscaping around the property. Resilient Retreat offers free, confidential mental health care to first responders and survivors of abuse.

 

Pensacola – Volunteers spent the day painting and cleaning family facilities as well as preparing take-home bags for families at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northwest Florida. The organization supports families of children with medical needs by giving them a home-away-from-home. Since opening in 1984, the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northwest Florida has provided resources for more than 29,000 adults and children.

 

Panama City – Volunteers helped clean, paint and landscape the Gulf World Marine Institute. The organization is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of marine mammals and sea turtles in the Florida Panhandle.

 

Miami – At Ojus Park, volunteers spent the day beautifying the park by landscaping and painting to refresh the outdoor space. The project is a partnership between Miami-Dade County Parks Recreation and Open Spaces Department and Miami-Dade County Commissioner Micky Steinberg.

 

Juno Beach – Volunteers cleaned up the beach and park surrounding the Loggerhead Marinelife Center, one of Florida’s most visited non-profit scientific destinations focused on ocean and sea turtle conservation.

 

Fort Myers – Volunteers spent the day painting the United Way House in LaBelle to create a welcoming environment to service the community. Part of the United Way of Lee, Hendry and Glades Counties, the LaBelle house is a centralized location where individuals and families can receive wrap-around social services from multiple community organizations.

 

Sanford – More than 50 volunteers and their families from Seminole, Volusia and Flagler counties rolled up their sleeves to create cutting-edge mobile habitats for the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens’ education animals. The new carts will allow zoo team members to present animals such as armadillos, snakes, rabbits, turtles, opossums, owls and others in more natural states that improve their overall welfare and enhance animal presentations.

 

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