More than 1,000 volunteers associated with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. signed up to spend this past Saturday, April 20, improving their South Florida community as part of the company’s 16th annual G.I.V.E. Day .
G.I.V.E., which stands for “Get Involved Volunteer Everywhere,” is a community service event that brings together Royal Caribbean employees, their families, friends, vendors and business partners to assist non-profit organizations and improve the quality of life in their local communities. The volunteers painted and landscaped the grounds at Kids In Distress, the home away from home for many children in the South Florida foster care system, located in the Wilton Manors neighborhood of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
After a hard day’s work, volunteers transformed the Kids In Distress grounds with more than 2,000 gallons of environmentally-friendly paint for 13 buildings and surrounding areas; 8,500 plants, including fruit trees and vegetables native to Florida; 100 bird feeders made by young volunteers; and by reconnecting the irrigation system, which will help Kids In Distress save on their monthly water expenses. In addition, their donation center was inventoried and organized to help them better serve their 5,000 kids in foster care homes throughout Broward and Palm Beach Counties.
“As one of the largest employers in South Florida, we are committed to supporting and helping our local communities,” said Richard D. Fain , chairman and chief executive officer, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “We hope that the personal satisfaction and enjoyment of assisting our neighbors on G.I.V.E. Day will help inspire our employees to pursue volunteer and public service opportunities throughout the year.”
Kids In Distress is recognized as a premier agency in South Florida, they provide family strengthening services as well as children’s services for more than 10,000 children and their families. Their mission is to prevent child abuse, preserve the family, and treat children who have been abused and neglected. Started in a small house in 1979 as an emergency shelter for the youngest victims of abuse and neglect, they have since expanded services and grown to a five-acre campus in Broward County with a satellite office in Palm Beach County. They are also the largest provider of foster homes in both Broward and Palm Beach counties, many of which become adoptive homes for children who cannot be reunified with their biological families. They operate one of the only remaining emergency shelters for children ages birth to 15 years of age, and a family counseling center for counseling and therapy needs.
Now in its 16th year, G.I.V.E. Day is an example of how the more than 40,000 Royal Caribbean employees give back to their communities around the world, by donating thousands of volunteer hours to assist their communities with neighborhood development, civic drives, environmental improvement and disaster recovery. Similar G.I.V.E. Day events are also being planned for and will take place in Wichita, Kansas; Anchorage, Alaska; Springfield, Oregon, United Kingdom, Germany and other International Offices.