By Natalie Strom
Over the past four months, employees of the Marco Island Marriott Resort and Spa have been handing in their loose change to support the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida. As a part of the Marriott’s Spirit to Serve effort, jars to collect change were handed out to each department. On December 19, all the coins were counted and the results were remarkable.
In total, the employees at the Marriott raised $1,811.66 just by donating their spare change. The challenge began on August 14, as the entire staff gathered in the Islands Ballroom for the quarterly associate rally. During that time, Matt Marshall of the Spirit to Serve committee congratulated the staff’s efforts stating, “By the end of this year, over the past two years we will have donated more than 500 hours to help Harry Chapin fight hunger in our community.”
Through Spirit to Serve, the Marriott encourages its employees to reach out and make a difference. As General Manager Rick Medwedeff explained, “It is something that makes us truly unique in this day and age where a lot of businesses, all they focus on is their business, where we focus on our community.”
Through volunteer hours and loose change alone, the Marriott has been successful in its goal to help the hungry of Southwest Florida. But that’s not all. A fall bake sale raised an extra $366 and a winter bake sale brought in $388. The Marriott also donated $1 for every grouper sandwich the employees purchased at Quinn’s Restaurant, amounting to $854.
This brings the money raised by Marriott employees to a total of $3,419.66. Every dollar donated to Harry Chapin is able to bring in $6 worth of food. This means that the food bank will be able to purchase $20,517.96 worth of food for hungry Southwest Floridians.
Through serving the community, the Marriott’s spirit is shining brighter than ever.