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Publix Interns Giving Back

Gina Hunt

Gina Hunt

Viste 3Our Publix Summer Intern program is wrapping up soon, and before we conclude, we want to share news about a great and rewarding experience they enjoyed a few weeks ago. One hot July Saturday, fellow recruiter Katie and I got to take part in that experience as we worked alongside our interns at VISTE (Volunteers in Service to the Elderly) during a day of service.

For a little background, each year our interns take on a community service effort. In the past, they’ve lent a helping hand at Explorations V Children’s Museum in Lakeland and with the Special Olympics, for example.  This year’s interns brought their energy and enthusiasm to VISTE’s East Magnolia Street facility in Lakeland where they participated in a number of projects.  Talk about TEAMWORK! Weeding and mulching was a big task completed by one group of our interns with Katie. Her team cleaned up the parking lot perimeter and flower beds, and laid approximately 50 bags of mulch in only two hours.  The following workday, she sheepishly owned up to discovering a few muscles she had not used in a few years. (Can you say ouch? I bet she wasn’t the only one!)

Since we were there on a Saturday –VISTE’s day for pickup and delivery by their community volunteers — another group of interns carted food and supplies from the organization’s freezers and refrigerators to volunteer’s vehicles for delivery to VISTE’s target population in the Lakeland and central Florida area. This group diligently worked for four hours on this effort.

We had two teams assisting with sprucing up VISTE’s warehouse, too. From cleaning freezers, refrigerators, and warehouse equipment to organizing and cleaning the facility’s kitchen that provides hot meals, these two teams dedicated a good three hours to the effort. What a big difference they made with all of their hard work!

A final group of interns was tasked with creating birthday cards that are sent out to VISTE constituents. Each card was uniquely created and provided a little bit of personality and sentiment.  This group really put a lot of thought and detail into each and every card.

It was such a humbling and proud occasion, witnessing our interns working so hard and helping our community! On their first day as Publix interns, they were introduced to our founder, George Jenkins, and his legacy of giving back to the community.  As I worked that day, and took in all of the “Publix Serves” tee-shirts worn by our interns, I was touched – and realized this day of service was a great way to see Mr. George’s legacy in action!

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