By - May 1, 2019

Publix Serves: Leading with a servant’s heart

When Loren and Michelle Harper met at #188, Hialeah, Florida, they had one special thing in common — their love for serving others. Twenty years later, the couple’s love and commitment to each other and to giving back is stronger than ever.

Last month during Publix Serves Day, the now store managers, Loren at #53, Hollywood, Florida, and Michelle at #188, were excited and hard at work supporting two important projects with their teams.

Loren served with his team and district at the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, where the top request from children is to receive their very own Build-A-Bear. They purchased 180 bears with money the district received as part of Publix Serves, as well as donations from associates. Throughout the day, a team of 45 associates worked hard to freshen up the Love Jen play room at the hospital by painting cabinets and storage areas, cleaning, and replacing worn-out toys with new ones. The Love Jen room is a communal area where the youngest of patients and their families can go to relax, have fun and just be away from their hospital room for a while.

Meanwhile, Michelle was hard at work with a team of 75 associates at Lake Stevens Elementary School, a Miami-Dade public school located in a low socioeconomic area. Publix associates were helping complete an outdoor classroom, clearing and planting the food forest, painting murals and building storage space.

“Service starts with people and leadership. As a store manager, I can touch so many lives,” said Michelle. “I set the bar high and make sure people understand what Publix is all about. It’s not only about volunteering — it’s about teamwork and giving back.”

The Harpers are just one example of the more than 7,500 associates who volunteered at over 180 nonprofit organizations across our seven-state operating area that day. Use #PublixServes to continue sharing your stories of giving back.

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See other projects completed during this year’s Publix Serves Day on Publix News Live.