JUNO BEACH – On a picture-perfect Saturday morning at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach, more than 100 Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) volunteers donning bright green T-shirts huddled together to receive their orders.
Group one: beach clean-up, group two: clearing invasive species, and group three: helping the center prepare for Turtle Fest.
Then, like a well-oiled football team, the green T-shirts quickly scattered in unison and got straight to work.
The event marked the end of Power to Care Week, a yearly statewide effort that gives FPL employees an opportunity to give back to their communities. This year marked the 15th anniversary of Power to Care with more than 20 projects led by hundreds of employees and their families in more than 10 counties across Florida.
Power to Care week is just one way FPL employees volunteer their time in the communities where they live and work. Last year, employees contributed more than 46,000 hours in their local communities, supporting more than 2,000 nonprofit organizations.
Ken Maida, who retired from FPL after 37 years with the company, has participated in Power to Care from year one. On Saturday, Maida, who worked in corporate security, helped clean the beach with his wife Nancy, who also retired from FPL, their son Kevin Maida, who works in corporate communications, and Kevin’s wife and two sons.
“Giving back to the community is so important,” said Ken Maida, who drove from Stuart for the multigenerational event. “Being able to be with the family while also helping out, we’re lucky to be able to do it.” This year, FPL’s new President and Chief Executive Officer Armando Pimentel participated for the first time. He welcomed employees and got right to work alongside new FPL Chief Operating Officer Christopher Chapel.
“This is such a great event,” said Pimentel as he cleaned windows at the center. “Giving back to the community is something our employees have always done and I’m so proud of how they selflessly help others during Power to Care Week and throughout the year. Our employees are what makes our company so special, and they make such a meaningful difference in our community.”
Out on the beach in front of the Marinelife Center, calm ocean waves lapped the shore as an army of bright-green T-shirts tackled the beach. They used gloved hands and black mesh bags, picking up pieces of plastic and other trash polluting the warm sand.
At the natural area next to the center, Chapel and FPL Vice President of External Affairs and Economic Development Pam Rauch pulled invasive plants and hauled them out to the trash.
“Power to Care is an opportunity for all FPL employees and their families to give back to the community together,” said Rauch. “Community partnerships are so important at FPL because all of our employees live work and play in our communities and protecting our environment is part of our DNA.”
Other FPL volunteers chipping in on the cleanup efforts included employee retirees ready to help in their special “Retiree” T-shirts. Dinah Washam leads the company’s Palm Beach retiree chapter, which includes up to 400 members.
“It’s important to have retirees still involved,” said Washam, who worked in corporate real estate for two decades before retiring in 2018. “Power to Care keeps the community of retirees active and involved in great events like this.”
Hundreds of volunteers, including FPL employees and retirees, along with families and friends completed more than 20 projects across more than 10 counties as part of FPL's Power to Care campaign. See them in action below:
South Florida Audubon Society, Broward County
Alan Shepard Park, Brevard County
The Salvation Army Pensacola, Escambia County
Homeless Coalition of St. Johns County
Englewood YMCA, Sarasota County
LARC, Inc. Lee County