VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT, Winn-Dixie
2022 Corporate Contributor of the Year Winn-Dixie
Winn-Dixie is the recipient of the 2022 Corporate Contributor of the Year Award for support of the Earth Day Event.
In 2022, Jay Villavicencio, manager at the Winn-Dixie in Big Pine Key, had an idea to work with several state parks in the Florida Keys to promote Earth Day.
Winn-Dixie sponsored a contest for students in grades K-12 in the Florida Keys and Key Biscayne. Students created designs with the theme “Reduce Our Use.” The winning designs would be printed on reusable shopping bags and sold at local Winn-Dixie stores. Winn-Dixie pledged a donation from the sales of the bags to the citizen support organization (CSO) associated with each park.
The idea was to get as many students involved and to create awareness in the community.
Marlyn Santos, a local community manager from Winn-Dixie, worked closely with the Friends of Bahia Honda special events committee and park staff. The store managers were also involved in the planning and judging stages. Marlyn took the lead on the reusable bag production.
Overall, there were four top winners and each of those four designs were printed on reusable bags. Each winning student was from a different area in the Keys. Area Winn-Dixie stores hosted a bag signing event, making these students into local celebrities for the day.
A table was set up to showcase the winning design where the artist could autograph the bag for customers. A disc jockey played music to draw attention to the event, and the store provided food and beverage samples. Winn-Dixie funded the entire event.
Winn-Dixie purchased 2,100 bags and donations from those sales went to each of the CSO groups for the participating state parks.
Many hours went into planning this event. The Winn-Dixie team brought this initiative to life with all their support and funding. Because they helped turn this into a Keyswide initiative, it was a great way to connect with all the communities and bring awareness to reducing our use of single use/disposable items.