Nearly 1,500 students and 150 teachers of John G. DuPuis Elementary School and Palm Springs Middle School in Hialeah, Florida, returned to class this Monday to find their schools transformed. The hot, sunny weekend brought almost 2,000 volunteers to beautify the campuses for the 22nd annual Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. G.I.V.E. Day.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has organized G.I.V.E. Day (Get Involved Volunteer Everywhere) volunteer service projects to help employees give back to their local communities.
“At Royal Caribbean, we’re incredibly grateful to have a very successful business and be able to give back a little bit to the communities we live and operate in,” said Richard D. Fain, Chairman & CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
“It’s not just a pleasure, but a privilege. To see nearly 2,000 volunteers, including our employees and their friends and family, is truly a remarkable feeling.”
– Richard D. Fain
Volunteers created an outdoor living lab with butterfly and sensory gardens to incorporate nature into the classroom for special needs and visually-impaired students. They planted more than 2,000 young, native Florida orchids in trees, painted basketball courts, and worked on landscaping solutions to erosion, drainage, and hurricane damage.
“Inviting environments actually assist in the learning process.” said Dr. Alberto Carvalho, Superintendent Miami-Dade Public Schools. “That’s why elevating the dignity of children and those that teach them every day – through beauty, color, and plants – is so important.”
“It’s amazing. It’s one of the best things we do. When we do well as a company, we give back to the community,” said volunteer Kevin Milota.
“I like to say G.I.V.E. Day is fueled by 10 percent hard work and 90 percent heart,” said Helen O’Connell, Director, RCL Corporate Responsibility who has coordinated the event for 22 years. “It’s the core of our company values to give back to communities where we live and operate. Our work blends our passion for education with our sustainability commitments.”
RCL’s $1.5 million investment in the Hialeah schools marks the third year of a five-year, $4 million commitment to Miami-Dade County Public schools. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. announced an expanded partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools through a $500,000 commitment toward their 2019 Summer Youth Internship Program.