On Thursday, February 16th, Sanibel Sea School and the Sanibel Fresh Produce Clothing Store partnered for a beach cleanup at Colony Beach on Sanibel’s east end. Participants were also invited to “give their worries to the sea” during a traditional Sanibel Sea School ceremony, and to enjoy lunch while listening to a talk from Fresh Produce Founder Mary Ellen Vernon titled “Cliff Notes for Life While Building a Business.”
After writing down their worries, burning them in a bonfire, and sprinkling the ashes into the sea, guests were given pink gloves and burlap “Love” bags, and spent thirty minutes picking up trash from the beach. The most common items collected were plastic bottle caps, plastic bags, rope and fishing line, and food wrappers. “We love what Sanibel Sea School is doing for the ocean and for the kids,” said Vernon. “It feels good to be a part of something meaningful, by supporting Sanibel Sea School’s mission and taking care of the beach.”
This event was part of Fresh Produce’s SWELL Initiative, which aims to support communities where the company’s stores are located. A one-time donation was made to Sanibel Sea School, and Fresh Produce designed a special edition “For the Love of the Ocean” sea turtle t-shirt that will also support the non-profit organization’s work. Five dollars from every t-shirt sold will help Sanibel Sea School provide scholarships for more children to experience and learn about the ocean. The t-shirts are now available at the Sanibel Fresh Produce store in Periwinkle Place.