City workers prove they’re no Grinches; help others at holidays


FORT MYERS, Fla.- Some employees for the City of Fort Myers are forgoing their own gift exchange this year to raise money for those truly in need in the community.

Workers in the Information Technology Services department noticed a wish on an Angel Tree set up by the Salvation Army at City Hall. One card said, “A 9-year-old girl needs a bed.”

That touched the workers, who felt it was imperative to respond. So, they dumped their traditional “Secret Santa” gift exchange, to raise $250 to buy a bed, accessories, and some other gifts for the little girl.

The Salvation Army will deliver the gifts to the anonymous family in the coming days.

“In order to get the right rest,” said Barbara Mills, “they need a good place to sleep.”

The idea began with the Information Technology department, but the Payroll department quickly picked up word, and decided to raise about $145 to fulfill the last two wishes on the Angel Tree.

“This just feels good. We know that Secret Santa is kind of fun, we’ve done it for years, but the gifts we give to each other are small and some are not a lot of use. For example, a cup with some cocoa packets enclosed. Well, we can do a lot more for people in need by dumping Secret Santa and raising money for others who really need help,” said Denise Murphy, payroll manager for Fort Myers.

Murphy and other employees hope that other offices, both government and business, consider dropping Secret Santa, and doing a big fundraiser for families in need.

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