FGCU Swim and Dive volunteer for Salvation Army Angel Tree gift delivery

Writer: Sylvie Sparks
Published: Updated:

Traditions are a big part of the holidays for me, including the FGCU Swim and Dive Team.

For eight years now the Eagles have volunteered at the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree gift delivery in Fort Myers every December.

FGCU Head Swimming and Diving Coach Dave Rollins said he wants to make sure his athletes make a difference in their community.

“Growing up we didn’t have a whole lot and my parents instilled in me the importance of giving back and helping others so it’s important for us to get involved and be able to come back every year,” Rollins said.

For the people getting gifts and meals through the Angel Tree, the community’s generosity makes all the difference in their Christmas.

Pierrina Jean Pierre signed up for the second year.

She said she’s overjoyed to be able to give her daughters the dolls they want for Christmas.

“It means giving my kids something that I’m not able to on Christmas,” Jean Pierre. “It’s so worth it to see their smiling faces in the morning.”

Eagles’ swimmer Ella Smith is volunteering at the delivery for the first time.

She said hearing stories like Jean Pierre’s make it worth it.

“I’m really happy that we can get back to the community, especially after everything that’s been going on the last few years with Covid and everything like that,” Smith said.

This year the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree is serving more than 4,200 in Lee and Hendry Counties.

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