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TOTE and Tropical raise funds and pack meals for those impacted by the hurricanes, Saltchuk companies come together to support colleagues

TOTE Maritime partners with Hunger Fight to send emergency meals

This week, 36 stateside TOTE Maritime employees in Jacksonville, Florida spent two hours packing meals for their fellow employees in Puerto Rico.

In partnership with the local charity Hunger Fight, the company donated $2,500 and packed 2,500 breakfast and dinner meals – some 10,000 servings.

Hunger Fight’s mission is to provide nutritious meals to children and families deemed food insecure and hungry in its local communities with an emphasis on school backpack programs. It relies solely on cash donations in order to purchase specific raw ingredients for its meals.

The packed meals will be sent to the island via company ship, where TMPR employees in San Juan have partnered with a local church to distribute the food to the community there.

Tropical employees raise $1,400 for hurricane relief, Saltchuk matches donation

Additional sporting clay shoot fundraiser on tap for February

A shooter aims down sites at a range waiting for his clay target.
The several thousand dollars raised from the event will be matched by Saltchuk for an employee relief fund.

Recreational shooters of all skill levels were invited to attend a sporting clay shoot in Okeechobee, Florida last week, a Tropical Shipping event to raise money for the company’s Employee Hurricane Relief Fund.

For $150, participants received 100 clay targets, 100 rounds of ammunition, a commemorative t-shirt, and a luncheon.

“Back in August, we had a Tropical Family Fun Day,” explained Tony Zerante, Senior Manager of Security & Facilities, who has been with the company for 17 years. “We had such a good time. A lot of the people I go around with are amateur shooters, and they asked me if we could do an event.”

Zerante has experience putting on similar shooting events to benefit returning veterans. Originally, the event was scheduled to benefit a longstanding beneficiary of Tropical fundraising, then came Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

“It was mentioned that we might want to donate for hurricane relief, and we all really liked the idea,” Zerante said.

In addition to the lure of cash prices for the winners, the event also featured a raffle. For $5, participants got the chance to win an HRA Golden Boy silver .22 long rifle.

“We were hoping to get 50 people and we got 62,” Zerante said. “We also had some ladies who wanted to shoot handguns, so we arranged that as part of the event. We purchased t-shirts and did a lunch – we actually had a pretty nice Italian lunch.”

Zerante acknowledges that the event didn’t make an astonishing amount of money, but he knows that every bit helps.

Tropical CEO Rick Murrell, second from left, poses with his friends at the range.
Tropical Chairman and CEO Rick Murrell and friends at the fundraiser.

“We made something, and we’ll do anything we can do help our fellow employees,” he said. “We’re sitting here in air-conditioned rooms while those among us have nothing. I don’t know how just a few dollars will help, but we had to do something.”

Saltchuk is matching the Fund’s donation. Tropical has also begun diverting the money raised from it’s monthly front-row parking spot raffle to hurricane relief.

“I’m hoping to do the same event again in February and raise some more money for the same purpose,” Zerante concluded. “The people on the islands are going to be hurting for years and years. We need to keep on raising money and awareness.”

Saltchuk Companies Employee Hurricane Relief Fund continues to grow

A donation infographic shows rebuilding beginning on sites affected by a hurricane. The infographic reads, "Saltchuk Companies Employee Hurricane Relief Fund". "Donate" is centered. Small text states, "Support colleagues in Puerto Rico, Florida and throughout the Caribbean by donating- Saltchuk will match all employee donations through Dec 31st."

Across the Saltchuk family of companies donations continue to come in to the Saltchuk Companies Employee Hurricane Relief Fund established in the wake of storms that ravaged the Caribbean, parts of Florida and Puerto Rico.

To date, more than $16,000 has been raised through employee donations and company fundraisers. Saltchuk has committed to matching all employee donations through the end of the year.

Tropical Shipping, Shoreside Logistics and TOTE Maritime are working together to support their team members in need. All companies have supplied immediate relief supplies, and in some cases local offices have become home to staff needing shelter in the wake of the storms.