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Southwest Florida gym hands out $2,500 to Walmart shoppers

Posted at 12:44 AM, Nov 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-24 00:44:03-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Kyle Amrine and his Platinum Fitness team donated $2,500 to about 20 random shoppers at a Fort Myers Walmart Thanksgiving Day.

One shopper especially stood out to Amrine. His father recently passed away and he was hosting a lot of family from out of town.

“The amount of emotion on his face is something I’ll never forget,” said Amrine. “We have a couple of those every year where we get them at that critical time in their life. And it just has that much more of an impact for them and us.”

It’s their third year doing this, and this is the most money they’ve raised so far.

Thanks to a lot of $5 donations from gym members, they nearly doubled what they raised their first go around.

The platinum fitness team donated about a hundred dollars to each family they helped. Amrine said the looks on people’s faces were priceless.

“Initially it’s kind of shock and disbelief on their face. And then it’s just pure gratitude which is really why we do it. It’s an unbelievable feeling,” he said.

Michael Deleo, general manager at Platinum Fitness said the most memorable donation was to parents who used it as a teachable moment.

“They were talking to their children about it, giving their children a lesson on paying it forward to somebody else during the holiday season. So sharing it with their family, that really made it worthwhile.”

And Deleo said they’re not done with the holiday giving.

“We’ll be raising $20,000 to buy 100 kids Christmas gifts this year,” said Deleo. So it’s an amazing feeling to be able to give back. Really just show the community that we care and we’re here for them.”

He added they’re pretty close to reaching their goal. they’ve already raised 16 thousand dollars since they started collecting donations within the last few weeks.