When giving back is a part of your DNA

A spotlight on Luigi Marrongelli, Ottawa’s Unit Manager

As far back as he can remember, Luigi Marrongelli, Unit Manager, Ottawa, has felt the need to give back to his community in any way he could. Raised by parents who instilled these values in him at a very young age, he has always felt a calling to do something for the greater good of the community. Around the time that the Purolator Tackle Hunger program was getting started in 2003, there was a perfect fit for Luigi when his District Manager asked him to be part of organizing a community initiative for the region – this would later evolve into Luigi becoming the PTH lead in Ottawa. He has since expanded the PTH program in Ottawa with a dedicated team of volunteers. Recently, in recognition of his long standing commitment to PTH, Luigi was asked to deliver the game ball alongside our President and CEO, John Ferguson, at the 105th Grey Cup game held in Ottawa.

We recently had the chance to chat with Luigi and learn more about his passion for giving back.

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Luigi Marrongelli at the Food and Fund drive during Grey Cup Festival in Ottawa.

Corporate Communications (CC): How did your journey with Purolator Tackle Hunger start?

Luigi Marrongelli (LM): My District Manager at that point was Angie Bemister and she asked me if I could help out with this new initiative. Ottawa did not even have a CFL team at that point so we had to look for other ways to help out the food bank. We would do food drives, bake sales and barbecues at the terminal and go out and find places where we could get deals on food. Additionally we would collect steel and iron to trade in for cash that would help increase our donations to the food bank.

CC: Why do you volunteer?

LM: Volunteering for me is never going out of my way. I’ve done it at my church festival for over 25 years. It was the way I was brought up by my parents. It gets my family, my kids, their friend’s and everyone together. I find volunteering is the best way to get family and community working together. Besides that, I think it’s important to give back to Purolator as well. This company has supported me and my family for 23 years and I love that I can give back to them as well.

CC: Why is being a part of Purolator Tackle Hunger important to you?

LM: Once again this goes back to the way I was brought up. My parents came to Canada from Italy with nothing. They came in their mid-twenties, found their way here and along the way took in four immigrant families and helped them get started in Canada. Growing up that became engrained in me. Besides that, I love helping people, meeting new people, I enjoy doing it! I like seeing that the less fortunate get what they need to live.

CC: Has working with the Purolator Tackle Hunger program changed you in any way?

From left: RCMP officer, Randy Ambroise, CFL Commissioner, Luigi Marrongelli, John Ferguson, Purolator President and CEO, RCMP officer at the Commissioner’s brunch.

From left: RCMP officer, Randy Ambroise, CFL Commissioner, Luigi Marrongelli, John Ferguson, Purolator President and CEO, RCMP officer at the Commissioner’s brunch.

LM: Yes, I’m involved with the community more than ever! I know that when a helping hand is needed, this program is there to provide for them because I’ve seen it first-hand. I listen to lots of stories and it showed me how fortunate I am to be in the position I am and also the power I have to give back.

CC: Your efforts were recognized during the last Grey Cup in Ottawa. John Ferguson asked you be his special guest and to join him in delivering the game ball. What did this experience mean to you?

LM: I was surprised and in shock at first. I never expected it nor did I ask for it. But when John asked me, I felt honoured. I had the opportunity to meet all the senior executives and was treated like a true VIP. I had never felt more welcomed and appreciated before. I remember when John gave me the ball I was very nervous and all I could think was “DON’T DROP THE BALL”. All kidding aside, this experience really made me reflect on the fact that I know people always need help and that I will continue to do everything in my power to help. Not everyone is as fortunate as their neighbor.

CC: What advice would you give others who would like to get involved?

LM: It will change your life. If you just see the smiles on people’s faces and you see them appreciate what you are doing, it’s so heartwarming. Just give it a try. It made me realize how fortunate I truly am for everything I have. It’s incredible to see how just a bag of groceries could change a life.

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