14_11_01_Paint_On Sunday, January 16, 15 members of Class XIV and seven guests traveled to Immokalee to paint three classrooms at the Guadalupe Center.  This was our “Done in a Day” project which only took about four hours.   We were all amateurs at painting but worked as teams with no reports of spills.  Guadalupe’s facility is a wonderful addition to the community and our work freshened up three of its 18 classrooms.  All of the paint ($500 worth) was donated by Sunshine Ace Hardware through the efforts of Mary Lynn Myers.  A big thank you to Jerry Wynn of Sunshine Ace Hardware who was happy to support our effort and Guadalupe Center.  The painters were treated to an excellent lunch by Julie Belle White-Newman (ably assisted by husband John who claimed he just stayed out of the way while Julie Belle cooked and baked).  Barbara Oppenheim, President of Guadalupe Center and Class XIV member, advised that the cost of painting just one classroom by a contractor would be over $700 so this effort benefited Guadalupe to the tune of more than $3000.

Guadalupe’s early childhood education program serves 250 students, six weeks to five years of age, Monday through Friday.  It also has an after school tutoring program for over 450 students in kindergarten through 2nd grade and a summer enrichment program providing tutoring and recreation for 300 youngsters. Through its Tutor Corps, Immokalee high school students earn a fair wage plus $4,000 a year in scholarship money as they serve as interns in the preschool and after-school programs.   These educational programs are in addition to Guadalupe’s Soup Kitchen which serves more than 35,000 hot meals each year, five days a week (Monday-Friday) to impoverished families in the area and its clothing/shower program.  Guadalupe’s Back-to-School Shoe Program outfits over 350 of the most impoverished children in Immokalee, ages 5 through 14, with a new pair of shoes.  You can read all about Guadalupe’s activities at www.guadalupecenter.net.  Class XIV was happy to support Guadalupe Center through this project.

Photo of George Barry by Dana Vannoy.