United Way has once again reached their campaign goal of $8,024,330 under the direction of campaign chairwoman, Pat O’Donnell. Pat O’Donnell is also an active member of the Amigos en Cristo Board of Directors.
Amigos Center is a proud partner of United Way of Lee, Hendry and Glades, who generously contributes $30,000 annually to help support the Immigration ministry of Amigos Center.
At the goal announcement O’Donnell said, “I am thrilled to announce that the United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades has reached its campaign goal for the 18th consecutive year!
“Our generous community has done it again! Despite the difficult economy, you dug deep to give what you could to help our friends and neighbors who are hurting, out of work, or ill. In the toughest economy that we have faced in many years, you gave so others could look forward to a better life. I am so proud of our community.
“What is more important than the fact that we made our goal is that the 72 United Way Partner Agencies will receive their full allocation of funds. The needs in our community have increased significantly in these troubled times. Many agencies have lost funding from both government and private sources. United Way Partner Agencies’ 160 programs will be fully funded and hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens will receive the help they need.
“Thank you to all of the individuals, companies, communities and partner agencies for your generous contributions. You proved once again what a caring community this is.”
We value education and training leaders to be equipped to serve in their community.
Amigos Center Social Service Coordinator, Marcela Rice, has designed a four month course to inspire and prepare farm workers to participate in leadership opportunities in their community, their schools and their churches. This course began in January and will finish with a graduation in May.
Christina shared that last Friday, at 5:30, she was getting ready and packing up to go home. The door was propped open for the cleaning lady and in strides an immigration client. Thinking to herself how to gently send him home, since she was all packed up and ready to leave, he smiles at her and thanks her for the immigration work she did for him and his family four years ago. He hands her $30 and tells her it’s not much but he is so thankful for the work of the Amigos Center and he is finally in a position to give back and wants to do what he can to help Amigos Center help more people. It was a great way to start the weekend.
Each month the Department of State sends out a visa bulletin showing the visa processing dates for different family relationships and countries. Depending on the relationship and country, clients can wait months to decades to get their green cards. Usually visa processing dates move forward in time or remain the same, but sometimes dates go back in time (retrogressing). The retrogression can affect when a client can file for the green card or get the green card.
When the January 2011 visa processing dates were released in mid-December 2010, Amigos Center realized that we had a young man in his final year of high school that only had days to submit his green card case or possibly have to wait many more years to file. Filing his case by December 31 meant him being able to get a work permit, social security number, driver’s license, and go to college. His family scrambled to get all the necessary documents/fees. With the help of Amigos Center, the young man was able to get the case properly submitted to immigration by the December 31 deadline. Happily his case is now progressing and he is currently waiting for his work permit.
Toward the end of January 2011 Amigos Center noticed that processing times for sibling cases were going to retrogress over two years as of February 1, 2011. We had two siblings that had submitted their green card cases last fall and both were scheduled for interviews with Tampa immigration for early February 2011. We quickly contacted Tampa to see if their interviews could be scheduled for January when the visa was still available. Tampa was able to see both clients on January 31 and both clients got their green cards. If the clients had not been seen until February, they would have been pending for many more months or years. Both clients called Amigos Center after their interviews to give a big thank you. After years in the U.S., they can now hop on a plane to visit their family in their native country and they are now in line to be able to apply for U.S. citizenship.
On December 29th, Harry Chapin chose Amigos Center to be the point of distribution for their mobile food pantry.
They arrived with three large box trucks and with the help of 45 volunteers we served nearly 4500 people in under 4 hours. We are thankful for the Harry Chapin’s partnership with us and their faith in our work in changing lives in Immokalee.
Our first Amigos Center float was the Grand Prize Winner of $500 in the Immokalee Parade of Cultures! Thank you to all the volunteers who made the float and participated in the parade!
Ayudando a los inmigrantes a lograr una vida abundante en el suroeste de Florida
Fundado en 1997, el Amigos Center ayuda a miles de familias anualmente que vienen al suroeste de Florida buscando refugio de la persecución y la falta de oportunidades. Los ayudamos a lograr el sueño de una vida mejor y a cumplir su deseo de convertirse en ciudadanos productivos de nuestro gran país. Nuestro objetivo es ayudarlos a alcanzar la educación, habilidades y recursos necesarios para que ellos puedan tener éxito.
Logramos esto a través de nuestros programas:
- Fe (Servicios de adoración cristiana). Nuestras Iglesias Luteranas en español y creole permiten a las personas adorar y convivir en su lengua materna, crecer en su relación con Jesucristo, y ser parte de una familia sana amorosa basada en la comunidad.
- Familia (Inmigración). Nuestros especialistas en inmigración ofrecen servicios de inmigración basados en las familias de bajo costo. Ayudamos a las familias a unirse y permanecer unidas, llevándolas por el camino hacia la residencia permanente y la ciudadanía.
- Amigos (Servicios sociales). Proporcionando educación a través de clases de inglés y alfabetización junto con ayuda de comida y ropa en Immokalee.
Mantente informado. Aprende cómo dar. Se Voluntario. Llama al (239) 4376727
Amigos en Cristo es una organización exenta de impuestos 501 (c) 3
La Iglesia Luterana Amigos en Cristo
25999 Old 41 Road
Bonita Springs, FL 34135
Culto: Domingo 1:00pm
La Iglesia Luterana de Immokalee
106 South 2nd Street
Immokalee, FL 34142
Culto: Domingo 9:00 am
Ways to Give
All donations are tax deductible.
You can donate online using a credit or debit card by clicking on the Donate Now button
To make a donation over the phone, you can call us at 239-437-6727
Call 1-800-847-4836 or go online to www.thrivent.com to direct your Choice Dollars to Amigos Center.
If you would like to send in a check, please make the check out to Amigos en Cristo, Inc, and send it to the address below
Amigos en Cristo, In
25999 Old 41 Road
Bonita Springs, FL 34135
Gifts in Kind
If you would like to donate a gift other than cash, please contact our office at 239-437-6727
“A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.” NO MONEY IS PAID TO PROFESSIONAL SOLICITORS. ALL CONTRIBUTIONS ARE USED BY AMIGOS EN CRISTO, INC. (#SC-11673)
47.2% of residents living in Immokalee, live below the poverty level.
Your support of Amigos Center helps thousands of children and families in need throughout Southwest Florida.
Located in SW Florida, Immokalee is one of our nation’s most fertile agricultural communities. According to the 2008 USDA Profile of Hired Farmworkers, farmworkers remain “among the most economically disadvantaged working groups in the U.S.” and “poverty among farmworkers is more than double that of all wage and salary employees.”
Farmworker Facts and Figures
- Like textile workers at the turn of the last century, Florida tomato harvesters are still paid by the piece. The average piece rate today is 50 cents for every 32-lbs of tomatoes they pick, a rate that has remained virtually unchanged since 1980. As a result of that stagnation, a worker today must pick more than 2.25 tons of tomatoes to earn minimum wage in a typical 10-hour workday — nearly twice the amount a worker had to pick to earn minimum wage thirty years ago, when the rate was 40 cents per bucket. Most farmworkers today earn less than $12,000 a year.
- In a January 2001 letter to members of Congress, the U.S. Department of Labor described farmworkers as “a labor force in significant economic distress,” citing farmworkers’ “low wages, sub-poverty annual earnings, [and] significant periods of un- and underemployment” to support its conclusions.
- As a result of intentional exclusion from key New Deal labor reform measures, farmworkers do not have the right to overtime pay, nor the right to organize and collectively bargain with their employers.
- In the most extreme conditions, farmworkers are held against their will and forced to work for little or no pay, facing conditions that meet the stringent legal standards for prosecution under modern-day slavery statutes. Federal Civil Rights officials have successfully prosecuted seven slavery operations involving over 1,000 workers in Florida’s fields since 1997, prompting one federal prosecutor to call Florida “ground zero for modern-day slavery.” In 2010, federal prosecutors indicted two more forced labor rings operating in Florida.
*facts from The Coalition of Immokalee Workers
7401 Winkler Road
Social Service Center
20041 S. Tamiami Trail #3,
Immigration Center at
Amigos Center Immigration
Amigos Center Immigration