With great thanks to generous donors and volunteers, our Amigos Center and church in Immokalee has gotten an extreme makeover! Here are some of the pictures of what has been done, with more to come!
We are grateful for the many friends who came to support the ministry at our annual fundraising luncheon at the Hilton in Naples. It was a great event with powerful stories, vision for the future, and over 200 friends in attendance. Thank you to all who attended and thank you to the many volunteers who dedicated themselves to making this event a success!
Alonzo Martin, Consul for Mexican Communities led a Mobile Consulate at the Bonita Springs Amigos Center, Saturday, March 10. The Consulate served over 340 Mexican nationals living in South West Florida. Qualifying Mexicans were issued passports and Consular ID cards.
Amigos Center provided 14 volunteers to help aid this effort. In order for Mexicans to receive legal residency or U.S. citizenship, they must have a valid passport.
This outreach helps us develop a relationship of trust and friendship with Mexicans living in our community.
On January 23rd, one food pantry in a series of many mobile food pantries, 343 families were served by the Harry Chapin mobile food pantry at the Amigos Center in Immokalee. This pantry was sponsored by YUM! brands. Thank you Harry Chapin, Yum!, and all our volunteers who are helping feed hungry families and fighting to end hunger in America!
Check out the pictures below or see more on our Facebook Page!
CONGRATS AMIGOS CENTER!
Excerpts from the News Press:
Eight individuals were honored last night in several categories for their strong work ethic and contributions to the Hispanic community at the 12th annual Hispanic Achievement Awards and Hall of Fame Banquet. About 180 people attended the event at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre in Fort Myers.
“Hispanic business people do so well in helping to cultivate their own businesses from the ground up, and as I think all of you know, it’s the small businesses that are the fundamental framework of the economy,” said Lee County Commissioner Ray Judah, who spoke at the event.
This year’s winners:
Elementary Student of the Year: Alex Ventura of Estero, second grade.
Middle School Student of the Year: Robert Herrezuelo, Gateway Charter Middle School in Lehigh Acres.
High School Student of the Year: Monica Amaya, Mariner High School in Cape Coral.
Ministry of the Year: Amigos Center in Bonita Springs.
Educator of the Year: Peggy Mendez-Slichter, assistant principal with Alva Middle School.
Volunteer of the Year: Martha C. Avila, coordinator of Sustainable Lee.
Employee of the Year: Rafaela Berrios, helping teacher at Mariner High School in Cape Coral.
Business of the Year: Florida Skin Center in Fort Myers.
It wouldn’t be possible to serve the hundreds of families served each week in Immokalee without our faithful staff and volunteers. Here’s a picture of the staff who makes it happen!
Justina Ruiz (Case Worker), Karl Glander (Service Director), Robert Selle (Pastor), Andre Mezilus (Vicar)
Board Member Pat O’Donnell was featured in Lifestyle Magazine’s October 2011 issue’s article written by Laura Cummings.
Read excerpts below or read the full article here.
During the thirty-five years Al and Pat O’Donnell have lived in Estero, they have built an award-winning landscape firm as wellas a reputation for community service.
The Dubin Center is one of United Way’s seventy-two local partneragencies, as is The Amigos Center, for which Pat serves on the board.The Amigos Center helps immigrants in Lee and Collier counties filepaperwork to obtain, retain or recover their legal status. “They do alot of humanitarian work,” Pat explained. The agency helps immigrantsfrom ninety countries navigate through the complex Immigration andNaturalization Service (INS) system. “It’s a proud moment when theyfinally get through everything and get their citizenship.”Pat discovered The Amigos Center as a volunteer on the United Way’sAllocations Committee, which evaluates partner agencies and reviewsannual requests for grants. “It is an eye-opening opportunity to see whatthe needs are in Lee County,” Pat said.
While the O’Donnells keep a tightly packed schedule, they wouldn’thave it any other way.“You make time for the things you really want to do,” Pat said. “Youorganize everything else around it.”
Amigos Center in Immokalee is proudly serving over 25 students in our Literacy Program on Monday. Students are arriving early and staying after class to study and practice what they learned so they can move to our Rosetta Stone program. Director of Development, Leah McCann led one of the classes today and had the students singing the months of the year. “It was moving to hear the group sing and really staying focused to remember the months. It was even more moving to see them helping one another and encouraging one another to participate.” As the need continues to grow, we work diligently to accommodate everyone at their current level. We continue to pray for a Haitian Creole volunteer to assist us in our Literacy Program. If you are interested in volunteering in Immokalee, please contact Karl Glander at: (239) 657-3822.
In order to maintain high standards of financial integrity, our Amigos ministry maintains a standing Financial Review Committee. The committee:
- establishes and periodically reviews our financial investment policy;
- assumes responsibility for oversight of the annual audit, review, or compilation of our financial statements;
- is responsible for the selection of an independent accountant; and
- investigates any reported violation of our employee policies.
Members of the committee are (pictured left to right) Pat O’Donnell, (owner of O’Donnell Landscapes, board member of Amigos en Cristo and former chairperson of the United Way of Lee County Campaign Drive); Tom Cioper (Former president of Zion Lutheran Church, Fort Myers and retired Major Account Manager of Motorola Semiconductors); and Denny Brown (retired CFO/CEO of Owens Illinois Latin American Division, former volunteer Financial Consultant for Amigos Center and long time community volunteer).