2017-07-20 / Top News

Guadalupe Center students step toward the new school year

SPECIAL TO FLORIDA WEEKLY


Above: Jeanne Nealon of Laces of Love looks on while Becky Joyce fits Kayden Nicolous with a new pair of shoes at Snyderman’s Shoes of Naples. Right: Rayane Quiroz and Frankie Quiroz tuck into lunch courtesy of Russell’s Clambakes & Cookouts. 
COURTESY PHOTOS Above: Jeanne Nealon of Laces of Love looks on while Becky Joyce fits Kayden Nicolous with a new pair of shoes at Snyderman’s Shoes of Naples. Right: Rayane Quiroz and Frankie Quiroz tuck into lunch courtesy of Russell’s Clambakes & Cookouts. COURTESY PHOTOS To help ensure hundreds of Immokalee children start out the new school year on the right foot, the Guadalupe Center is hosting its 25th annual Back-to- School Shoes and School Supplies Drive. Immokalee children enrolled in Guadalupe Center will take home brand new shoes as part of a joint initiative between The Guadalupe Center, Laces of Love Inc., Snyderman’s Shoes of Naples, Russell’s Clambakes & Cookouts and Seminole Immokalee Casino. More than 250 Immokalee school children will receive new shoes and school supplies.

“Many of the attending children come from families that have faced long periods of poverty, where English may not be spoken at home, and graduating from high school or attaining a college degree seems out of reach,” said Dawn Montecalvo, president of the Guadalupe Center, a nonprofit organization focused on breaking the cycle of poverty through education for the children of Immokalee. “With the right guidance and support, we believe we can help create endless possibilities and break the cycle of poverty through education. A new pair of shoes goes a long way to bring smiles and confidence as they prepare for the new school year.”

Boys and girls from the center funneled into Snyderman’s Shoes in small groups throughout the week, ready to be properly fitted with new shoes of their choice. The girls gravitated more toward bright and shiny shoes, while the boys opted for athletic or superhero-themed shoes. After the children were fitted, they were treated to hot dogs, chips and cookies from Russell’s Clambakes & Cookouts.

“The Guadalupe Center provides significant educational and emotional support to the children of low income families,” said Jeanne Nealon, co-founder and president of Laces of Love, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide new shoes to low income and disadvantaged children of Collier and Lee counties. “Through our joint efforts, we are able to provide quality shoes to students in need, which allows them to focus on their learning and development.”

To support the drive’s continued efforts, the Guadalupe Center is collecting monetary donations online at www.GuadalupeCenter.org or mailed to 509 Hope Circle Immokalee, FL 34142. Visit the website for more information about the center’s programs and volunteer opportunities. ¦

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