Guadalupe Center, a non-profit organization focused on breaking the cycle of poverty through education, and community partners recently came together to present the 25th annual Back to School Shoes & Supplies Drive, helping more than 250 Immokalee school children start their school year off on the right foot with properly fitting, high-quality shoes and much-needed school supplies.
“For families of Immokalee, back to school shopping is a luxury that some simply cannot afford, and when the new school year rolls around, we often find that some students are wearing shoes that are three or even four sizes too small,” said Dawn Montecalvo, President, Guadalupe Center. “We are so grateful to the community and our partners who made this year’s event possible. Seeing how greatly these students are impacted by this outpouring of generosity is incredible.”
The students’ day began with a bus ride from the Guadalupe Center to Snyderman’s Shoes of Naples, aboard transportation provided by Seminole Casino Immokalee. Students filed into Snyderman’s Shoes of Naples, greeted by a high five from the dedicated employees and volunteers, from Snyderman’s Shoes of Naples and Laces of Love respectively, who then fitted students for shoes that were perfectly matched to each child. Once fitted, children enjoyed a delicious lunch, thanks to Russell’s Clambakes & Cookouts.
For some students this year, putting their original shoes back on after the fitting was simply not possible. Laces of Love went above and beyond to purchase these children a second pair to wear home.
In addition to the shoe fitting, a wide selection of school supplies, ranging from pencils and paper to backpacks and binders, flooded in from generous members of the community, providing essential tools that will benefit Guadalupe Center students throughout the school year.
School supplies and shoe donations are accepted year-round and will be brought to the Early Childhood Education Center in Immokalee to be distributed to those in need throughout the school year. Monetary donations may also be made online at www.guadalupecenter.org or mailed to Guadalupe Center, 509 Hope Circle Immokalee, FL 34142.
Guadalupe Center is a non-profit organization focused on breaking the cycle of poverty through education for the children of Immokalee. Laces of Love, Inc. is also a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide new shoes to low income and disadvantaged children of Collier and Lee Counties, FL; and to educate the public on the needs of these children.