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Guadalupe Resale Shop debuts seasonal holiday décor

seasonal holiday decor at guadalupe resale shopGuadalupe Resale Shop is celebrating the season by filling a section of its showroom with holiday décor.

Christmas décor includes festive tableware like plates, bowls, glasses and casserole dishes, as well as place settings, table centerpieces, shelf decorations, stuffed animals, bows, lights, angel statues, decorative pillows and even a few ugly sweaters.

“Every year, our volunteers help transform the showroom into a home for unique holiday treasures and gifts,” said Kat McNabb, store manager at Guadalupe Resale Shop. “Customers have been telling us that they don’t want the same holiday décor that their neighbors and friends bought at big box stores, and they’re finding one-of-a-kind decorations and table centerpieces here.”

McNabb also notes a trend among party-goers to bring food in a leave-behind casserole dish. When the party is over, a guest simply leaves the bowl or plate as a small gift. The party host is welcome to keep that dish or pay it forward at the next dinner party.

Proceeds from sales at Guadalupe Resale Shop support three educational programs at Guadalupe Center in Immokalee: the nationally accredited Early Childhood Education Program, After-school Tutoring & Summer Enrichment Program and college-preparatory Tutor Corps Program.

Located at 12980 Tamiami Trail North, Unit 10, in Naples, Guadalupe Resale Shop is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays. Donations are accepted from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays from a curbside drop-off behind the store.

Vintage vs. old: How to tell the difference

Vintage vs. old: How to tell the difference

vintageFashionistas and collectors are in hot pursuit of vintage items to add to their wardrobes, homes or garages. 

Whether it’s a funky print, retro sneakers, 1950s hotrod or early 20th-century artwork, vintage pieces are highly sought-after items. 

But how do you know if something is vintage or just plain old? Simply study the resale market. 

Five elements help determine whether an item is considered vintage: 

  • Age: Generally, vintage items are a few decades old, with items from the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and even 1980s regularly earning that term. Vintage items often exchange hands a few times. 
  • Quality: The most impressive aspect of vintage items is that they’re in excellent condition given their age. That means holes, tears, dents, cracks and rust should be minimal or nonexistent. 
  • Demand: Are people asking for that item or searching online for it? Vintage items often have an emotional connection with their owner or potential buyer. 
  • Quantity: In an era of mass production, it’s difficult to find items that are in short supply. When they are few and far between, though, consumers will act fast before they’re gone. 
  • Value: On the secondhand market, prices are driven by quality, demand and quantity. Some vintage cars, for example, sell for a higher price today than their original MSRP, even when factoring inflation into the price. 

Across Southwest Florida, the vast majority of people are building their wardrobes with new clothing purchased at department stores or online retailers. They are decorating their homes with sofas, coffee tables, kitchen tables, lamps and artwork straight from the catalog or showroom of a nearby big box store. 

Adding vintage items to your closet or living room introduces personality, style and a little flair. Fortunately, savvy shoppers can visit a variety of resale shops in Collier and Lee counties to score vintage styles. 

Vintage fashion can be plaid or floral designs, jeans, dresses and jewelry from bygone eras. Vintage furniture includes end tables, lamp bases and lamp shades, vases, tchotchkes and chairs. Even plates, bowls, wine glasses and silverware can be vintage. 

If an item was produced or manufactured in the 1990s or early 2000s, has little interest among consumers and an incredibly low price, it isn’t vintage… it’s just old. 

– By Kat McNabb, Manager of Guadalupe Resale Shop

Donation bins cause confusion, concern for nonprofits

Donation bins cause confusion, concern for nonprofits

guadalupe resale shop inventoryRecently, donation bins have been popping up in parking lots across Southwest Florida. 

These unattended metal bins, which resemble oversized postal boxes, share two common elements: they often feature green colors to promote recycling and many incorporate the word “donate” so people think they’re helping a good cause. 

In many cases, though, these donations bins are not directly supporting a charitable cause. In fact, some bins are providing inventory for businesses that resell those donations for a profit. 

For example, for-profit textile recycling companies based in Tampa and Davie have donation bins in Southwest Florida to collect clothing and shoes. Meanwhile, a for-profit book retailer headquartered in Indiana also has a trio of local donation bins to collect used books, which are then resold online. 

In each case, these businesses are upfront in noting they are for-profit entities that donate an undisclosed portion of their sales to charitable causes. Potential donors can donate goods directly to a nonprofit, though, and have 100% of proceeds support that cause.

Four Tips

As these parking lot donation bins become commonplace in Collier and Lee counties, it’s important to keep these four tips in mind: 

  • Consider local nonprofits: Dozens of reputable nonprofits and churches in Southwest Florida operate resale stores and thrift shops, including Guadalupe Center, St. Matthew’s House, Avow, Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity and others. They rely on quality donations to stock shelves, and every sale helps support the cause. Sales generated at Guadalupe Resale Shop, for instance, account for 9% of Guadalupe Center’s annual funding, money that supports life-changing educational programs for students in Immokalee. 
  • Research who is behind the donation bin: A little sleuthing and a quick Google search can reveal the organization that maintains a donation bin. In the cases above, each name listed comes back to a dot-com, a tell-tale sign that it’s a business venture. Donors essentially are providing these companies with inventory or raw materials.
  • Don’t leave donations exposed to the elements: Resale shop volunteers and staff will help supporters unpack donations and provide a tax receipt during business hours. Do not leave donations unattended outside of a thrift store or donation bin. A box of moldy, waterlogged donations, including a winter coat, clothing and purse, was recently spotted on the ground near one of these bins, effectively rendering the donation worthless.
  • Know what nonprofits want or don’t want: Secondhand shops want quality donations that fetch higher resale prices, but not every shop accepts electronics, office furniture, baby clothing or other items. Check their wish list prior to packing donation boxes. 

It’s uncertain whether for-profits’ donation bins are having a noticeable impact on resale shops run by nonprofits. However, every book, dress or suit jacket that goes into one of these bins is a donation that does not have a chance to help local nonprofits fulfill their missions and enhance the lives of the community members they serve. 

kat mcnabb– By Kat McNabb, Manager of Guadalupe Resale Shop

Guadalupe Center launches ‘Stepping Stones’ campaign

Guadalupe Center launches ‘Stepping Stones’ campaign

Guadalupe Center - van Otterloo Family Campus for LearningGuadalupe Center has announced a new campaign, Stepping Stones to the Future, that allows supporters to help launch an educational journey for students in Immokalee. 

Stepping Stones allows supporters to purchase personalized brick pavers that will be installed in walkways and courtyards at the new van Otterloo Family Campus for Learning, which will open in spring 2022. 

“We want to fill the campus with messages of hope and encouragement so children know they have the full support of this community,” said Dawn Montecalvo, president of Guadalupe Center. “Stepping Stones is a campaign that will have a lasting impact for years to come because an investment in education is an investment that transforms lives today, tomorrow and beyond.” 

Three types of personalized brick pavers are available: 

  • 8 inches by 8 inches: taupe engraved brick 
  • 9 inches by 12 inches: taupe engraved brick (includes option for corporate logo) 
  • 12 inches by 12 inches: beige engraved brick (includes option for corporate logo) 

The van Otterloo Family Campus for Learning will feature two academic buildings with multiple classrooms, a library, learning lab, cafeteria and kitchen, playground, administrative offices, mentor lounges, commons areas, a medical and dental suite, outdoor gardens and a student wall of fame. 

For years, Guadalupe Center has maintained a waiting list of more than 500 students for seats in its nationally accredited Early Childhood Education Program. In 2020, Guadalupe Center opened the Monaghan Family Early Childhood Education Campus, which accommodates 66 children from infancy through 3 years old. The van Otterloo campus will accommodate up to 154 Early Childhood Education students. It also will become home to Guadalupe Center’s college-preparatory Tutor Corps Program, providing students and staff with access to a learning lab, meeting rooms and spaces for collaboration. 

Both new campuses were funded by philanthropic support secured through Guadalupe Center: 2020 & Beyond, a comprehensive campaign to provide life-changing, transformational programs for additional students in Immokalee. 

For more information or to purchase a Stepping Stone, please contact Nzinga King at NKing@GuadalupeCenter.org or 239-657-7124.  

Guadalupe Center celebrates 200th alumni to earn college degree

Guadalupe Center Celebrates 200th Alumni to Earn College Degree

Immokalee is a close-knit, rural community comprised of hard workers who value family, friendship and a spirit of service.

Historically, though, Immokalee’s educational attainment rate lags behind many communities. U.S. Census data show just 5% of Immokalee adults have a bachelor’s degree. That rate is among the lowest in America and substantially less than Naples’ average of 57%.

mateo alexander mateo mateo (option 2)That’s what makes Guadalupe Center’s latest accomplishment a milestone worth celebrating. This summer, the nonprofit cheered as Mateo Alexander Mateo-Mateo became its 200th alumni to earn a college degree. It took just a few days for Guadalupe Center to note its next college graduate, and then the next one, and then the next one.

In addition to the 200-plus graduates as of this summer, an additional 122 additional students were still enrolled at colleges and universities around the country. Another 30 seniors from Immokalee High School’s Class of 2021 also headed to campus this fall.

In 2017, Mateo-Mateo completed Guadalupe Center’s college-preparatory Tutor Corps Program, which provides Immokalee High School students with college and career readiness, ACT and SAT test prep, mentorships, financial literacy and scholarship assistance, as well as wages for tutoring younger students.

Mateo-Mateo, 22, completed the bachelor’s degree portion of his accounting program this spring at the University of Missouri and will earn a master’s degree next year. Over the summer, he completed an internship with an investment bank based in New York City. Although he admits the thought of going from a small, impoverished town to working on Wall Street would be a challenge, he keeps referencing an old adage.

“If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere,” Mateo-Mateo says.

Guadalupe Center’s mission is breaking the cycle of poverty through education for the children of Immokalee. Although Mateo-Mateo is still writing his story, Guadalupe Center is excited about his future, as well as the next set of Tutor Corps students starting college. The Class of 2021 set a record with $4 million in scholarship offers and grants.

We celebrate high school graduates as they head off to college and college graduates as they start their careers. Dozens of alumni have returned to Immokalee as educators, doctors, financial professionals, health care specialists, engineers, public service workers and business leaders.

The pipeline of college graduates will transform Immokalee. Education has a direct correlation to poverty, so the lower the educational attainment rate, the higher the poverty rate, and vice versa. Census data show more than 37% of Immokalee residents live in poverty compared to just 8% in Naples. Education brings individuals, families and communities out of poverty.

van Otterloo Family Campus for Learning

Guadalupe Center will honor Tutor Corps college graduates on its Tutor Corps Wall of Fame at the van Otterloo Family Campus for Learning, a new educational campus under construction in Immokalee. The Wall of Fame will be a key feature of Brynne & Bob Coletti Hall, the new home for the Tutor Corps Program.

Mateo-Mateo hopes his story, as well as those of other Tutor Corps graduates, shows the youth of Immokalee that the possibilities are endless through education.

“You can do whatever you want to in life, but you have to clench your teeth and do 100% honest work to get there,” Mateo-Mateo said.

200th alumni– By Dawn Montecalvo, President of Guadalupe Center.

Why high school freshmen should think about college now

Today’s high school freshmen are 14 or 15 years old. 

They’ve just gone from top dogs in middle school to the smallest fish in a big sea. Academics are a cut above their previous studies. Their bodies and minds are going through periods of change, too. 

With high school just starting, college probably is the last thing on the minds of high school freshmen. But it should be. In fact, freshmen year helps lay the groundwork for sophomore, junior and senior years, and ultimately college.  

Below are five tasks that ninth-graders should be doing now to get a head start on their college planning.

High School Freshmen Checklist

(1) Meet with a school counselor. Academic advisors and guidance counselors help students set course schedules and monitor grades, but they’re also experts on college planning. Advisors can explain the college admissions process, financial aid, placement testing and what to expect from campus life. 

(2) Explore college options. Across America, there are more than 4,300 degree-granting institutions, according to the U.S. Department of Education. No two schools are alike. There are two- and four-year schools, public and private colleges, and liberal arts and research institutions. Colleges are located in urban, suburban and rural locations. There also are trade schools that offer certificates and professional licensure. 

(3) Understand finances. Colleges are expensive. That’s why it is important for parents and students to have a conversation about finances. Published tuition prices, however, aren’t necessarily the amount that all students pay. There are an abundance of scholarships, grants, loans and work study programs that help reduce the cost of attendance. You just need to know how to find them. 

(4) Review college majors. Teachers start asking this question in kindergarten: what do you want to be when you grow up? Now is the time for freshmen to start answering it. Guidance counselors can help students narrow down possible career choices based on abilities and interests. Another way to begin narrowing the list is by visiting websites of colleges to see what degree programs are available. 

(5) Study, study, study. High GPAs and test scores unlock the majority of colleges, and thus more academic opportunities. By ninth grade, elementary and middle school grades are wiped clean, and every freshman starts the school year with a clean slate. Planning, time management and effort are critical factors that determine academic success. Freshmen should begin studying for the ACT or SAT, and set a goal of finishing the first semester with a 4.0 GPA. 

In high school, it’s easy to get off track with so many potential distractions. That’s why Guadalupe Center emphasizes college, and what it takes to get there, from day one. Parents, teachers, guidance counselors and school administrators should all be willing to help. After all, today’s high school students represent the next generation of leaders. 

Freshmen essentially have four years to pave their path to college. Although the ship hasn’t necessarily sailed for sophomores, juniors and seniors, delaying the planning process only cuts down the time students have to make these incredibly important decisions. The clock is ticking. 

By Daniel Martinez, Tutor Corps Program high school director at Guadalupe Center. For more information, please visit GuadalupeCenter.org or call 239-657-7711. 

Tutor Corps students shop for future at Guadalupe Resale Shop

Each year, Guadalupe Resale Shop welcomes high school graduates of Guadalupe Center’s Tutor Corps Program for a fun shopping trip.

Students are allowed to select up to 10 items priced at $40 or less, at no cost. Students often use this opportunity to add pants, long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, jackets and coats to their wardrobes, as well as business attire for job interviews and formal events.

Check out photos of the Tutor Corps Class of 2021 shopping at Guadalupe Resale Shop.

Tutor Corps Shopping Trip

Guadalupe Galaxy fundraising gala will be held Jan. 20 at Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort

Guadalupe Center has announced the date and theme for its signature fundraising gala, an annual event that supports life-changing educational programs for students in Immokalee. 

Guadalupe Galaxy: Constellations of Hope, Charting the Future” begins at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 20 and will be held at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, 2600 Tiburon Drive in Naples. 

“Guadalupe Center has always been a hub of positivity and optimism, a place that gives hope to students and families in Immokalee as they work toward a brighter future,” said Dawn Montecalvo, president of Guadalupe Center. “The event’s theme captures the essence of Guadalupe Center as we help build a strong educational foundation that will skyrocket student success in school, college and careers.” 

Event chairs for Guadalupe Galaxy are Bev Cherry and Debbie Toler. Both women are longtime supporters and current Board of Trustees members who are dedicated to building a strong future for students at Guadalupe Center. 

“I’m thrilled to be involved and co-chair Guadalupe Galaxy,” Toler said. “Guadalupe Center has such a tremendous impact in changing the lives of so many students through education. Our galaxy theme is so relevant in enabling kids to chart their future.” 

“This will be a fun event to celebrate the present and future successes of our true stars… our beautiful children, of course,” added Cherry, “and also the staff, volunteers, mentors, supporters, families and so many more!” 

Guadalupe Galaxy details

Guadalupe Galaxy will be an in-person event featuring heartwarming student performances and speakers, galaxy-inspired décor, the return of a live auction and out-of-this-world entertainment. The gala will include the popular Jump Up for Education, a lively interactive call to action that allows attendees to make donations and jump up to show their support for Guadalupe Center. 

In 2021, Guadalupe Center’s fundraising gala, Circtacular, was a virtual, circus-themed event that raised more than $1 million to support the nonprofit’s nationally accredited Early Childhood Education Program, After-school Tutoring & Summer Enrichment Program and college-preparatory Tutor Corps Program. Guadalupe Center’s mission is breaking the cycle of poverty through education for the children of Immokalee. 

Tickets are $500 per person with patron ticket packages. Table sponsorships also are available. 

Guadalupe Galaxy sponsorships and underwriting opportunities are available, including Invitation Sponsor ($7,500), Program Sponsor ($5,000), Student Experience Sponsor ($3,000) and Valet Sponsor ($2,000). Sponsorship opportunities include event tickets, recognition at the gala and marketing exposure. 

For tickets or sponsorship opportunities, please contact Special Events Coordinator Tammy Richelieu at 239-963-3668 or email TRichelieu@GuadalupeCenter.org. 

EVENT PAGE: Guadalupe Galaxy

DIY blogger’s home renovation brings cash prize, national attention to Guadalupe Center

Kelly Hartley wanted to transform the look of her bathroom through a low-cost, DIY renovation.

She will end up transforming the lives of students through a high-quality education.

Hartley, a self-taught designer, interior stylist, DIYer and blogger from Naples, was one of 15 home décor bloggers that competed in the 2021 FrogTape Paintover Challenge. All contestants were given a budget of $1,000 and assigned a specific design trend. Hartley’s theme was “rest easy,” which meant she had to create “a space that provides peace of mind and offers sanctuary from daily stresses.”

Hartley opted to refresh her guest bathroom with a modern, contemporary look by enhancing the vanity, installing a new mirror, creating faux shiplap on the walls, restyling shower and floor tiles, replacing plumbing and lighting fixtures, and repainting the room.

“My goal for this project was to create a calming space for my family to relax and unwind,” Hartley said. “I love that my daughters now start and end their days in a soothing environment.”

The Paintover Challenge attracted 15 designers across nine states, and online voters tapped Hartley’s renovation project as the winner.

For her efforts, the DIY blogger received a $2,500 cash prize. In addition, she was able to direct support to a nonprofit organization of her choice. She designated Guadalupe Center, which will receive a $10,000 cash donation to support its mission of breaking the cycle of poverty through education for the children of Immokalee.

Hartley also was awarded another $2,500 to execute a design project at Guadalupe Center. In the coming weeks, she will help transform a cluttered office and storage space into a beautiful, tranquil teachers’ lounge that Guadalupe Center’s team of dedicated educators can use to unwind, enjoy lunch, plan student activities and have small meetings.

“They do such amazing things for the children in Immokalee, so I am just so honored and excited to be able to do this with them,” said Hartley, who creates high-end style and décor on a budget.

Beyond the $10,000 donation, Hartley also introduced a national audience of designers, DIYers and bloggers to Guadalupe Center. In encouraging online support, Hartley asked the nearly 85,000 followers on her Instagram page, @hartley_home, to consider the impact of their votes – helping provide life-changing educational opportunities at Guadalupe Center – when considering their favorite renovation project, even posting images of happy, engaged students at Guadalupe Center.

FrogTape, a leading brand of painters’ tape, also posted about Hartley and Guadalupe Center on its social media pages, which include a Facebook page with 63,000 followers and an Instagram page with 26,000 followers.

As a grassroots, locally run nonprofit, Guadalupe Center relies on a small army of supporters to help raise awareness and support for educational programs that, quite literally, change lives. More than 95% of students in the nationally accredited Early Childhood Education Program, for instance, meet or exceed kindergarten readiness standards. Every student who attends the After-school Tutoring & Summer Enrichment Program make significant learning gains in math and reading. Among students in the college-preparatory Tutor Corps Program, 100% graduate from high school and 94% graduate with a post-secondary degree.

A high-quality education changes students’ lives. Thanks to Hartley and those who voted for her bathroom renovation project as the best, Guadalupe Center is 10,000 steps closer to making students’ dreams of a brighter future become a reality.

Philanthropy in 2021: Six strategies to cultivate donor relationships

Personal relationships are a critical component of philanthropy.

Donors don’t often give solely because they support a cause. They give because they trust the people behind the cause. It’s those individuals who set policies into motion, establish successful programs and ensure exceptional financial stewardship, and ultimately accomplish an organization’s mission and vision.

During the pandemic, though, face-to-face communications were limited at best. As a result, a study published by the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and Candid Research Solutions found that one-third of nonprofits in the U.S. were at risk of closing within two years because of financial impacts from COVID-19.

Not every nonprofit floundered during the pandemic, though. In fact, many flourished by implementing innovative outreach programs that connected with donors and potential supporters on a deeper, more personal level.

A return to “normalcy” will bring back traditional donor relations activities, like fundraising galas and social events. However, organizations that adopted new communications strategies during the pandemic discovered additional ways to connect with key stakeholders, and it’s likely that some or all of the following strategies will remain long after the pandemic:

· Video: As the only means of face-to-face communications for a time, video offered opportunities for personal connections through personalized messages, one-on-one conversations and group presentations, essentially connecting organizations to a larger audience through Zoom, Teams or other platforms.

· Social media: As a running news feed, social media allows nonprofits to control the message while offering more frequent updates than traditional news media can provide. Visuals are especially important in allowing audiences to see how the organization is accomplishing its goals.

· Cell phones: Text messages and phone calls offer simple ways for periodic check-ins to stay top of mind with supporters. One-on-one communications, even without back-and-forth dialogue, helps maintain a positive relationship.

· Email: Platforms like MailChimp and Constant Contact allow organizations to create monthly or quarterly e-newsletters to reach supporters, philanthropic partners, volunteers, community leaders and even media. Crisp designs with colorful images and catchy headlines keep recipients engaged and help drive traffic to the website.

· Virtual events: After canceling in-person philanthropic events in 2020 and early 2021, many organizations are considering smaller galas or hybrid events for the 2021-22 fundraising season. Virtual events don’t have to disappear, though. With lower production costs and a shorter planning timeline, virtual events offer opportunities to create dynamic, authentic events that resonate with audiences near and far. Online donation portals are secure and fast.

· Small gatherings: While face-to-face fundraising and large-scale events might not be as frequent in the near future, there is a growing interest in more intimate gatherings. One-on-one conversations in a safe, familiar environment with fewer attendees offers a good opportunity to personally deliver new collateral, such as a printed annual impact report, that helps demonstrate the importance of philanthropic support and overall organizational success.

Although the pandemic forced nonprofits to think “outside the box,” many strategies to communicate with donors and influencers are here to stay and can help deepen relationships.

– By Kelly Krupp, CFPE, vice president of philanthropy at Guadalupe Center.

How to Give: DONATION GUIDE