Every quarter, Prestige Insurance Consultants in Naples, Florida, chooses a charity in the community to support. Each does important work, but inspiration truly struck when agency founders Shannon Morgan and Sonia Vargas connected with the Guadalupe Center.
The organization, in Immokalee, Florida, aims to break the cycle of poverty through education, offering early learning, academic support, and college prep.
“After we took a tour and saw the smiling faces of the children, we knew we wanted to help even more,” Morgan said. “They are really making a difference.”
Morgan and Vargas are making a difference, too. The pair, who founded their business in 2006, have volunteered at the Guadalupe Center, provided financial support through their referral program and inspired two other employees to get involved.
“We organize and sort donations at the resale shop, and also give the kids one-on-one attention at the center — doing puzzles, reading and playing,” Vargas said. “They love seeing new faces.”
Prestige Insurance Owner Shannon Morgan helping out with puzzles in the four-year-old classroom.
Beginning in November, Morgan will work with the organization to mentor a high-school student as well. “I’m really looking forward to being a positive influence at a critical time in her life,” she said.
Helping children through crucial development periods has been the mission of the Guadalupe Center since 1984, when the nonprofit — originally a soup kitchen — shifted its focus to educational programs.
Today, according to Amy Chancy, development associate for the Guadalupe Center, more than 1,300 kids are served through several programs: Early Childhood Education, After-school Tutoring & Summer Enrichment for students in kindergarten through second grade, and Tutor Corps, which serves high-schoolers and trains students to tutor others.
The need continues to grow. “We have waiting lists with hundreds of students,” she said, adding that new initiatives have been launched to serve more kids.
The littlest children at Guadalupe Center enjoy going for a walk and showing some of the Prestige Insurance staff around their school.
A 2017 Safeco Insurance Make More Happen Award will help. The honor comes with a donation of up to $10,000 to the Guadalupe Center from Safeco on behalf of Prestige Insurance Consultants.
“We’re so thankful to have the support of dedicated community members like Shannon and Sonia,” Chancy said. “They not only volunteer, but they share their enthusiasm about our organization with others.”
The true reward, according to Morgan, is simply knowing that she and others are creating possibilities. “Many of us are parents,” she said, “and the Guadalupe Center is a bright light offering these children the same opportunities that we would want for our own children.”
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