CYO and Optimist Soccer Donate Over 1,700 Books to Guadalupe Center

Charity, by which God and neighbor are loved, is the most perfect friendship. – Saint Thomas Aquinas

What an amazing illustration of the love and mercy of our faith!  Last weekend, at the weekly games at the Vineyards sports complex, the families of the Optimist Soccer League and our CYO Soccer Teams gathered 1,721 children’s books for donation to the Guadalupe Center in Immokalee.  The brainchild of the Tedrow Family, our “Spring Cleaning for the Soul” program is a Lenten service project where the children of the soccer program and our Parish Family are learning to give back to the community.  Watching all the children run up to the St. John truck with their bags of books was such a heartening moment, their faces bright with joy and the knowledge they were helping other youth that do not have access to books like theirs.  We are restocking the Library of the Guadalupe Center, which is an education-focused non-profit in Immokalee that houses pre-school, after-school, and tutoring programs for infants up to and through high school.

I want to thank Optimist soccer and their leadership, which includes the Dina and Greening Families, who are parishioners here at St. John.  They, along with the Tedrows, developed this program that will enable our CYO community to provide various necessities to the youth in Immokalee: from the books to clothing, games, and toys.  I also want to thank Natalie Campbell, our Director of Religious Education, for communicating this service opportunity to the Faith Formation Families.   We are now able to positively impact the entire Naples community with CYO and social service programs, involving our Parish Family and non-parishioners alike in making our world a better place.

As we Build Our Future, Serve Our Past, we still need all the gifts, prayers, and support of our Parish Family to reach our Pinnacle Goals.  If you have any questions, please contact Joe Lichwalla, the Campaign Coordinator at 239-495-2001 or email:

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