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Dear friend of St. Martin de Porres,

Thank you for all you have done and continue to do for St. Martin de Porres. We wanted to give you an update of what’s going on. We have been incredibly busy with an exponential growth in supporting the less fortunate in Fort Myers and beyond. Here’s what’s going on as we write you:

  • Mondays – we have a food pantry (serving approximately 100 families). The primary audience of our food pantry and café are the women and children of the local community.
  • Monday through Friday – a hot meal is served to approximately 100 individuals, again primarily women and children.
  • We are working on creating a building that will house 4 single women with their children who are homeless. The building was donated, and the labor is provided by individuals who are training to get back to work. It is truly “people helping people”.
  • We operate an organic herb garden to provide us with fresh herbs and vegetables for the operation
  • English as a second language is being taught to about 12 women.
  • After school homework help is available four nights a week when school is in session. It is essential to help them succeed by the time they reach 5th grade or their success is limited.
  • We are working on providing support to the community by meeting with them to understand their issues and provide appropriate referrals
  • Professional Health awareness sessions are run periodically including pregnancy testing and support, and a mobile mammography van will be coming in the next month
  • We have added showers for those who are in need. It is available on each day that the café is open.
  • Back to school supplies (backpacks, sneakers and school supplies were provided to about 400 children recently).
  • Thanksgiving food baskets are provided to the community
    Christmas gifts and food are provided to 800 children and families
  • We provide food to other churches and communities (Immokalee, Jesus the Worker, Bokeelia)

All of this is done with total volunteer support. No one receives a salary and virtually all of the food is donated to us. This is an incredible outpouring of support from so many people. While all of this is given to us free of charge, there is a cost to deliver these services. We have been blessed with donations of services such as pest control and labor to do needed building repairs, however, some of the supplies needed for repair, electricity, propane, waste removal, and gas to pick up the many donations and building supplies are not free of charge. We need the help of the community and caring individuals such as yourself.

Our success stories are many…people are getting jobs with the skills we are teaching, individuals are working on recovery from addictions, and smiles are seen on the faces of our customers. We want to be able to continue the work. Can you help us keep up the work we are called to do. Any donation will be appreciated…a onetime donation of any amount, or, if you can, an ongoing commitment would make such a difference in so many lives. You may want to consider joining our 500 club, recognizing those individuals who can help us with an annual donation of $500 (at one time or spread throughout the year).

Thank you,