El Amanecer - The Sunrise
Vol. III Issue 3, MARCH, 2018
News & Notes from Neddy:
 March 1, 2018

Dear friends ,

For the past two weeks we have been visiting the areas around the community of Guanica in southern Puerto Rico. We, my husband Jose and I, have traveled to many surrounding communities to try to share with you all the current status here on the island. As pictures can convey what is often too difficult to write, we have sent some photos home to our editor to post in this month's newsletter for you.
As you can see, some areas have much damage still visible, some five months since the storms hit. Incredibly, though, the people here have shown signs of recovery and spirit. They acknowledge the kindnesses shown to them by relief efforts both large and small.
Below, you will also see a photo essay about the long journey of donations accumulated from the good folks at FLLAC and Ayer-Shirley Regional High School. What we at SAC shipped here has arrived, and was donated to those in need at the Isabel Santiago Cultural Center here in Guanica.
Meanwhile, our programs at the Spanish American Center continue, with some highlights in this issue: *Village Mortgage Food Drive,*Olive Garden Leominster's initiation of weekly food sharing with the Center,*Leominster's Public Health Nurse visiting our Seniors Program to speak about Flu prevention and immunizations,*Fitchburg State University interns volunteering at the Center and sharing their skills, and an upcoming joint educational program with *Pathways For Change, Inc. of Worcester focusing on safety in dating and healthy relationships for teens.
With hope for a productive future here and home, we send our love and appreciation -


Neddy & Jose Latimer
Guanica, Puerto Rico, USA
FLLAC students and staff pitch in to help Puerto Rico

Photo above: Ayer-Shirley Regional High School Vice Principal, Mr. Edwin Ramo s and students assist Neddy Latimer, Spanish American Center Director with donated items from their joint drive for Puerto Rico spearheaded by the FLLAC Education Job Coach, Maria Gonzalez- Bailey and staff, students and friends
. .
A note from Ms. Bailey:

"My name is Maria Bailey. I work for FLLAC Collaborative. In September, Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico. I was personally affected as my father, aunts and other relatives still live on the island. I am fortunate enough to belong to a generous community of co-workers, family, friends and businesses in the area. With that being said, I received countless donations from the following people and establishments. : 

FLLAC staff and families of the Ayer-Shirley High School ASD, DD, and Transition Classrooms,
FLLAC staff and families of the Page Hilltop Elementary ASD, DD classrooms in Ayer,
FLLAC Caldwell alternative high school in Fitchburg, Ma.,
FLLAC Caldwell elementary in Townsend, Ma.,
The student council at Ayer-Shirley Regional High School.,
Tiny's restaurant in Ayer, Ma.
Nashoba Pizza in Ayer, Ma,
Primerica Financial Services in Auburn, Ma. Sid Rivas and Associates.

Thanks to Mr. Edwin Ramos, the Vice Principal at Ayer-Shirley Regional High School for reaching out to the Spanish American Center. It warms my heart to know that our donations will be helping so many people. "
A long journey
UPDATE: Neddy Latimer, shown in photo at left, with staff at the Isabel Santoago Cultural Center (Centro Cultural Isabel Santiago De Guanica) , where she delivered some of the items collected by the students and businesses noted above!

Many Thanks to all!
¡Muchas Gracias!

Neddy and friends at the Isabel Santiago Cultural Center, Guanica, Puerto Rico 2/17/2018
News! The Spanish American Center has been selected to participate in the DARDEN Company's HARVEST PROGRAM ! The Darden family of restaurants including Olive Garden Italian Kitchen donate surplus food items to select 501 (c) 3 agencies. SAC will begin to pick up these specially designated foods to supplement our busy hunger relief programs beginning this month. Thank You Olive Garden and Darden !
Summer Internships Available at Leominster Hospital

H EIDI W ILCOX , 978-466-2778

Rosa I. Fernandez |  Manager, Community Benefits 
UMass Memorial HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital
201 Highland Street, Clinton, MA 01510
Tel: 978-368-3716 | Cell: 774-696-4832 |Fax: 978-368-3763

The internships will be provided at the LEOMINSTER CAMPUS of HealthAlliance.
We wish to acknowledge the following donors who participated in the Third Thursday food drive coordinated by Village Mortgage :
Brieanna Kelley – Branch Manager, Senior Mortgage Originator
Kathryn Weldon – Senior Mortgage Originator
Denise Peach – Senior Mortgage Originator
Steven Kelley – Mortgage Originator
Stephanie Onoja – Mortgage Originator
Sophia Bell – Mortgage OriginatorAnd
Yetti Lopez – Loan processor
Andrea DiGeronimo – Loan Processor,
The Spanish American Center has been most fortunate to have a strengthened relationship with Fitchburg State University . As you may recall from our December issue, the Nursing students, in particular, have been involved with our meal programs and community outreach for the homeless and needy who are invited to dinner and breakfast meals. At left are some recent photos of the FSU Students in action -- helping with our hunger-relief programs: Edward Colella, Rachael Bordier, Sydnee Gallant, Lynne Taylor, and Prof. Deborah Benes, PhD. - ¡Muchas Gracias!
and - we will have more on FSU's collaboration in next month's issue!

MWCC student focused on giving back

Mitchell Duarte carries food into the pantry at the Spanish American Center in Leominster. SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE / ELIZABETH DOBBINS  

By Elizabeth Dobbins 2/26/18
"LEOMINSTER -- Mitchell Duarte is no stranger to the Spanish American Center. 
"I don't want to say I grew up here, but I grew up around here," he said. 
The 26-year-old lifelong Leominster resident remembers many games of basketball in the neighborhood, but his more recent visits to the center have been for a different purpose. 
Duarte is one of three people enrolled in a work-study program to provide services to the center, which includes a soup kitchen, emergency food pantry and various community programs
"It's pretty much a little bit of everything," he said. "It's not still here. It's constantly moving." 
Duarte expects to graduate from Mount Wachusett Community College this spring with a degree in business, specializing in supply chain management. 
On Friday he unloaded boxes of donated food from a van after a morning spent driving to grocery stores in the area. 
He said the work is related to his degree. 
"I'm learning so much in these last couple of weeks," he said. 
Volunteer Coordinator Christina Gonzalez said the center has six volunteers in addition to Duarte.
Work-study programs are generally five weeks. 
"I try to focus on having them explore certain positions whether it's the front desk, whether it's working with the youth with need, overseeing our soup kitchen or pantry," she said. "I have them jump around so they can explore each area of the work." 
She said she has enjoyed working with Duarte so far. 
"It's been spectacular," she said. "He just takes initiative." 
Follow Elizabeth Dobbins on Twitter @DobbinsSentinel"
SAC was the recipient of an on-site delivery from the Worcester County Food Bank delivery truck. We usually drive to Worcester to pick up food items to replenish our shelves. On Tuesday, February 27, the truck came to us with delivery of much needed items. Our food pantry assisted 383 individuals or 140 families in the month of February alone! Thanks WCFB (and to SAC volunteer Ann Bissonnette for keeping such good statistics and helping our families in need!) ¡Muchas Gracias!
Jueves, 8 de Marzo de 2018
Thursday, March 8, 2018
And, where would we be without a photo of our friends at the Monday morning FREE breakfast program in Fitchburg at New Life Spanish Christian Church ? At left, site coordinator and SAC friend Georgie Rodriguez Locutor greets Massachusetts Representative Stephan Hay visiting for breakfast with clients there. These breakfast programs have recently celebrated their 1st Anniversary. Thanks, Georgie!
We are the Spanish American Center
Serving our Community-for over 50 years!

If you have suggestions, comments or information you would like us to share, please contact us at info@spanishamericancenter.org
or call us at 978-534-3145 and we will be happy to respond.
Missing an issue?
Click HERE to see our previous newsletters !