February 2021
In this issue: Aaron's Gives Back, LaAmistad Mourns Loss, Compassion Kitchen Helps Fight Food Insecurity, LaAmistad Seeking Online Volunteers, Lovett Teacher Joins as Mystery Reader, and more
Aaron's Supports LaAmistad Families with Generous Gift
Aaron's Inc. made a gift in support of LaAmistad's mission this month as students and families continue to battle unprecedented academic and economic challenges.

Members of IGUAL, Aaron’s Hispanic Employee Resource Group, presented LaAmistad with the gift as part of their ongoing efforts to make a positive impact on the communities they serve.

"Hope is a very powerful state of mind," said David Cintron, a Senior Business Analyst and representative of IGUAL, "it helps build an individual’s perseverance. In that spirit, we are helping LaAmistad support those Hispanic families (and especially youngsters) most in need of an extra hand."

Funds will be used to bolster a variety of community support initiatives already underway at LaAmistad, and officials at Aaron's are confident that LaAmistad will convert their donation into real community impact.

"If this donation in any way helps provide more food, more computers, more gym equipment, more books, more facilities, higher salaries for those at LaAmistad that give so much, or whatever else is needed, Aarons and IGUAL are very happy to support LaAmistad."

Longtime advocates for Latino families, Aaron's is proudly taking steps to deepen their commitment to the Latino community at large by providing increased access to their range of in-store products.

"It's all about the open communication and relationship with the manager of each particular store. That’s why IGUAL is driving this initiative of teaching all store team members Spanish basics so that Latinos feel as comfortable as possible at our stores."

Read more about Aaron's philanthropic efforts below.
LaAmistad Mourns Passing of Beloved Business Manager Leigh Ann Griswold
The LaAmistad family suffered a tremendous loss this month with the passing of community advocate and longtime Business Manager, Leigh Ann Griswold. Leigh Ann was a loving mother, wife and friend. Her dedication to the service of others was an inspiration, and allowed her to touch countless lives before being called to be with the Lord. Her magnificent spirit will be dearly missed in the LaAmistad community.

Leigh Ann is survived by her husband Douglas Griswold; and two sons: Keith and Michael of Duluth, GA.

A memorial service was held on February 22nd at Peachtree Church. The service is currently streaming at: https://peachtreechurch.com/memorial. Click below for more details.
Food Insecurity Fight Continues with Help from Compassion Kitchen
In these difficult times, the students and families we serve know that they can count on their LaAmistad family to help provide the resources and relief they need. LaAmistad proudly partners with other local organizations to help make life easier for its students and families in need. Throughout the pandemic, LaAmistad has teamed with Cathedral of Christ the King's Compassion Kitchen Project to help families struggling with food insecurity find stability amid ongoing economic hardships. Read more about how Compassion Kitchen is supporting local communities below.
Tickets and Sponsorships for LaAmistad Annual Gala Now Available!
Support our Heroes September 25th, 2021
An elegant evening of dinner, a silent auction, and celebrating community heroes is set for September 25th! Join us at the Four Seasons Hotel as we celebrate the amazing people making a difference in Atlanta's Latino community. Purchase your tickets and sponsorships below, and help us celebrate the heroes of our community!
Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta
September 25, 2021
Cocktail Reception: 6:30 pm
Dinner: 7:30 pm
LaAmistad ESL Volunteer Spotlight: Barbara Gebert
LaAmistad ESL volunteer teacher Barbara Gebert is a true difference-maker in our great city. A teacher for over 30 years, her passion for education did not end when she retired from her role with Gwinnett County Schools. Instead, Barbara found a new outlet where her passion for helping others learn could continue to thrive. That outlet is LaAmistad's English for Successful Living program, where she continues to impact lives with her generous donations of time and energy. Check out our Q&A with Ms. Gebert below!

How long have you been teaching with LaAmistad's ESL program?

I started teaching ESL with LaAmistad in September of 2017 - which is a little over 3 years ago. I have taught levels Basic through Level 4.

Has teaching with LaAmistad's ESL program had an impact on your life?

When I retired from teaching, I knew that I still wanted to teach. LaAmistad's ESL program makes that possible. It is perfect for me because I am able to continue to help students, as I did as a public school teacher. Teaching only two evenings a week fits my current age and lifestyle. I am thankful that LaAmistad is giving me the opportunity to continue to do what I love.

Would you recommend others teach with LaAmistad's ESL program?

I would recommend teaching in the LaAmistad ESL program to anyone who has a love of teaching.

What is your favorite aspect of LaAmistad's English for Successful Living program?

I love that my students have made learning English a priority in their lives. Regularly attending class and doing homework takes a real commitment of time. Many students go beyond this to do additional practice - using vocabulary flash cards, making grammar worksheets, writing and speaking English outside of class. It is heartwarming to see my student's dedication to the difficult task of learning a new language.
Interested in helping adult learners improve their English fluency and change their lives? There's still time to sign up to be a LaAmistad ESL volunteer teacher for the winter session. Use the button below to get involved!
LaAmistad Afterschool Seeking Online Volunteers
A few hours of your time each week can have a life-changing impact on students in need of support. LaAmistad is seeking volunteers who can offer elementary-age homework help to local Latinx students online. Volunteers work alongside a staff teacher and parent liaison to help students achieve academic success. No Spanish or education experience required! It's a great way to start volunteering in the community, and makes an immeasurable difference in the lives of students. Use the button below to sign-up to be a LaAmistad Afterschool volunteer in 2021!

Short on time but still want to help out? Sign up to volunteer as a Mystery Reader at select LaAmistad Afterschool locations. Mystery Readers bring joy and interactive learning to LaAmistad Afterschool students via ZOOM. Email rdepasquale@laamistadinc.org to sign up!
Lovett Faculty Member Joins Afterschool as Mystery Reader
Mrs. Angela Mitchell joined LaAmistad Afterschool at Centro Católico this month to bring joy and knowledge to online afterschool students. Mrs. Mitchell is an esteemed faculty member of Lovett High School, and a devoted member of the LaAmistad Afterschool family. A native of Cali, Colombia, Mitchell inspired students at Centro's virtual site with her reading of Juan Caracol in Spanish. The author of the selected book happens to be Mrs. Mitchell's best friend from her high school days back when she lived in Colombia. LaAmistad is extremely grateful to Mrs. Mitchell for her donation of time. Thank you, Angela, for helping make a difference for LaAmistad Afterschool students!

If you or someone you know would like to be a guest virtual Mystery Reader, we and our students would be very grateful! Please contact your home site if you are already serving with us. If you are not currently a volunteer but would like to be a virtual Mystery Reader, please email rdepasquale@laamistadinc.org
Success Spotlight: Check Out This Heartwarming Valentine's Day Message from Students to Volunteers!
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