La Casa de Amistad earns $100K grant from Lowe’s

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 5:22 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Lowe’s Home Improvement selected La Casa de Amistad for a $100,000 landscaping grant as part of the 100 Hometowns initiative, which also celebrates the company’s centennial.

On Tuesday, over a dozen Lowe’s employees from the South Bend store planted trees, flowers, mulched, and did other landscaping projects on the La Casa property.

“A lot of times, we’re just so used to interacting with the customers and selling them products, but here’s a situation where the employees get to really come out and work with the community, and, you know, help with putting new trees out and putting flowers out. I mean, that’s huge to be able to support the community in this way,” said Rickey Ward, Store Manager at Lowe’s in South Bend.

Earlier this summer, the non-profit moved into the former Xavier School of Excellence building on South Michigan Street, a location that La Casa Director of Development Juan Constantino said puts them in prime position to impact the community.

“As soon as you get off the roundabout [on Michigan Street], and it says, ‘Welcome to South Bend, ‘it’s La Casa,” remarked Constantino. “We want our community and our team and our kids to be proud about the space that they’re in. And we want to make it a beautiful space, and Lowe’s is making that happen.”

Lowe’s picked La Casa out of more than 2,200 applications for the 100 Hometowns grant. Only 99 other projects across 36 states received $100,000 in funding a piece.

“Being the only Latino Hispanic serving regional center like our kind within quite a few miles-radius is a testament to our work here,” Constantino said.

La Casa has long offered a bilingual pre-school and legal services but also serves people who don’t speak Spanish.

“Our last citizenship class of 60 students represented 20 different countries, ranging from Japan, Congo, Malawi, folks from Central and South America, and the such, so very much a gambit of folks in terms of what we’re reaching,” said Constantino.

Ward from Lowe’s said it’s gratifying to beautify the La Casa property and hoped the changes impact the youth served by the community center.

“They’re going to get to see these plants every time they pull up into the parking lot. Some of these trees - they’re going to be sitting out doing a lunch break and just enjoying the shade, so I think it’s nice we’re able to partner with them and do something for the city and also work with the youth with La Casa,” he said.

La Casa was the only grant recipient from Indiana.

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