Building A Better Block

This past weekend staff and volunteers from La Casa were involved in helping to build a better block on Western Ave. We were asked by the Association of REALTORS to help with their Better Block program to highlight the development potential of Western Ave. We jumped head first into the program and it was a great adventure.

Mariachi TricolorWe helped develop the theme “Al Ritmo de la Western” to show off the rhythm our neighborhood to the rest of the community. It was a great chance to host community meetings, collect input and rally supporters for Western Ave. It was most importantly a chance to show off the great things happening on Western Ave. and bring people out who might not normally visit the area. We also got some great media attention:

Community Meeting: WNDU (7/23/14)
Market Basket: Tribune (7/24/14)
Clean Up Events: WSBT (9/24/14)
Pre-Event Coverage: ABC57 (10/16/14)
Weekend Coverage: WNDU Friday/Saturday
Tribune: Event Day Pictures (10/18/14)
Tribune: Event Article (10/19/14)

One of our contributions to the event was to help with the Art Gallery and we pulled together a few different Latino and local artist work together. The two Latino artist we brought were Maclovio Cantu and Julian Alcantar. We also showed art from the Drew family of artists and of course art from the kids from La Casa de Amistad programs.

IMG_6023Some of the before and after shots were impressive, and the turnout was great despite awful weather. It was a great weekend, the mayor came, and we had so many first time visitors to the neighborhood that we know will come back again. It was nice to see people rolling up their sleeves and putting their arms around one of our blocks and making it a better place.

We want to thank the Association of REALTORS, and most importantly Laurie LaDow and Myron Larimer who got paint on their pants and helped our neighborhood. They championed the project, rallied lots of support, and helped our neighborhood know that people in the community believe in our potential… sometimes that is all it takes, for you to know that other people care… because our neighborhood has been ignored for a long time.

We hope that all the people who came out will come back for another visit. There were so many requests for us to do this again so we will see what the future holds as we keep moving Al Ritmo de le Western! Thanks again everyone!

Posted in Community, Events, Uncategorized | Comments Off

La Noche, La Noche!

Last week was our big annual event which we called “Noche with La Casa” this year. It was a big success and we are rolling now on all of our thank you notes, letters and putting everything back together.

Noche 2014We want to thank everyone that made the event a success! We had over 200 people attend the silent auction and dinner, beautiful and local cultural performances and awards for individuals helping make a difference in our community. It was truly a great night and everyone there for one cause, to support La Casa de Amistad!

Humanity Knows No Border Award – Mayor Pete
Since taking office as the Mayor of South Bend he has worked hard to connect with the Latino Community. From meetings at Chico’s with local leaders, to greeting people at Plaza Rosales Pete has connected. He has spoke at local immigration rallies and lent his ear to our needs and issues. Thank you Mayor Pete!

Volunteer of the Year – Aaron Omanson
Aaron, a recent IU South Bend graduate, started volunteering with us during spring 2014 and has been a tireless supporter since. From being a weekly volunteer, to donating items for our food party to coming and helping with special events Aaron made himself an important part of our team. Thanks Aaron!

Special Recognition – Sofia Téllez de Manriquez
Sofia has worked for La Casa for over 10 years in our Fortaleciendo Familias (Strengthening Families) program. She has not only been a great instructor, but also a great role model for our students. She completed her GED this spring, and is currently taking computer classes and enrolling in our citizenship program. She leads by example, has been committed to helping others, and we wanted to thank Sofia for her dedication.

OUR SUEÑOS (Our Dreams)
At our dinner this year we kicked off a new special fund. Each year we have family members and individuals that need additional assistance with our programs. We wanted to ensure that a access to our programs was there regardless on if someone could afford to pay. This would include fees to a program, like our Yo Puedo Leer Pre-K class, or trips for special programs like this summer’s conference we sent students to in California. To help our families reach their dreams, we knew we need this fund. We made a goal to raise $30,000 in six months… and made a serious start to the fund during Noche with La Casa. We will have an announcement soon on that fundraising.

We want to send a sincerely and heartfelt thank you everyone who helped in the success of the event. From all of our fantastic silent auction donors, to those who sponsored tables and of course our cultural performances. More photos will be posted on our Facebook Page.

Posted in Community, Events, Fundraiser, Social, Uncategorized | Comments Off

Noche Silent Auction


The plans for our “Noche with La Casa” at the Hilton Garden Inn Gillespie Conference Center are coming along well! The RSVP Deadline has passed and we are excited to welcome a record crowd for our event!  Details on the dinner are available HERE.

To kick off the Noche with La Casa will be our annual silent auction. We wanted to create a page to let people know about all the great items that will be available. We will work to update the list as often as possible, and some items might get delivered the night of the auction… so don’t miss out and RSVP for the dinner!

SILENT AUCTION ITEMS (Updated 9/29/14)
Frame Noche with La Casa Original Invitation Art
4 Tickets to DTSB Wine Walk
Lou Holtz Autographed Notre Dame Football
Michele Diamond Dial Watch (Womens) Van Horne Jewelers
Framed “Mundo al Revéz” Print by Teresa Villegas
WSBT “Big Shot” Behind the Scenes Tour Package
Framed Photographs of Graffiti Art Project Work
2 Tickets to “White Christmas” at South Bend Civic Theatre
$50 Gift card to Tippecanoe Place
“I Heart South Bend” Gift Bag and Items
IMG_53212 Family Passes (up to six) for Healthworks!
IUSB Fleece and Swag
Chicory Cafe Gift Basket
Dental Care and Whitening Kits
Wells Fargo Large Stuffed Stagecoach Horse
Music Lessons from The Music Village
Gift Basket from Meridian Title
Purple Porch Local Product Basket
Sony Bluetooth Speaker
Kroc Center Day Passes and Gift Bag
and more is coming in daily!

Thank you to everyone who has already contributed! If you would like to contribute something please email our director, Sam Centellas at

Posted in Community, Events, Fundraiser | Comments Off