NAPLES — More than 200 Ave Maria School of Law students spent Thursday afternoon volunteering at three local charities for their annual community service project.
Divided into three groups, the students donated their efforts at a home currently being renovated by the Christmas in Naples program, the Naples Equestrian Challenge and Catholic Charities Family Resource Center.
At the home of a woman living independently with cerebral palsy on 12th Avenue North, the students painted, landscaped and prepped for further renovations by the Christmas in Naples program. The program helps individuals who may have fallen behind in maintaining their homes due to uncontrollable circumstances.
A few miles away at the Naples Equestrian Challenge, more than 100 of the law students ran out of tasks to accomplish as they helped staff members complete annual maintenance projects. The students cleaned horse stalls, painted fences and cleaned the garages and offices.
“I think we ran out of supplies,” said Missy Saracino, the Naples Equestrian Challenge program administrator.
The non-profit therapeutic horse-riding program takes a break each August and takes the time to catch up on side projects and conduct an annual Spring cleaning. The staff accomplished many items on their list with the three bus loads of the law student volunteers working alongside them.
“The only think we didn’t finish was painting the paddock, but that is because we ran out of paint,” Saracino said.
Across town on the East Tamiami Trail, the third group sorted large quantities of food supplies into easily distributed portions at the Catholic Charities Family Resource Center.
“You are able to put so much activity into one day’s work,” said Armando Galella, district director of Catholic Charities of Collier County.
The annual, student-led community service project began in 2000 at the law school’s original Ann Arbor, Mich. location.