For 40 years, The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, or the Apopka Nuns as they are better known, have made it a point to reach out to migrant workers and the working poor in Orange County. They lead the Hope Community Center and 31 volunteers from the Notre Dame Americorps.
Since 1971, their goal has been to help area workers of all ethnic and religious backgrounds in Central Florida. In fact, over the past year alone, the group has devoted over 54,000 hours of service, teaching 100 adults to speak English, tutoring more than 650 students and supporting dozens of refugees settling in the U.S.
The center provides classes on citizenship, the English language, computers, GEDs and parenting. The center also provides immigration legal services, counseling and pastoral services. The Apopka nuns were recently honored for their decades of service, but they say the honor should go to everyone who has helped in their mission.
“But truly, it is an effort of everybody who has a heart and a concern,” said Sister Ann Kendrick. After serving Central Florida since 1971 the Apopka nuns and other volunteers continue to serve as a home for diverse people and cultures, working for peace in the community.
They hope to continue that work for the next 40 years.