On September 21st at Neva King Cooper Educational Center in Homestead the action started with 50 Wells Fargo employees arriving at 8:30 AM.

Their mission was to team up with Janice Klein-Cohen and members of Art South to create two large murals glorifying nature in brilliant colors, while others labored outside creating a living pallet of colors in landscaping the courtyard. My noon arrival was perfect as the scenes were already sketched and partially painted, coupled with the fact that hot pizzas had just arrived.

Parts of the Neva King Cooper School were built 105 years ago. The school is designed for Special Education students from three to 22 years of age, most with severe challenges.

Speaking with several enthusiastic volunteers, their devotion to community projects proved just as rewarding to the giver as those they choose to serve. Many expressed that each member of the community has something to offer others if you just devote a little time. The reward of putting a smile on someone’s face is far greater than the effort, and this Wells Fargo

community project is a great example.

At the end of the day I escaped without pizza sauce or paint on my white News Leader shirt but not without the thought that on Monday when the children return, they will be thrilled with to see the new masterpieces that adorn the walls of their school.

Not only is Wells Fargo lending a hand in dedicating original artwork to beautify schools like Neva King Cooper, but the bank unveiled a historical mural at its newest branch in the Homestead Towne Square Shopping Center.

Several enlightening speeches were given as the friendly staff of 13, who will run the new location, were introduced. Regional Director Jorge Villacampa and District Manager Rodney Maurette unveiled the mural that celebrated the history and culture of Homestead as the crowd stood without a murmur. Then a buzz of amazement broke the silence after seeing a collage of old black and white photos, enhanced with vibrant colors, graced the wall. Depicted in the artwork is the Seminole Theatre, City Hall (then and now), the Town Hall Museum, the Homestead Grower’s Cooperative and the Better Food Store. Other images included youth dancing Araba Taxation, and the Homestead Everglades Posse at the 1952 Homestead Rodeo.

The bank’s archives department worked with local leaders in creating this beautiful mural. This becomes Wells Fargo’s 35th mural installation in Miami-Dade County, the 237th in Florida. Stop by and see for yourself, it is well worth it.

Wells Fargo sponsors a Dedicated Day of Service each April across the nation with hundreds of projects and thousands of volunteers. Throughout the year you will find many “Red Shirters,” (Wells Fargo workers wear red t-shirts), handling local projects from school assistance to building homes for Habitat for Humanity, all wearing a smile, working together, showing love for their communities.

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