16-year-old Student Paints Murals for Valerie’s House Naples Opening

Media invited for Sneak Peek on Friday, August 9

Barbara Del Castillo, 16, hopes her murals, like “Magic Under the Sea”, will bring peace and calm to children in grief programs at Valerie’s House in Naples.

Barbara Del Castillo, 16, hopes her murals, like “Magic Under the Sea”, will bring peace and calm to children in grief programs at Valerie’s House in Naples.

Naples, Fla. (August 5, 2019) – Barbara Del Castillo, 16, could have spent her summer relaxing before returning to school at Mason Classical Academy in Naples.

Instead, she decided to bring some light and joy to children who are coping with the loss of a loved one by painting murals in the support rooms that will be used to comfort grieving children at Valerie’s House’s newest home in Naples.

“I really hope my artwork helps them find a lot of peace and calmness,” the Naples teen said. “They come in and they feel like this is home, this is where they’re meant to be.”

The new Naples Valerie’s House, located at 819 Myrtle Terrace, will open to the public from 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 10. A second open house will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 11. Valerie’s House received a $100,000 grant from the Naples Children & Education Foundation, the founders of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, a grant from VITAS Healthcare, and an anonymous gift from the family of children receiving care from Valerie’s House-Naples, to expand its program in Collier County.

The theme for one of Barbara’s murals is “Magic Under the Sea” and she ran with the idea, literally from the walls to the ceilings.

“This is the largest project I have ever taken on,” she said. “I created my own world in here.”

The hard work continues this week for Barbara, who has turned the project into a family affair, with her sister, Jaqueline, 15, and brother, Santiago, 8, stopping by to help.

Barbara will be available for interviews and to give a sneak peek of her murals on Friday, August 9, at Valerie’s House-Naples, 819 Myrtle Terrace. To arrange a time to interview Barbara, contact Miriam Pereira, Valerie’s House Director of Development, at (239) 220-7810 or miriam@valerieshouseswfl.org.

ABOUT VALERIE’S HOUSE

As the first and only grief support program focused solely on helping children, Valerie’s House provides a safe, comfortable place for children to bond, grieve and heal together following the death of an immediate family member. Valerie’s House serves children and families in Fort Myers, Naples and Punta Gorda. A nonprofit organization, Valerie’s House is a United Way partner agency that is also supported through generous donations from the community. To learn more, enroll in programs, volunteer or donate, visit www.valeriehouseswfl.org or email info@valerieshouseswfl.org.

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Media contact:

Miriam Pereira
Valerie’s House Inc.
Office: 239-204-5804
miriam@valerieshouseswfl.org