A local business owner has made a generous donation to families in need. 

At the end of 2021, Lilburn resident Rogelio Lugo decided he wanted to do something special for the holidays. His business, Lugo Construction, was in good shape financially, and he wanted to share some of his good fortune. 

“The idea has been there since I was a kid,” Lugo said of his desire to give back. “I just never had the chance to do it. Now that I’ve been successful over the last three, four years, I wanted to give back to the community.” 

Not knowing where to turn, he called a radio station called La Raza, which pointed him to the Latin American Association, a Brookhaven-based nonprofit. The association helped Lugo find families in need, and at a Jan. 6 ceremony at the association’s Buford Highway office, 10 families received $1,000 each to help with their own businesses, rent and bills, and other everyday necessities.

Ten families received $1,000 checks at a Jan. 6 ceremony at the Latin American Association’s offices on Buford Highway.

Lugo said that on the day of the ceremony, he felt transported back to his own childhood. 

“We were really poor,” he said. “We were in need, and there was nobody that could help us out.”

One of the recipients was Monica Fierro, a small-business owner who takes part in the association’s economic empowerment program for women called ¡Avanzando Juntas! Fierro operates her business, called Mconica’s Hand Crafts, out of her basement. She uses heat press machines to put company logos on T-shirts and truck decals, making personalized balloons for birthdays, and a host of other ventures. 

“This donation was a blessing for my small business and helped me continue,” Fierro said.

“It’s incredibly generous of Rogelio to do this, and very much in the spirit of Christmas,” said Latin American Association CEO Santiago Marquez in an emailed statement. “I hope his gift will inspire others to help lift up those in our community who need a lift.”

Sammie Purcell

Sammie Purcell is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers.