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Donations Needed for “Christmas Giving Tree” for Harlem Heights Children

The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center is Seeking Contributions for Annual Heights Community Gift Drive

(Fort Myers – November 30, 2022)  – The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center is seeking organizations and individuals to participate in the annual Harlem Heights Community Gift Drive.  Individuals, businesses and philanthropic groups are asked to donate new, unwrapped gifts for local children.  Gifts are needed for nearly 900 children, ranging in age from birth to 17 years of age.

Suggested donations are gifts under $25 including action figures, art sets, baseball sets, fishing rods, board games, books, coloring sets, deodorant, lotion, soap, etc. for teens, Disney toys, dolls, educational toys for infants and toddlers, footballs, soccer balls, basketballs, hair accessories, brushes, clips, etc., infant and toddler clothing, Legos, nail polish, perfume, moisturizer, pajamas (all sizes boys and girls, remote control toys, socks and underwear (all sizes boys and girls), and sweatshirts (all sizes boys and girls).

Donations of gift cards from Target, Kmart or Walmart are appreciated.  Gifts can also be purchased online and delivered directly to The Heights Center at 15570 Hagie Drive in Fort Myers, 33908.  Monetary donations can be made at

The gifts will be distributed to parents on Saturday, December 17 at The Heights Center, keeping the surprise in Christmas for our kids.

“This holiday season is especially challenging for many families in the Harlem Heights neighborhood due to the impact of Hurricane Ian.  Many families have lost their homes, their jobs and their transportation,” said Kathryn Kelly, President and CEO of the Heights Foundation. “This is a great opportunity to bring joy to the children of our community.  We are thankful for the generous support of our neighbors.”

Items can be dropped off at The Heights Center, 15570 Hagie Drive in Fort Myers.  Gifts can also be purchased and shipped directly to The Heights Center on The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center AmazonSmile Charity list.  Toys will be collected through Thursday, December 15. 

Volunteers are needed to assist with event set up and at the event.

Organizations and individuals interested in participating can contact Melissa Barlow at (239) 482-7706 or [email protected].  All donations are tax deductible.  Monetary donations can be made on the web at   Organizations and individuals interested in volunteering for the outreach can contact Emery Lowden at (239) 482-7706 or [email protected].

About the Heights Foundation and the Heights Center

The Heights Foundation works to build self-sufficient families in the Harlem Heights neighborhood.  Our mission is to support education and wellness, promote family and community development, and provide the benefits of enrichment and the arts.  The Heights Center, supported by The Heights Foundation, is a place for Education, Opportunity, and Enrichment.   Heights Early Learning serves more than 80 babies through 4 years old. The Heights Center serves 134 children in AfterSchool and SummerCamp.  The Harlem Heights Community Charter School serves 150 children kindergarten through fifth grade.

Harlem Heights was originally settled as a rural agricultural community.   Approximately 780 children live in a mixture of single-family homes and multi-family apartments. Demographically, the population is approximately 70% Hispanic, 20% African-American, and 8% Caucasian. The poverty rate for children in Harlem Heights is more than twice the county average, with family income 40% below the county average. Families cannot easily access family support services located in downtown Fort Myers and benefit greatly from programs located within the neighborhood.

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