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(Fort Myers, FL July 31, 2023) – The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center held its annual school supply outreach on Saturday, July 29 at The Heights Center.  The event provides backpacks and school supplies for 500 low-income children living in the Harlem Heights neighborhood.

“Our goal is to ensure that every child in Harlem Heights has the necessary supplies to succeed in school,” said Kathryn Kelly, president, and CEO of The Heights Foundation.  “The poverty rate for children in Harlem Heights is more than twice the county average, and Hurricane Ian’s devastation brought event more challenges to our community.  Many parents cannot provide all the things their students will need. We want to send our students back to school ready to learn.”

“We are grateful for the individuals, organizations and businesses that came together to meet the need,” said Melissa Barlow, The Heights Center’s outreach coordinator. “The 500 backpacks we provided were the largest investment, costing more than $7,000, and supplies for each student cost $50.”

Collection partners include:

  • Chase Bank
  • DeAngelis Diamonds
  • Estero Onward
  • Florida Blue (Estero)
  • One Digital
  • ReMax Realty Group
  • RG Architects
  • Royal Shell Real Estate
  • Scotlynn
  • Skanska
  • St. Columbkil’s Church
  • Temple Judea
  • Westminster Presbyterian Church
  • Zion Lutheran Church

Financial supporters include:

  • Vicki & Bruce Baartman
  • Chuck Bergstrom Re/Max Realty Group
  • Michael Buglione
  • Lisa Church
  • Doris & Steve Colgate
  • Dede D’Arcy
  • Albert Ferri
  • First Horizon Bank
  • Lynnan Grissinger
  • Colleen & Jon Hazelbaker
  •       *In Memory of Jason Seely
  • Patricia Hehir
  • Sandra & Richard Heinrich
  • Mary Jane & John Hicks
  • Betsy & Adam Hinds
  • Bonnie Jankowski
  • Bonnie Kasdan
  • Karen & Timothy Klevar
  • Sharon Kranz
  • Sonya & Clive Lubner
  • Mary Meyer
  • Joan & Fred Moore
  • Omega Plans, LLC
  • Beverly Otten
  • Lynn & Robert Salem
  • Lynn Schneider
  • Susan Scott
  • Kennedy Sherles
  • Target
  • Temple Judea
  • Marilyn & John Torstveit
  • Terri & Jay Wade
  • Kathleen Walsh
  • Anne Wardlow
  • Louise & Michael Weber
  • Mary Yankaskas

For more information about The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center, visit or call (239) 482-7706.

About the Heights Foundation and the Heights Center

The Heights Foundation works to build strong, 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 150 children in AfterSchool and SummerCamp.    The Harlem Heights Community Charter School serves 200 children from 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.  As a result, families cannot easily access family support services in downtown Fort Myers and benefit greatly from programs within the neighborhood.


Elly Hagen

Elly Hagen Marketing & Public Relations

(239) 994-3927

[email protected]

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