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The Heights Foundation Seeks Donations and Volunteers for School Supply Outreach

Individuals, Businesses, Churches and Organizations are asked to Participate

(Fort Myers, FL June 28, 2022) – The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center seeks individuals, businesses, churches, and organizations to provide school supplies and volunteer for The Heights Center’s annual outreach program.  The Saturday, July 30 event will be held from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. at The Heights Center and 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.  Many parents cannot provide all the things their students will need. We want to send our students back to school ready to learn.”

The Center has a wish list that includes new and durable backpacks (Size 17 or higher), 1” three-ring binders, calculators (basic and scientific), earbuds or headphones, pocket dictionaries, highlighters, lined filler paper, USB flash drives, scissors, folders, crayons, pencils, glue sticks, markers, and composition books.

“We are looking for organizations whose members can band together to meet the need,” said Melissa Barlow, The Heights Center’s outreach coordinator. “The 500 backpacks are the largest investment, costing more than $7,000, and supplies for each student cost $50.  A business may sponsor the backpacks, a church or philanthropic organization could provide crayons, markers, or notebooks.  Monetary donations may also be made online at our website or mailed.”

The drop-off deadline is Wednesday, July 27. School supply drop off locations include The Heights Center, 15570 Hagie Drive, Fort Myers, 33908 (9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday); Jennifer’s Boutique, 13251 McGregor Boulevard, Suite 111-1, Fort Myers, 33919; Temple Judea, 14486 A and W Bulb Rd., Fort Myers, 33908; Re/Max Realty Group, 7910 Summerlin Lakes Drive, Fort Myers, 33907; Westminster Presbyterian Church, 9065 Ligon Ct, Fort Myers, 33908; and Zion Lutheran Church, 7401 Winkler Rd, Fort Myers, 33919.

Additional supporters include Chuck Bergstrom Realtor/John Naumann and Associates, The Crown Colony Community, One Digital and The Scottlynn Group.

Individuals, businesses, churches, or organizations interested in donating or volunteering 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 or mailed to The Heights Center, 15570 Hagie Drive, Fort Myers, FL  33908.

About The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center

The Heights Foundation works to build self-sufficient families in the Harlem Heights neighborhood.  The 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 age 4. The Harlem Heights Community Charter School serves 120 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. 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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