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(Fort Myers, FL July 5, 2023) – 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 29 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)

·         Crayons (24/box), colored pencils (12/box), markers (10/box)

·         Earbuds or headphones

·         Erasers, pens, pencils and sharpeners

·         Glue sticks

·         Highlighters

·         Lined filler paper

·         Pocket folders

·         Scissors

·         Spiral notebooks and composition books

·         USB flash drives (8GB-16GB)

A complete list can be found at www.heightsfoundation/org/backtoschool.

“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 26 at The Heights Center, 15570 Hagie Drive, Fort Myers, 33908 (9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday).  Donors can shop online by visiting or make a financial donation by visiting

Individuals, businesses, churches, or organizations interested in donating can contact Melissa Barlow at (239) 482-7706 or  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.

Volunteers can visit to register. 

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 134 children in AfterSchool and SummerCamp.    The Harlem Heights Community Charter School serves 180 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.

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