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(Fort Myers – October 8, 2020) – The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center is seeking organizations and individuals to participate in the Bountiful Blessings Thanksgiving Outreach.  Since 1999, the program has provided the ingredients so families in the Harlem Heights neighborhood can make a traditional Thanksgiving meal in their own homes to share with their families.  In 2019, partner agencies, businesses, philanthropic organizations and more than 100 volunteers provided turkeys and groceries to more than 300 families benefitting approximately 1,500 unique individuals.
“Holiday memories often center around a meal; the joy of preparation and being together as a family,” said Kathryn Kelly, president and CEO of The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center. “But, purchasing the ingredients for a holiday meal can be a large financial burden for many.  Thanks to the generous support of our neighbors, we are able to provide that experience for the families in the Harlem Heights community.”
300 turkey are being provided for the outreach.  Golisano Children’s Hospital is donating 225 turkeys and Gecko Hospitality is donating 75.
The greatest need is for rice, canned vegetables (green beans, peas, corn and mixed vegetables) or monetary donations to purchase those items. Additional food items needed include canned yams, boxed stuffing, boxed potatoes, boxed corn muffin mix, canned gravy, cranberry sauce and cake mix.
Donations can be dropped off Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. until Wednesday, November 18.  The outreach event will be held on Saturday, November 21. COVID safety precautions will be in place. The Heights Center is located at 15570 Hagie Drive, Fort Myers, FL 33908.
Volunteers are needed on Friday, November 20 and Saturday, November 21. Contact Melissa Barlow at (239) 482-7706 or to sign up for a time slot.
Organizations and individuals 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
About the Heights Foundation and 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.   GLAD Kids is a child care and pre-k center serving more than 80 children birth-five.  The Harlem Heights Community Charter School serves 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 are not able to easily access family support services located in downtown Fort Myers, and benefit greatly from programs located within the neighborhood.

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