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The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center Hosts Celebration of Giving Thanks

(Fort Myers – December 1, 2022) – The Heights Foundation / Heights Center hosted a Harlem Heights a ‘Celebration of Giving Thanks’ on Sunday, November 20.

More than 450 Harlem Heights residents enjoyed a meal together along with fellowship, games, and entertainment by students from The Harlem Heights Community Charter School.

Sunshine Health and many generous donors sponsored the event.

Local chef, Fritz Caraher organized the food portion of the event; bringing together Chef Sterling Wright from Nashville (Mr. 100 of Hell’s Kitchen), and Melissa Donahue of Sweet Melissa’s on Sanibel to prepare the meal. Thomas Goodman, Buster’s Sports Tavern, Pickle-N-Pub, Poppy’s Pizza, and Tres Amigos Taqueria provided additional food.

“The past two months have been challenging for the residents of Harlem Heights due to the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Ian,” said Kathryn Kelly, President, and CEO of The Heights Foundation. “This celebration allowed families to relax and enjoy a meal together, to catch up, and be grateful for the support to help the neighborhood rebuild.”

With the generous help of the community and strategic partners, The Heights Foundation has come alongside more than 300 families in Harlem Heights to assist with removing brush and debris, cleaning out flooded houses, mucking and gutting, repairing roofs, and mold sanitation. The Foundation has provided necessities to families, including food, water, clothing, personal hygiene items, first aid kits, laundry detergent, and cleaning supplies. In addition, the Foundation assisted with temporary furniture such as air mattresses, tables and chairs, and hot plates and helped families with rental assistance, utility bills, and finding employment. The Foundation has also connected individuals to health and wellness resources and aid.

To learn more about The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center and how you can help rebuild the Harlem Heights community, visit or call (239) 482-7706, or email [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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