The Heights Foundation Seeks Donations and Volunteers for School Supply Outreach

Heights Center School Supply OutreachThe Heights Foundation/The Heights Center is seeking individuals, businesses, churches and organizations to provide school supplies and volunteer for The Heights Center’s annual outreach program. The July 29 event will be held from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. at The Heights Center and provides backpacks and school supplies for nearly 450 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 student 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, highlighters, paper, USB flash drives, scissors, folders, crayons, pencils, glue sticks, markers, paper and notebooks. “We are looking for organizations whose members can band together to meet the need,” said Melissa Barlow, The Heights Center’s outreach coordinator. “The 450 backpacks are the largest investment, costing more than $6,500 and supplies for each student cost $50. A business may be able to 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.”

Individuals, businesses, churches or organizations interested in donating or volunteering can contact Melissa Barlow at (239) 482-7706 or melissa@heightsfoundation.org. All donations are tax deductible. Monetary donations can be made on the web at www.heightsfoundation.org/donate, or mailed to The Heights Center, 15570 Hagie Drive, Fort Myers, FL 33908.

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.

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.