The Heights Foundation Seeks Donations for Thanksgiving Outreach


IMG_6884The 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 2017, 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.”

The greatest need is for donated turkeys and rice or monetary donations to purchase those items. Additional food items needed include chickens, stuffing, canned yams, cranberry sauce, boxed potatoes, canned vegetables and canned gravy.

Thank you to the businesses, organizations and communities that are collecting Thanksgiving items for us:

Sanibel Captiva Trust
Florida Blue
Hertz Corp.
Crown Colony
Evangelical Christian School
Zion Lutheran Church
Westminster Presbyterian Church
Scotlynn Group
MOPS at New Hope
Wells Fargo
Kari Kardio

Donations can be dropped off Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. until Thursday, November 15. The outreach event will be held on Saturday, November 17. The Heights Center is located at 15570 Hagie Drive, Fort Myers, FL 33908.

Volunteers are needed at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, November 16 to set up and at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday November 17 for the outreach event.

Organizations and individuals interested in participating 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.

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.