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Rotary International District 6960 Donates $50,000 to The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center for Hurricane Restoration Efforts

Rotary International District 6960, in partnership with the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club, generously donated $50,000 from their Disaster Relief Fund to The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center to support the completion of hurricane restoration projects in the Harlem Heights neighborhood of Fort Myers.

Hurricane Ian, which struck on September 28, 2022, caused severe damage to more than 173 homes in Harlem Heights. Since the hurricane, The Heights Foundation has been the driving force behind the neighborhood’s recovery efforts.

“Rotarians are on the ground and ready to take action to help communities recover when disasters strike,” said Alfred Current, District Governor of Rotary International District 6960. “After Hurricane Ian, our District became a hub for Rotarians from all over the country, who came to volunteer their time to bring resources, skills, and kindness to those in need.”

“We are so grateful for the Rotarians who donated their time, talent, and treasure to help rebuild Harlem Heights,” said Kathryn Kelly, founder, president, and CEO of The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center. “They responded immediately with helping hands and supplies and also provided funds and materials.”

The donation from Rotary International District 6960 in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Sanibel-Captiva has enabled The Heights Foundation to provide essential services and supplies including cabinets, plumbing, electrical work, appliances, and painting for the damaged homes.

“The Rotary Club of Sanibel-Captiva has a special connection to the Heights Foundation and Heights Center,” said Chet Sadler, Trustee of the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Trust Board. “After Hurricane Ian our thoughts immediately focused on those in need, and the Heights Center then and now continues to be high on our list.”

Thanks to the efforts of Rotarians and 43 other partner organizations, more than 5,150 volunteers have contributed over 184,000 hours of volunteer labor, valued at approximately $4,786,000. Additionally, The Heights Foundation and its supporters have contributed $1,400,000 in material costs.

Although the restoration of the homes in Harlem Heights is complete, The Heights Foundation still needs to raise an additional $50,000 to cover remaining costs. To make a donation, visit or contact Annie Campbell at (239) 482-7706 or

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 85 babies through 4 years old. The Heights Center serves 163 children in AfterSchool and 153 children in SummerCamp. The Harlem Heights Community Charter School serves 200 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 78% Hispanic, 16% African-American, and 6% 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.