94% of the parents of the children we serve are out of work because of the COVID-19 crisis.
The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center is responding to meet the needs of families in the Harlem Heights neighborhood during the COVID-19 crisis. The organization that works to build strong, self-sufficient families in Harlem Heights, is participating in #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of giving and unity, set to take place on May 5, 2020 as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. The day is designed to drive an influx of generosity, citizen engagement, business and philanthropy activation, and support for communities and nonprofits around the world.
Harlem Heights is a severely distressed community with approximately 800 children and youth. The neighborhood is characterized by a high percentage of single parent families (74%), families in which English is not spoken at home (76%), and limited engagement of residents in formal education. 38% of the children in Harlem Heights live below the federal poverty line.
The Foundation’s afterschool program serves 125 children. The Heights Charter School has 104 children enrolled, from kindergarten to fourth grade. GLAD Kids, a child care and pre-k center, serves 94 children. 94% of the parents of the children are out of work because of the COVID-19 crisis. The organization has seen a sharp increase in families needing food, and applications for ACCESS resources (medical services, food and temporary cash) have quadrupled.
“The families in Harlem Heights are extremely vulnerable, particularly now,” said Kathryn Kelly, founder, president and CEO of The Heights Foundation/The Heights Center. “We need to provide support to our families so they can keep a roof over their heads and food on the table while kids are out of school and parents are out of work. We hope our community will contribute to helping these families on Giving Tuesday Now.”
Examples of what contributions can do:
$10,000 – Two months of rent and utility assistance for 5 families
$5,000 – Provides a month of food vouchers for 10 families
$2,500 – Provides a month of utility assistance, childcare, or car payment for 5 families
$1,000 – Two months of grab and go meals for 10 kid
$500 – Provides a month of food vouchers for a family
$250 – Provides utility assistance, childcare, or a car payment for a family $100 – Provides a week of childcare or two months of grab and go meals for a child
“As a global community, we can mourn this moment of extreme crisis while also finding the opportunity to support one another. We each have the power to make an impact with acts of generosity, no matter how small, and to ensure the sustainability of organizations and services that are crucial to the care and support of our communities,” said Asha Curran, CEO of GivingTuesday. “#GivingTuesdayNow is a chance for us to stand united and use grassroots generosity to show that we are all in this together, beginning to end. Even as many face financial uncertainty, generosity is not about size. From calling an elderly neighbor to chat to offering translation help; from showing gratitude to our healthcare workers to donating to your local food bank, every act of kindness is a beacon of hope in this crisis. We all have something to give, and every act of human consideration and kindness matters.”
Those interested in joining The Heights Foundation’s #GivingTuesdayNow efforts can visit www.heightsfoundation.org/donate or call (239) 482-7706.
For more details about the GivingTuesday movement, visit the GivingTuesday website (www.givingtuesday.org), Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/GivingTuesday) or follow @GivingTuesday and #GivingTuesdayNow on Twitter. For youth interested in joining the movement, visit GivingTuesdayKids.org for inspiration and project ideas.
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 90 children birth-five. The Harlem Heights Community Charter School currently serves kindergarten through fourth grade and will expand to serve up to fifth grade for the 2020-2021 school year.
Harlem Heights was originally settled as a rural agricultural community. It is a severely distressed community with approximately 800 children and youth that live in a mixture of single-family homes and multi-family apartments. Demographically, the population is approximately 79% Hispanic, 11% African-American, and 10% Caucasian. The neighborhood is characterized by a high percentage of single parent families (74%), families in which English is not spoken at home (76%), and limited engagement of residents in formal education.
The poverty level among residents is 29% which is 110% greater than the Florida average and 124% greater than the national average. With 38% of the children here below the federal poverty line, this neighborhood has a higher rate of childhood poverty than 81% of U.S. neighborhoods. For 2018-2019, the average verified family income for participants in The Heights Center programming was $24,071. Families are not able to easily access family support services located in downtown Fort Myers, and benefit greatly from programs located within the neighborhood.
GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past eight years, it has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.
Whether it’s making someone smile, helping a neighbor or stranger out, showing up for an issue or people we care about, or giving some of what we have to those who need our help, every act of generosity counts and everyone has something to give. GivingTuesday strives to build a world in which the catalytic power of generosity is at the heart of the society we build together, unlocking dignity, opportunity and equity around the globe.
GivingTuesdayNow is organized by GivingTuesday, in partnership with its global network of leaders, partners, communities and generous individuals. GivingTuesday is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world.