This summer, Community Thrift Store, owned and operated by Shell Point Retirement Community, donated $5,000 to The Heights Foundation to support ongoing senior education initiatives. The funds will underwrite educational classes in technology, the arts, and exercise, offered to the Southwest Florida community at The Heights Center on 15570 Hagie Drive, Fort Myers.
Two years ago, The Heights Center expanded its family-oriented programming to include weekly classes specifically designed for seniors. “The Heights Foundation recognized a growing need for continuing education courses in areas that interest older adults. We felt compelled to respond,” said Kathryn Kelly, CEO of The Heights Foundation / The Heights Center. “Today, volunteer instructors teach classes that revolve around skill-based learning, like the basics of using email effectively, physical wellness, and the arts.”
This commitment to senior education brought The Heights Center to Shell Point’s attention, and caught the eye of Dawn Boren, Shell Point’s director of resident life. “Both Shell Point and The Heights Foundation place a high value on lifelong learning and the power of volunteerism,” said Boren. “As we learned more about how The Heights Center serves local seniors, a donation through our Community Thrift Store seemed like a natural fit – and the start to a promising partnership.”
Since opening in 2011, The Community Thrift Store has donated a portion of its profits to local nonprofit organizations that support seniors in the greater Southwest Florida community. The Community Thrift Store, owned by Shell Point, is located in Miner’s Shopping Center next to Planet Fitness, on the corner of McGregor Boulevard and Gladiolus in the Iona area of South Fort Myers. Learn about upcoming “steals and deals,” by visiting the store’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thriftstoreshellpoint , or call 239-225-6529 for more information.
About Shell Point Retirement Community
Shell Point Retirement Community, founded in 1968 by the Christian and Missionary Alliance Foundation, Inc., is a nonprofit continuing care retirement community located in Fort Myers, Florida. Shell Point offers independent retirement living, assisted living, and skilled nursing care in an active, resort-style environment for its 2,400 residents. Lifestyle amenities include deep- water boating access with free boat dockage, a championship 18-hole golf course, and other recreational facilities. To learn more, visit www.shellpoint.org or call 1-800-780-1131.
About the Heights Foundation and The Heights Center
The Heights Center, supported by The Heights Foundation, is a place for Education, Opportunity, and Enrichment. The Heights Foundation works to build strong, self-sufficient families in the Harlem Heights neighborhood. As a 501(c)3 grassroots organization, the Center’s mission is to promote family and community development, support education, health and wellness, and provide the benefits of enrichment, expressive and cultural arts.
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.
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