Give students individualized attention and the best likelihood of success

United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades is recruiting volunteers for the United Way ReadingPals program to read with PreK to 2nd graders at 12 school sites in Lee County. 

ReadingPals offers volunteers an opportunity to build meaningful relationships with young children, while helping them improve their social-emotional development and early literacy skills.  The program provides mentors to positively influence students’ understanding of the fundamental building blocks of reading.  Children who are read to are more likely to become good readers.  Children who read at grade level by the third grade are four times more likely to graduate from high school. 

Volunteers commit to one hour a week during the week and throughout the school year.  A short training will provide all the necessary tools and materials.  Volunteers are needed at the following participating sites: Bonita Springs Elementary, Colonial Elementary, Edgewood Academy, Franklin Park Elementary, J. Colin English Elementary, New Horizons Estero, Pinewoods Elementary, Villas Elementary, and all Lee Health Medical Child Development Centers – Cape, Gulf Coast, HealthPark and Lee. 

The program is supported by the Children’s Movement of Florida in 15 United Ways.  To learn more, contact Nancy Coker at or 239-433-7544. To register, go to

In addition to raising funds for human service organizations in our community, United Way promotes partnerships and collaborations among agencies and initiatives, helping them to work together focusing on issues and solutions that continue to improve lives. 

Cape Coral Caring Center Celebrates New Location 

Cape Coral Caring Center Celebrates New Location 

As the pandemic exacerbates food insecurity across the country, Cape Coral Caring Center is working to support residents disproportionately impacted by the problem right here in Cape Coral.  

Something they have been doing since their inception.  

“The clients we see just need a lift over the short-term, and a boost through a painful or uncomfortable period in their lives. We help in every way we can, but we are not a sustaining agency,” said Wendy Wootton, Program Operations Manager.  

On Wednesday, April 27, from 8 am to 9 am, the Cape Coral Caring Center will celebrate the opening of its new location during a ribbon-cutting event held at 1420 S.E. 47th Street, Cape Coral, FL. Cape Coral Caring Center’s food pantry is run, in partnership with community churches, organizations, businesses, and a community board of directors, who provides free nutritious food items as well as essential toiletries and utility assistance to those in need.  

Wednesday’s event will feature a few words from board members and remarks from donors and our Executive Director Julie Ferguson, Attendees will be invited to tour the pantry after the official ribbon-cutting, and refreshments will also be served.  

When: Wednesday, April 27, 2022, at 8 am 

Where: Cape Coral Caring Center, now at 1420 S.E. 47th Street, Cape Coral, FL 33904 

Suggested Donations:  

  • non-perishable food 
  • toiletries 
  • monetary donations through check our website 

For More Information call (239) 945-1927 or visit   

Florida Lions Eye Clinic receives United Way grant

Florida Lions Eye Clinic receives United Way grant

The United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee Counties has awarded a $27,500 grant to the Florida Lions Eye Clinic.

The funding will support optometry and ophthalmology staffing, a mobile eye clinic and monthly eye screening events.

The United Way orchestrated an additional $20,000 donation from an anonymous supporter to fund equipment used to perform selective laser trabeculoplasty, a form of laser surgery used for glaucoma patients.

Community Cooperative announces PB&J drive

Community Cooperative announces PB&J drive

Community Cooperative is asking businesses and the community to help support a Peanut Butter & Jelly collection drive through April 21.

Peanut butter and jelly are some of the most frequently requested items at mobile food pantries because it is kid-friendly, shelf-stable, and protein-rich. Community Cooperative will be gathering supplies to keep shelves stocked all summer long at a Peanut Butter & Jelly Food Drive and Community Weigh-In April 21.

“It’s easy for school-age kids to make sandwiches for themselves without risk of cuts or burns,” said Tami Holliday, Community Cooperative’s community relations and development manager. “Of course, peanut butter and jelly isn’t just for kids, but families and seniors also rely on these pantry staples.”

In addition, the collection honors Community Cooperative’s late founder Sam Galloway Jr., who began the Soup Kitchen 37 years ago by handing out peanut butter and jelly sandwiches after church in downtown Fort Myers to people who needed food.

Donations are needed of any brand or type of peanut butter, almond or alternative nut butter, jelly or jam in plastic jars instead of glass. Also, no expired or homemade items or pre-made sandwiches will be accepted.

A Weigh-In to see which team and individual collected the most peanut butter and jelly is planned from 2 to 4 p.m. April 21 at Community Cooperative with prizes and fun.

For more info on the PB&J drive, email A Food Drive Tool Kit and printable flyers are available to decorate collection boxes or bins. Financial donations to purchase peanut butter and jelly for the drive are also welcome.

For more information visit

Shred A Ton Event This Saturday

Shred A Ton Event This Saturday

The Pilot Club of Fort Myers and the Cape Coral Police Department are holding a shredding event on Saturday, January 23, 2021.  The event will be held in the front parking lot of the Cape Coral Police Department, 1100 Cultural Park Blvd, between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. Due to COVID-19, we ask that all participants socially distance themselves and wear a mask.

Oasis JROTC cadets will be on hand to help drivers unload their boxes to be shredded; the boxes can be returned if desired.  Shredding will occur on site.   

All proceeds of the event will be donated to the Cape Coral Project Lifesaver Programs and the Pilot Club.  A donation of $5.00 per box to be shredded is suggested.  Please remove binder clips or paper clips attached to paper being shredded.  Commercial boxes will not be accepted. 

Project Lifesaver is a program of Cape Coral Police Department which uses wristbands that emit a signal to help find individuals who tend to wander. The proceeds of this event will be used to help update and replace damaged or worn equipment. This technology can minimize the length of time it takes to locate a missing person / wanderer.

As increases in the number of people diagnosed with Autism, ASD, Alzheimer’s disease, and Dementia occur, the need for additional equipment is necessary.  Equipment costs for families can be too costly. The financial help provided by the Pilot Club by holding the Shred-A-Ton event goes a long way. 

The Pilot Club of Fort Myers focuses their efforts on helping organizations seeking to improve the quality of life for individuals with brain-related disorders through volunteer activities, education, and financial support.  The club name came from a riverboat pilot who could steer safely through troubled waters.  The club’s motto is “do more, care more, and be more.”  For information about the Pilot Club, contact the president, Fran D’Alessandro, 239-332-1140, or email at

Shred A Ton Event This Saturday

Community Cooperative restarts mobile food pantries for veterans in January

Community Cooperative is again offering monthly mobile food pantries for veterans at the Lee County Veterans Affairs (VA) Clinic in Cape Coral.

At the drive-thru pantries, veterans and their families will receive a week’s worth of shelf-stable food, meat and fresh produce.

Community Cooperative offered its first veterans-only food pantry at the VA Clinic in Cape Coral in spring 2017.

The VA honored Community Cooperative with the inaugural Bay Pines Director’s Club award in September for the food assistance program at the Lee County VA Clinic. The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System runs nine facilities serving more than 108,000 veterans in 10 counties in Central Southwest Florida and is the fourth-busiest VA Healthcare system in the country.

For more information, visit

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