Companies must turn a profit to remain in business.
The same principle applies to nonprofit and not-for-profit organizations.
No organization can sustain itself if expenditures are consistently higher than revenue.
As board chairman for a nonprofit – Child Care of Southwest Florida – I am continuously studying the balance sheet. Expenses like salaries, benefits, leases, utilities, insurance and learning materials increase each year. Many businesses would simply raise prices to generate revenue that covers the additional costs. However, as a nonprofit, Child Care of Southwest Florida is committed to fulfilling its mission of providing affordable, high-quality early childhood education.
In April, the Federal Reserve estimated that 200,000 businesses closed as a direct result of the pandemic. A joint study from Candid and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy noted one-third of U.S. nonprofits were at risk of closing within two years because of negative financial impacts from COVID-19.
Child Care of Southwest Florida has not only survived the challenge, but it’s thriving. Its five learning centers are open, instructors are teaching and students are learning. And most importantly, parents are working.
Child care is often the road block that prevents parents from returning to work. That’s why Child Care of Southwest Florida worked so diligently last summer implementing new safety protocols, becoming one of the region’s first child care providers to reopen.
Nonprofits that thrive during the good times as well as rough patches share common characteristics:
Strong leadership: The CEO must wholeheartedly believe in the mission. The CFO must treat money like his or her own. Board members must approve policy, but also be the organization’s biggest advocates.
Mission-focused: All decisions should help the organization accomplish its mission, which should never change.
Community-oriented: Organizations should be built and managed by local residents for local residents.
Build for the future: Plan ahead. No one can predict the timing or potential impact of the next pandemic, hurricane or economic downturn, but there is always a challenge on the horizon.
Child Care of Southwest Florida has remained viable for two reasons: (1) It enjoys strong support from philanthropic-minded individuals, businesses and foundations; and (2) It is an accredited education provider with a rich history serving children and families since 1967.
It’s been said that education nonprofits have an easy time fundraising. After all, people love cute children. But they also love the environment, animals and the arts, and they support causes like hunger, homelessness and health care.
What donors truly love, however, is supporting nonprofits that are good stewards of fundraising dollars. There is no better investment than education, and no better way to give children a leg up in this world by giving them a strong education from the get-go. Both of my daughters started their formal education with Child Care of Southwest Florida, and to this day, they still have fond memories of their first teachers. I beam with pride every time I discuss Child Care of Southwest Florida’s impact on my daughters’ lives, and other parents have echoed the same sentiments.
Child Care of Southwest Florida is hoping to offer this tremendous learning opportunity to additional children across Lee and Hendry counties, but it needs support. For more information about the nonprofit’s Primary Needs Scholarship Program, please call 239-278-1002 or visit CCSWFL.org/giving.
About the Author
Jordi Tejero is owner of CRS Technology Consultants and serves on the Board of Directors for Child Care of Southwest Florida.
Sometimes, all it takes is a taste of home to unlock the warm, familiar feelings of being with loved ones. We continue to savor each bite of grandma’s famous casserole as if it were the first time.
These special recipes are the ones we save over the years. Whether scribbled down on a piece of torn notebook paper or recited by memory, every family seems to have their favorite go-to meals.
It’s what inspired Gulf Coast Village, a continuing care community in Cape Coral, to publish their own best crowd-pleasing dishes and dessert recipes from senior residents’.
“It’s a piece of their past written down on paper,” said Bill Djerf, an independent living resident and president of the resident council at Gulf Coast Village. “It’s a recipe that warms their heart and brings back good memories.”
Djerf is a firm believer that the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach.
When he mentioned the idea of collecting recipes for a community cookbook, the residents, staff members and volunteers were excited to share their most cherished family meals.
“Younger staff and volunteers would sometimes say, this looks so good, or I’d like to cook this,” Djerf adds. “The older residents would then tell them about their family recipe they used to bake all the time that they learned from their mother.”
In a matter of months, Djerf and a small team gathered up 230 recipes and sent them to get published as their first Gulf Coast Village cookbook.
When life gives you lemons, make lemon meringue pie
Lemon Meringue Pie | Resident Dewie Robinson
1 – 9” pastry pie shell 2 ¼ cup – Boiling water
1 ½ cup – Sugar 3 – Egg yolks, beaten
6 Tbsp – Corn starch 1 Tbsp – Butter
1 Tbsp – Flour 1 tsp – Lemon peel, grated
½ tsp – Salt 3 Tbsp – Lemon juice
3 – Egg whites 6 Tbsp – Sugar
Good food has a way of bringing people together. We can feel immersed in exciting, new cultures or transported back to our fondest memories.
The best cookbooks are exactly the same. They can be our life manuals.
Inside Gulf Coast Village’s cookbook, Our Favorite Recipes, people find more than just delicious homecooked meals.
“I sold several books just because of the helpful hints in each section,” said Djerf. “I sold one to a lady who said she doesn’t cook, but she liked the helpful hints so much that she bought it for that.”
Between more than 100 pages of unique appetizers, dishes and desserts, each section is divided by a list of helpful tips.
For the main dish recipes section, the helpful hints include ‘one pound of boneless chicken equals approximately three cups’ and ‘scaling a fish is easier if vinegar is rubbed on the scales first.’
“A lot of gals say they bought it for their granddaughters and great granddaughters for the recipes, helpful hints and bonus pages in the back, which cover tips for things like baking bread,” added Djerf.
The last eight pages of the cookbook cover important pantry basics as well as tips for cooking measurements, terms and napkin folding.
Food for Thought
Icing will remain where you put it if you sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar first.
– Baking Perfect Cakes
From creating a community-inspired cookbook to popular resident cooking classes, it’s safe to say food plays a big part in life at Gulf Coast Village.
But creating the ultimate senior living experience is more than just food. It’s focusing on the unique, special needs of each individual.
That’s where the Gulf Coast Village Foundation comes in. Grouped into four areas of need – general, benevolent, educational and spiritual – each fund of the foundation helps improve the lives of residents within the senior community.
“The foundation provides a lot of things here for Gulf Coast Village. Just to name a few, they’ve bought specialized equipment for the care center, stuff for the gym and they just remodeled our café,” states Djerf.
Proceeds from each $15 cookbook goes towards the Gulf Coast Village Foundation and providing the best quality of life for older adults in Southwest Florida.
The average bedroom, not counting master bedrooms, is about 120 to 140 square feet. Add a bed, dresser and nightstand, and space is at a premium.
While homeowners can’t move walls, there are a few ways to make a small bedroom look and feel larger.
The first step is to clean out any clutter occupying floor space, like dirty laundry, shoes and sporting equipment. Find an appropriate-sized storage solution for the closet or garage to free up real estate in the bedroom living space.
The second, and most important step, is painting the bedroom.
“If you have a small room in your home, you know it can be challenging to make it seem larger,” said Lou Manfredini, Ace Hardware’s home expert.
“You can actually do it by adding color.”
Understand Color Schemes
Interior designers use color schemes, or color combinations, to help set the mood and ambiance of a room. Choosing the right color scheme can create a stylish, sophisticated look or a modern, trendy look.
There are three types of color schemes:
Complementary color schemes include colors on opposite sides of the color wheel, like black and white, that create a classic look.
Analogous color schemes use colors next to each other on the color wheel, like blue and purple, creating either a calming or energizing effect.
Monochromatic color schemes feature lighter and darker shades of the same color, like light grey and dark grey, creating a stylish and sophisticated look.
In Florida, most homeowners prefer lighter-colored walls, which often are neutral colors like beige, grey, tan or white. Light yellow, light blue and even light green also are popular choices for bedrooms.
The best source of inspiration is glossy magazines, but paint stores also have guides and in-house paint experts to guide purchases.
Bedrooms typically are painted with a satin or eggshell sheen, which are durable with a slightly reflective finish.
The vast majority of bedroom ceilings are painted white, which reflects light. That helps a room feel larger, especially if walls feature a darker color.
Ceiling colors should differ from wall colors. Otherwise, the lack of color contrast could blend the room and creates an impression of a tight space.
Contrast helps create an illusion of depth.
Bedrooms are full of opportunities to incorporate a bold color scheme into trim – crown molding, door and window frames, wainscotting, chair rails, window sills and wood beams. Even ceiling fans, light switches and electrical outlets can be considered trim.
Again, a color scheme is important. Window frames, for instance, do not have to be painted the same color as the surrounding wall.
In fact, complementary or monochromatic colors help accentuate a room’s features and add dimension without overpowering the senses. Trim can even match a unique piece of furniture, upholstery, linens or artwork to create a cohesive feel.
All four walls do not have to be painted the same color. Accent walls are ideal for property owners not ready to completely abandon neutral, safe colors by painting one of a room’s four walls in a different hue. Bright or dark accent walls can create a sharp, modern look or offer contrast that helps call attention to a favorite painting or sculpture.
Homeowners often paint accent walls behind a bed’s headboard to help frame the centerpiece of the bedroom – the bed – especially if the bed frame is ornate or unique.
Given the surging real estate market, every square foot of a home is expensive. A well-planned paint scheme can play tricks on the eyes, creating an optical illusion of sorts. Potential buyers as well as homeowners want interior spaces to feel spacious, even if the actual measurements say otherwise.
About the Author
Scott Hamblen is chief merchandising officer for Sunshine Ace Hardware, a locally owned company with nine locations in Collier, Lee, Charlotte and Pinellas counties, as well as two Crowder Bros. Ace Hardware stores in Manatee County.
By Dr. Virginia Reed, Southwest Florida regional director for FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers
TV shows and movies often feature “super women” who can flawlessly handle all of life’s challenges.
The pressures of work and family responsibilities are no obstacles for characters like Lois Lane, Murphy Brown, Carol Brady and Clair Huxtable.
Viewers cannot help but be impressed with these strong female leads. However, we rarely see how these “super women” are helping themselves.
May is Women’s Health Month, an annual reminder for women – even “super women” – to prioritize their own health and wellness.
Finding a little “me time” can be difficult, but it’s essential. Below are four ways women can balance their health and wellness with careers, family and other life responsibilities:
Commit to an Exercise Routine
Any exercise routine, whether it’s informal or under the supervision of a medical professional, should include three components:
Strength training: Resistance training using weights, bands or heavy objects to enhance muscle function.
Endurance training: Long-duration aerobic exercises that strengthen the cardiovascular system.
Flexibility: Stretching to improve range of motion and strengthen muscles and joints.
The vision of the physical therapy profession is to transform society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience. This positions physical therapists squarely at the epicenter of advising people on how best to initiate and maintain healthy exercise habits. This is especially true for individuals who have underlining medical conditions or a history of injuries.
Follow a Nutritious Diet
Food is the fuel that powers our bodies, so premium fuel results in premium health. Much like athletes that are hyper-focused on their diets, women must prioritize nutrition to maximize their performance as well.
MyPlate, formerly known as the USDA’s Food Guide Pyramid, contains five food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins and dairy. Physicians recommend these as the core of any diet.
Some individuals cannot tolerate dairy, gluten or other foods, but luckily, a variety of alternatives are available. Consulting a licensed dietary nutritionist, especially as we age, will help address food-related topics, including meal planning, weight management, healthy cooking, food allergies, diabetes consulting, sports nutrition and digestive concerns.
Lead a Healthy Lifestyle
The American Heart Association lists four simple areas of focus to enhance your lifestyle: mental health and well-being, sleep, stress management and quit smoking.
Women are always on the go. Yet, it’s important to pause every once in a while. A few minutes of deep breathing increases oxygen levels in the blood, which increases energy levels, boosts immunity and reduces blood pressure. Oxygen is also proven to improve stress management, reduce anxiety and clear the mind.
Schedule Doctor Appointments
Insurance companies often cover the cost of annual visits to primary care physicians and dentists. In fact, they encourage those visits because early detection and prevention are keys to good health.
All doctors are devoted to improving our health and wellness. So which ones should you visit regularly? These five types of doctors should be part of every woman’s health care routine:
Primary care physician: general health, illnesses and injuries
OB-GYN: reproductive health, menopause and women’s health
Radiologist: annual mammograms for women starting at age 45, or earlier if they have a family history of breast cancer
Dermatologist: skin care
Optometrist or ophthalmologist: eye care and eye diseases
Physical therapists are not always listed among the suggested visits, but the role of a physical therapist has evolved over the past decade. The American Physical Therapy Association notes that PTs examine patients and develop treatment plans to improve their ability to move, reduce or manage pain, restore function and prevent disability.
Physical therapists are known predominantly for helping patients recover after injuries. They also treat patients with chronic conditions like arthritis, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, overuse injuries and muscle weakness.
Women’s bodies change after giving birth. Physical therapists address the musculoskeletal components of pregnancy and postpartum issues, including incontinence, pelvic floor muscle dysfunction and prenatal joint or muscle disfunction.
“Super women” can handle everything thrown their way, but they must make it a priority to strike the right balance between careers, families, life and personal health.
About the Author
Dr. Virginia Reed is a physical therapist and Southwest Florida regional director for FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers, which has more than 400 locations in 45 states. For more information, please visit fyzical.com.
By: Justin Ceravolo, PharmD, pharmacist at Cypress Pharmacy
It’s that time of year again – the sniffling, sneezing and suffering of allergy season caused by the telltale yellow dust that blankets Southwest Florida for months.
With longer and warmer seasons each year, the spring and fall pollen is literally and figuratively growing worse. Right now, the biggest offenders like tree pollen, grass pollen and ragweed pollen are blowing through our breezy coastal region.
These tiny airborne allergens easily get inside your body, and when they do, your immune system goes into defense mode. To combat these intruding allergens, your body releases a chemical, called histamine, which triggers a familiar response you might recognize: sneezing, itchy throat, runny nose or teary eyes.
If you are an allergy sufferer, you are not alone. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundations of America, more than 50 million people struggle with it every year.
In its latest 2021 Allergy Capitals report, AAFA placed a Southwest Florida region on its top 50 list of most challenging places to live with seasonal allergies. Cape Coral was ranked No. 33 for allergies during spring season and No. 35 for the months during fall.
So, what can you do if you struggle with seasonal allergies and Southwest Florida is your home? A few proactive steps to recognize, prevent and manage symptoms will bring hope to those with the seasonal stuffy blues.
Reduce Your Exposure
Before planning your day, check local news or the Internet for the area’s pollen count forecast.
Keep doors and windows shut to avoid pollen from coming indoors.
Delegate outdoor chores, such as mowing the lawn and gardening.
Keep floors cleaned and maintain air filters inside the home.
Avoid air-drying clothes and bedding outside where pollen can stick to it.
Prevent Spread & Symptoms
If high pollen counts are forecasted, take allergy medication before symptoms start.
After outdoor activities, change into clean clothes and shower to rinse pollen from skin and hair.
Remove shoes, jackets and hats at the front door.
Wipe pets down with a towel after playing outdoors.
Wear a pollen or dust mask for outdoor activities.
Nonprescription Medication & Remedies
Oral antihistamines can help relieve sneezing, itching and runny noses.
Antihistamine eye drops can reduce itching and redness.
Specially formulated supplements may support healthy respiratory and immune systems.
Nasal rinse devices, such as a Neti pot, can flush out inhaled pollen and alleviate congestion.
Oral and nasal decongestants can offer temporary relief to help with nasal stuffiness.
Cromolyn sodium nasal sprays can help treat and prevent allergy symptoms.
When stubborn symptoms persist, your pharmacist or physician can identify which over-the-counter medicines are best suited to alleviate your symptoms. They can also help you navigate your options when more severe conditions must be addressed.
Treatment options to manage allergies can range from immunotherapy, such as shots, to prescription-strength antihistamines, decongestants and combination allergy drugs.
In addition, rescue inhalers and other medications can be prescribed for people diagnosed with allergy-induced asthma.
Amid the pandemic, a case of the sniffles, or hay fever, is the last thing you want to stress over. While allergies can’t be cured, they can certainly be managed. Having a seasonal action plan that attacks allergies first is a good place to start, and will keep you from playing catch-up once symptoms arise.
About the Author
Pharmacist Justin Ceravolo is a pharmacist at Cypress Pharmacy, a compounding independent pharmacy providing pharmaceutical and healthcare services in Fort Myers for more than 40 years. Cypress Pharmacy offers traditional prescription medications and natural solutions to help patients manage symptoms associated with seasonal allergies. For more information, call 239-481-7322 or visit www.cypresspharmacy.com.
By: Barry Sonustun, Memory Support Program Manager for Gulf Coast Village
There is something quite magical about the metamorphosis of butterflies – each captivating stage that transforms a curious caterpillar into a Monarch butterfly with bright, golden wings. At Palmview, a specialized assisted living community in Cape Coral, these butterflies have become a source of joy for more than 45 memory support residents over the age of 62.
Since the pandemic, Palmview’s Memory Support team saw the need for more engaging and uplifting activities for residents.
In October, Palmview created a special environment that would liven up seating areas on the memory support floor. Specifically, a few spacious terraces that residents use to enjoy a warm coastal breeze.
By January, memory support welcomed a new bocce ball court, putting green, and Palmview-favorite Monarch butterfly garden.
What started off with the scattering of eggs on two milkweed plants is now a thriving garden with caterpillars, chrysalises and butterflies expanding across the terrace.
“They’ll be all around my head,” joked 94-year-old Bella Kontinos, a memory support resident. “The butterflies, I just love them. I really do.”
Bella moved to Palmview in December and has not stopped finding ways to help wherever she can. With her infectious energy and willingness to help, the garden has quickly flourished to life.
In the last several months, team members and residents have poured time and resources into the project, caring for their tiny tenants in all stages of transformation.
“One day, I looked down and I couldn’t believe it. It was double the size,” recalled Bella about the monarch caterpillars. “It’s wonderful. It really is.”
To share more of these moments, staff has started to transfer chrysalises into terrariums to place throughout memory support hallways and bedrooms.
In a matter of 7 to 9 days, residents are enchanted by a breathtaking butterfly emerging from its cocoon, which then gets released onto the terrace garden.
With new special memories created on the memory floor, many residents find joy in recalling pastimes of family gardens and butterflies from childhood.
Overall, the therapeutic experience has inspired new hope for assisted senior living. A hope that residents see the beauty in their own lifelong transformation for a better, enriched life at Palmview.
About the Author
Barry Sonustun is the memory support program manager at Gulf Coast Village, Cape Coral’s premier continuing care retirement community, and spearheaded the efforts for a new bocce ball court, putting green, butterfly garden and other enrichment activities at Palmview.