It doesn’t take much to inspire hope. Manager Toya Felston and her staff in the downtown Fort Myers office of the Lee County Tax Collector have taken that to heart with their Gifts of HOPE service project, which helps those less fortunate with some of life’s necessities.
Homeless people who have visited the 2480 Thompson St. location to receive state-issued ID cards have been given bags full of items to help them take care of basic hygiene. Staff members collect and bag the items, and they’ve distributed 49 bags since the project began in June.
“It would be easy to forget about people in need, but our Lee County Tax Collector staff won’t stand idly by when there’s a call for help,” Lee County Tax Collector Larry Hart said. “I’m so proud of the way they’ve used their creativity and compassion to make a difference.”
The “HOPE” in Gifts of HOPE is an acronym for Helping Our People Everyday, and the bags generally include these everyday items: toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, lotion, shampoo, conditioner, soap or body wash, floss, and hand sanitizer. Lee County Tax Collector staff are seeking donations of the following items they’d like to add to the bags:
- Feminine products
- Travel-size first-aid kits
- Antibiotic ointment and wipes
- Mosquito repellent
- Rain ponchos
- Travel-size tissue packs
- Wet wipes
- Lip balm
Call 239-533-6000 to learn how to donate those items.
ID card fees are waived for the homeless by state law, as long as they have a statement from a shelter verifying their status as homeless. To learn more about the resources the Lee County Tax Collector provides, visit leetc.com.