Jordi Tejero Joins CCMI Board of Directors

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leadersonboardFORT MYERS, Fla. (February 11, 2014) - Tracey Galloway, CEO of Community Cooperative Ministries, Inc. announces that Jordi Tejero has joined the nonprofit's Board of Directors for a three year term.

"We are so fortunate to have Jordi joining our CCMI leadership team, " said Galloway. "He brings a unique business perspective and understanding of our community that will greatly benefit our agency."

Tejero is the owner of the CRS Technology Consultants, with offices in Lee and Collier counties. He is currently a Director of United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades County; a member of the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce; and a member of the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, where he serves as a roundtable advisor for the Partnership for Collier's Future Economy.

CCMI Receives the Walmart Foundation State Giving Grant

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walmartFORT MYERS, FLORIDA (January 28, 2014) – Community Cooperative Ministries Inc. recently received a grant in the amount of $50,000 from the Walmart Foundation State Giving Program. The funds will support the fresh food initiative to increase access of fresh food for low income families.

According to Tracey Galloway, CEO of CCMI, the grant dollars will be used to impact local families with the coordination of pick-up and delivery of fresh food to low income families. Fresh food purchases will be utilized in the distribution from mobile panties, cafes, markets and Meals On Wheels.

"Access to nutritious, fresh and affordable food is vital to improving the health and life outcomes of low income children and adults," said Galloway. "Families that have access to fresh food make more nutritious food choices and maintain better health. This helps people stay more engaged and productive at work and in school, and helps counter diet-related health problems."

Greek Fest Partners with CCMI

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CCMI is honored to be a part of the Fort Myers Greek Fest again this year! For 39 years, the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church has provided Lee County with the sounds and tastes of Greece. Food, gifts, dancers, music and more will fill the air starting February 28 and March 1 & 2. Admission for Adults is $5 for the entire weekend and children under 12 years old are free.

CCMI joins event sponsors and encourages everyone to "Be Greek for the weekend!" and enjoy a fun cultural experience while supporting two deserving charities!

A portion of the net proceeds from the festival go to CCMI's Meals on Wheels and Golisano Children's Hospital.

Thank you to the Greek Fest for including us in this great community event!

greekfestposter2014

Stacey Cannington Named Community Relations Coordinator for CCMI

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stacey chen cannington

FORT MYERS, Fla. (January 13, 2014) – Stacey Cannington has been named to the position of Community Relations Coordinator for Community Cooperative Ministries, Inc., (CCMI), announced Tracey Galloway, CEO of the non-profit agency.

"We are excited about having Stacey join our staff of professionals at CCMI" said Tracey Galloway, CEO of CCMI. "She brings a wealth of experience in marketing and public relations and has established relationships with a variety of businesses and groups within our community."

Cannington has been working in various marketing, sales and business development positions in the Lee County area for over 25 years. She is a graduate of Florida State University and she and her husband Mike have a daughter, Sarah, who is currently a senior at the University of Florida. She is an Accredited Public Relations Professional with the Florida Public Relations Association. She currently serves as a mentor with the Take Stock in Children Program/Foundation for Lee County Schools.

Bank of America Charitable Foundation Presents Grant to CCMI

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check presentationFORT MYERS, Fla. (Dec. 13, 2013) – John Clinger, senior vice president of wealth management at Merrill Lynch, Bank of America Corporation, and the Bank of America Charitable Foundation presented Community Cooperative Ministries, Inc. with a $7,500 grant for the agency's efforts in fighting local hunger and homelessness.

In support of increasing access to fresh food and produce to low-income individuals and families, the grant will be used to purchase fresh food for CCMI's Meals on Wheels program, Everyday Cafés and Marketplaces and Mobile Pantries as well as the Bonita School Pantry.

"We are so appreciative for Bank of America's generosity and support in our local community," said Tracey Galloway, CEO of CCMI. "This grant will help us in providing the freshest food possible to our hungry residents, particularly during the busy holiday season."

Volunteers Needed for Street Outreach

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Volunteers needed for CCMI's Cold Weather Street Outreach

street-outreachFORT MYERS, Fla. (Dec. 10, 2013) – With Southwest Florida temperatures expected to decrease in the coming months, Community Cooperative Ministries, Inc., in partnership with Lee County Human Services, the Lee County Homeless Coalition and the Salvation Army, requests volunteers and donations for its Cold Weather Street Outreach, a program created to provide those living without shelter some additional comfort during the evening hours of Southwest Florida's colder months.

The Cold Weather Street Outreach is activated when Southwest Florida temperatures drop below 40 degrees and is scheduled Monday through Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. between the months of October to March. During this time, CCMI staff and on-call volunteers, who complete the Cold Weather Street Outreach training program, will prepare and distribute coffee, hot chocolate, blankets, jackets and winter caps to the homeless in the Fort Myers and Cape Coral areas.

In addition to these distributed materials, CCMI is also asking for donated to-go cups with lids, Cambro beverage containers, cooler dispensers and coffee-pump thermoses.

CCMI will recruit volunteers and use its current volunteer application as well as conduct background checks to ensure those interested are eligible to volunteer. The process to become certified for street outreach involves a brief orientation via telephone, email or in person, 30-minute classroom training and completion of a ride-along shift with experienced team members. Volunteer drivers are required to submit a copy of a valid driver's license, proof of insurance and signature of waiver as a volunteer driver.

Volunteers will be asked to meet at one of CCMI Everyday Café locations either in Cape Coral at 1005 Cultural Park Boulevard or in Fort Myers at 3429 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard before and after each shift for preparation and cleanup.

For more information about CCMI's Cold Weather Street Outreach or to become a volunteer, contact Roger Mercado at 239-332-7687 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

CCMI Joins #GivingTuesday Movement

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gt logo2013-finalFORT MYERS, Fla. (Nov. 20, 2013) – Community Cooperative Ministries, Inc. has joined #GivingTuesday, a first of its kind effort that will harness the collective power of a unique blend of partners—charities, families, business and individuals—to transform how people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season. 

Taking place on Dec. 3, 2013, #GivingTuesday will coincide with the kickoff of the holiday-shopping season and inspire people to take collaborative action to improve their local communities, give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they support and help create a better world. It will utilize the power of social media to create a national movement around the holidays dedicated to giving, similar to how Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become days that are, today, synonymous with the holiday season.

CCMI is participating as a partner in #GivingTuesday to engage the Southwest Florida community in helping those in need during crisis and then connecting them to additional services addressing the root causes of hunger through the organization's programs and services. The organization invites the Southwest Florida community to be a part of #GivingTuesday through the holiday season by adopting a family, donating a holiday meal or volunteering their time.

"#GivingTuesday is a counter narrative to Black Friday and Cyber Monday because it reminds us that the spirit of the holiday season should be about community and not just consumerism," said Tracey Galloway, CEO of CCMI. "The most meaningful gift we can give our children, loved ones, friends and neighbors is the commitment to work together to help build a better world. We hope this movement will encourage our community to give back not only during the holiday season but all year round."

Seeing an opportunity to channel the generous spirit of the holiday season to inspire action around charitable giving, a group of friends and partners, led by New York's 92nd Street Y, came together to find ways to promote and celebrate the great American tradition of giving. Thought leaders in philanthropy, social media, innovative giving and grassroots organizing joined with 92nd Street Y to explore what is working in modern philanthropy and how to expand these innovations throughout the philanthropic sector while providing counsel and resources to help build this movement. Each week, new organizations have joined the movement and are providing creative ways people can embrace #GivingTuesday and collaborate in their giving efforts to create more meaningful results in their own communities.

A movement committed to celebrating and providing incentives to give, #GivingTuesday is endorsed by Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, Dorothy A. Johnson Center on Philanthropy, Giving Institute, Giving USA Foundation and InterAction. Charity Navigator, Givewell and GuideStar are serving as Charity Advisors. VolunteerMatch is a volunteer advisor to #GivingTuesday. Its founding partners include the United Nations Foundation, DonorsChoose.org, Mashable, Blackblaud, charity: water, GlobalGiving, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Kiva, Darden Restaurant Group, Groupon, Unilever and VentureThree Capital. To learn more about #GivingTuesday participants and activities or to join the celebration of giving, visit www.GivingTuesday.org, www.Facebook.com/GivingTuesday or www.Twitter.com/GivingTues.

Learn more about CCMI's effort HERE

CCMI & Child Care of Southwest Florida Join Forces

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childcare of swflFORT MYERS, Fla. (Nov. 14, 2013) – Community Cooperative Ministries Inc. and Child Care of Southwest Florida have formed a partnership that will strategically enhance each agency's focus on its core mission. Students from CCMI's Community Montessori Preschool will transfer to Child Care of Southwest Florida's P.A. Geraci Child Development Center Jan. 2, 2014.

The Geraci Center is located on Canal Street in Dunbar, less than two miles from CCMI. The change affects 34 preschoolers enrolled in CCMI's program.

"Child Care of Southwest Florida is a leader in early-childhood education and development, and their academics and philosophies mesh well with ours," said CCMI's Chief Executive Officer Tracey Galloway. "We are working with our families and their children individually to make the transition as smooth as possible. Equipment, supplies and even classroom pets will be moved with the children, and the voluntary pre-kindergarten class will stay together to maintain continuity."

Child Care of Southwest Florida has invited CCMI preschool parents to an early-December open house at the Geraci Center to encourage them to tour the center and meet the staff.

"We look forward to welcoming the CCMI students and their families," said Beth Lobdell, executive director of Child Care of Southwest Florida. "The Geraci Child Development Center also provides infant and after-school care, services that may be helpful for siblings of our new students."

The move eliminates some duplication of services within the Dunbar community and follows recommendations from the United Way for their partner agencies to collaborate on shared services. Both CCMI and Child Care of Southwest Florida are United Way partner agencies. CCMI works to eliminate hunger and homelessness while simultaneously inspiring and supporting sustained positive change in its clients by delivering innovative food, education and social service programs. Child Care of Southwest Florida's mission is to strengthen and enhance the lives of children and their families.

CCMI is an innovative nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization made up of social service entrepreneurs fighting to end homelessness and hunger in our community. The agency provides more than 15,000 meals each month through its Everyday Cafés and Marketplaces and Meals on Wheels programs. CCMI also offers homeless and comprehensive life coaching services through its United Way Resource Houses, oversees an emergency mobile food pantry and supplies school pantries and weekend backpacks full of food to more than 1,500 children and their families each school year.

CCMI serves Fort Myers and the greater Lee County area, including Bonita Springs, Cape Coral and Lehigh Acres, working in partnership with United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee, Harry Chapin Food Bank and various community foundations, as well as collaborating with fellow community and service groups including The School District of Lee County and numerous churches, businesses and community support organizations. For more information, call 239-332-7687 or visit www.CCMILeeCounty.com.

Dedicated to evidence that kindergarten is too late, Child Care of Southwest Florida works to ready children for school success at six accredited centers in Lee and Hendry counties. The agency provides early childhood education, as well as voluntary prekindergarten and Head Start programs, at its centers near Page Field, in Dunbar, Lehigh Acres, LaBelle and Clewiston, and on the campus of Edison State College. Research shows that high-quality early-childhood education reduces dropout rates, teen pregnancy and arrests.

Child Care of Southwest Florida Inc., established in 1967, also provides state-mandated training for child care professionals and administers the federal food program for eligible centers and family child care homes throughout Southwest Florida. Visit www.ccswfl.org to learn more.