CCMI Receives Target Grant

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traceytarget storeteamleaders2013FORT MYERS, Fla. (Nov. 4, 2013) – In recognition of its efforts in fighting local hunger and homelessness, Community Cooperative Ministries, Inc. received a $4,000 grant from Target Corporation that will be used to provide much-needed food and supplies for the organization's Everyday Cafés and Marketplaces in Fort Myers and Cape Coral.

"We are so grateful for the partnership with Target and its continued support," said Tracey Galloway, CEO of CCMI. "This grant will make a significant impact in helping our local Everyday Cafés and Marketplaces feed the hungry, particularly during the holiday season."

One of the community's local Targets, located at 13711 South Tamiami Trail in Fort Myers, also presented CCMI with gift cards valued at $750, which the organization plans to use in purchasing holiday food for the upcoming season.

Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) serves guests at more than 1,763 stores across the United States and at Target.com. The company recently opened its first stores in Canada. In addition, the company operates a credit card segment that offers branded proprietary credit card products. Since 1946, Target has given five percent of its profit, which today equals more than $4 million a week, to local communities. Its more than 1,700 Target stores carry on this tradition by making local grants and providing volunteer hours. Target is proud to partner with organizations like CCMI to meet the needs of local communities.

 

8th Annual Becoming Cosmopolitan to Offer Unique Auction Items

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BC2013SavetheDate webgraphic_FORT MYERS, Fla. (Oct. 11, 2013) – Less than two weeks away, the 8th Annual Becoming Cosmopolitan event will offer a list of unique auction items this year including family vacations to Walt Disney World and Sea World, a luxury getaway to Charleston, SC, VIP trip to Las Vegas and the ultimate sports lover's trip to watch the Boston Red Sox on Fenway's Green Monster.

Benefitting Community Cooperative Ministries, Inc., the event will take place on Thursday, Oct. 17, from 6 to 9 p.m. at The Firestone Grille & Sky Lounge located at 2224 Bay Street in downtown Fort Myers.

"We are so excited with how this year's event is coming together, said Tracey Galloway, CEO of CCMI. "It's going to be a wonderful night of fun and friendship in support of those less fortunate in our community."

This year's event will continue with the previously successful lounge theme with a few new twists and include a live band and DJ, gourmet hors d'oeuvres and cocktails, sinfully delicious chocolate and desserts, exciting raffles, an after party and a gentleman's lounge featuring scotch and craft-beer tastings, gaming and more all in celebration of the cosmopolitan lifestyle in Southwest Florida.

More than 300 people attended last fall's Becoming Cosmopolitan event. Because of The Firestone's building capacity, only 225 tickets will be sold this year. Tickets for the event are still available for purchase at www.ccmileecounty.com.

According to CCMI, the amount of the $125 event ticket provides either three months of emergency food to a family of four who is struggling, one month of hot meals to a homebound senior citizen or a weekend backpack filled with food for a student during an entire school year.

"Each year, we have been able to make this event bigger and better than ever," said Katie Haas, director of Florida operations for the Boston Red Sox and CCMI board member. "The monies raised will go a remarkably long way in helping CCMI assist the growing number of our local neighbors who are in need of food and other social services."

For the second consecutive year, FineMark National Bank & Trust has signed on as the presenting sponsor. Additional sponsors include: AFCO Insurance Premium Finance, All About Closets Inc., BB&T-OTC, Caloosa Tent & Rental, Chico's FAS Inc., The Diamond District, Dixie Buick GMC, Florida Weekly, FPL, Garamone Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Grandeur Magazine, Gulfshore Life Magazine, Deanna and Wesley Hansen, Irresistible Confections, the Law Firm of Scott T. Moorey, Scanlon Auto Group, The Wilbur Smith Law Firm, Stilwell Enterprises & Restaurant Group and The News-Press Media Group.

You can register for the event HERE!!

Island Coast High Partners with CCMI on Sustainability Project

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installing stack garden at ccmiFORT MYERS, Fla. (Oct. 9, 2013) – Island Coast High School's Academy of Natural Resources Director Joe Mallon, along with some of the academy's students, installed stack gardens, vertical gardens made to experience the immediate benefits of small-space gardening, at Community Cooperative Ministries, Inc. in Fort Myers and planted the organization's first crop of vegetables.

Here at the academy, we teach the students the importance of sustainability and creating as much food as we can while taking minimal resources from the planet so future generations will also have those resources available to them," said Mallon. "This stack-garden project is a win-win for all: our students get to demonstrate the sustainable hydroponic lessons learned in the classroom by putting those lessons to use in a real-world situation that benefits installing stack garden at ccmi 2the community, while CCMI now has a sustainable food source for its Fort Myers' Everyday Café. We are reducing our carbon footprint for the good of us all one project at a time."

Being both nutritional and cost effective, the 100-pot stack garden will provide fresh food on CCMI's property while maximizing the organization's limited space. The inaugural launch of the stack gardens will include tomatoes, snap beans, romaine lettuce, broccoli, basil and parsley.

"CCMI is fortunate to have a great community partnership with ICHS's Natural Resources Academy, said Meghan Madden, director of Food Innovation at CCMI. "We have been frequent recipients of its tilapia and garden harvests the past couple of years. To have tracey galloway meghan madden joe mallon and cherie sukovichthe academy's guidance and professional consultation on our stack garden design and installation has been a blessing all around."

Island Coast High School partnered with the University of Florida to create a one-of-a-kind academy in Lee County, the Academy of Natural Resources. The Academy enrolls 150 students from Lee County who learn about aquaculture, aquaponics, hydroponics, alternative energies, ecological restoration and environmental stewardship while utilizing fish farms as well as indoor and outdoor hydroponics. The Academy of Natural Resources provides a foundation for students planning to pursue a career in the environmental job market.

CCMI Achieves GuideStar Gold Honor

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CCMI Has Reached the GuideStar Exchange Gold Participation Level as a Demonstration of Its Commitment to Transparency & Accountability

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CCMI has received the GuideStar Exchange Gold participation level, a leading symbol of transparency and accountability provided by GuideStar USA, Inc., the premier source of nonprofit information. This level demonstrates CCMI's deep commitment to nonprofit transparency and accountability.

"We have worked hard to showcase our progress toward our mission, and our long-held belief in being transparent about our work, to our constituents," said Tracey Galloway, CEO. "As a GuideStar Exchange participant, we use their platform to share a wealth of up-to-date information about our work to our supporters and GuideStar's immense online audience of nonprofits, grantmakers, individual donors, and the media."

In order to be awarded the GuideStar Exchange logo, CCMI had to fill out every required field of our nonprofit report page on www.guidestar.org for the Gold level of participation.

"I encourage you to check out our profile on GuideStar to see what we're all about," added Tracey Galloway. "We are engaged in exciting initiatives, and we are thrilled to have another platform for communicating our advancement and progress."

About the GuideStar Exchange:

The GuideStar Exchange is an initiative designed to connect nonprofits with current and potential supporters. With millions of people coming to GuideStar to learn more about nonprofit organizations, the GuideStar Exchange allows nonprofits to share a wealth of up-to-date information with GuideStar's many audiences. Becoming a GuideStar Exchange participant is free of charge. To join, organizations need to update their report pages, completing all required fields for participation. The GuideStar Exchange level logos, acknowledged as symbols of transparency in the nonprofit sector, are displayed on all Exchange participants' nonprofit reports.

Florida Blue Foundation Supports Fresh Food Initiative

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fbf logoHealthy eating increases energy, reduces stress and just makes you feel better. It also decreases the chances of health problems like heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. CCMI recently received a grant from the Florida Blue Foundation for $2500 to support our fresh food initiative, an effort to help our customers eat more healthy. The mission of the Foundation is to improve the health and well-being of Floridians and their communities. Through support from the Foundation and our local Florida Blue office, we were able to provide more fresh food to seniors, children, and the hungry this summer.

CCMI's Food Outreach Program works to improve the health and well being for some of the most vulnerable in our community by providing increased access to nutritious fresh food for low-income families. The effort also supports local and organic food production, reduces food waste through end of day and surplus rescue, and empowers individuals to live and eat healthy through nutrition and wellness classes. We grow our own garden at our Fort Myers Cafe & Market location and partner with many other urban gardens and food growers to incorporate sustainable food practices into our hunger and food distribution programs. 

Thank you Florida Blue Foundation for furthering our effort to make it easier for the most vulnerable in our community to access fresh food and eat healthier!

Tickets Now On Sale for Becoming Cosmopolitan

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Tickets now on sale for CCMI's 8th Annual Becoming Cosmopolitan event scheduled Oct. 17

First 75 tickets sold include VIP access! Click on the logo below to purchase tickets online.

cosmo 2013 logoIt's almost that time of year again for local ladies to put on their best pair of heels, grab their girlfriends and spend an evening partying with a purpose.

Tickets for Community Cooperative Ministries, Inc.'s 8th Annual Becoming Cosmopolitan event are now on sale. The event will take place on Thursday, Oct. 17, from 6 to 9 p.m. at The Firestone Grille & Sky Lounge located at 2224 Bay Street in downtown Fort Myers.

According to CCMI's CEO Tracey Galloway, the first 75 tickets sold will include VIP status with advance event registration and premier access to the VIP Sky Lounge.

"We are very excited to have Firestone Grille partner with us this year," said Galloway. "We will be utilizing all four floors of the beautiful building with the Sky Lounge, overlooking scenic downtown Fort Myers and the river, serving as our VIP and after-party lounge."

Becoming Cosmo set for October 2013

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CCMI's 8th Annual Becoming Cosmopolitan Event scheduled for Oct. 17

emailtagCommunity Cooperative Ministries, Inc.'s 8th Annual Becoming Cosmopolitan Event will take place Thursday, Oct. 17, from 6 to 9 p.m. at a new location, The Firestone Grille & Sky Lounge located at 2224 Bay Street in downtown Fort Myers. "We are very excited to have Firestone Grille partner with us this year," said Tracey Galloway, CEO of CCMI. "We will be utilizing all four floors of its beautiful building with the Sky Lounge, overlooking scenic downtown Fort Myers and the river, serving as our VIP and After-Party Lounge."

This year's event will continue with the previously successful lounge theme with new twists including a live band and DJ. "What could be better than a night out on the town with your girlfriends hopping from one lounge to another each with a different theme and feel," Galloway said. "Add in great food, drinks and live music, all in support of a great cause, and you've got what Becoming Cosmo is all about."

This traditionally women-only evening features a silent auction, gourmet hors d'oeuvres and cocktails, sinfully delicious chocolate and desserts, exciting raffles, a live band and DJ and an after party all in celebration of the cosmopolitan lifestyle in Southwest Florida. More than 300 local women attended last fall's Becoming Cosmopolitan event.

"Each year, we have been able to make this event bigger and better than ever," said Katie Haas, director of Florida operations for the Boston Red Sox and CCMI board member. "The monies raised will go a remarkably long way in helping CCMI assist the growing number of our local neighbors who are in need of food and other social services."

The amount of the $125 event ticket provides either one month of Montessori preschool education to a child of a working poor family, three months of emergency food to a family of four who is struggling, one month of hot meals to a homebound senior citizen or a weekend backpack filled with food for a student during an entire school year.

Sponsorships are now available and range from $1,000 to $10,000. Donations for the event's silent auction are also being accepted. Tickets will go on sale in August!

Staff Become Certified Life Coaches

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CCMI Staff Completes Life Coach Training

transform quoteSeven Community Cooperative Ministries, Inc. staff members recently completed training to become certified life coaches. According to CCMI's Division Director of Social Services and Education Roger Mercado, Jr., during the past year, direct service staff within CCMI's Department of Education and Social Services made the transition from the traditional case-manager model to life coaches.

Staff members who completed the certification are Nilsa Amaya, Daphne Azpiazu, Emmanuella Charles, Colleen Hentz, Jo Ellen Keller, Kaysy Maradiaga and Blanca Perez.

"These coaches' roles and responsibilities are to help customers of CCMI discover their true potential, assist in changing the way they think regarding goals and accomplishments, and aid and coach customers in making better life choices and decisions," said Mercado. "Our primary goal is to bring out the powerful potential that lies within each of our staff members. This training will uniquely serve to enhance their abilities and bring their talents to the surface."

CCMI staff members were coached by Certified Life Coach Mary Lynn Ziemer for 10 weeks prior to being trained as life coaches for another 10 weeks utilizing passive, active and collaborative learning techniques including classroom training, online work, self-study and group work, one-on-one coach training, live coach/client practice modules and more.

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation provided $5,000 in funding to help with the training costs for these life coaches who will serve CCMI's clients throughout the greater Lee County area.

For more information about our case coaching program call 239-332-7687.