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Governance Committee Member Spotlight: Caren Mikesh

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Caren and family

One of the miracles of Protected Harbor’s mission is the eclectic group of people God inspires to join our organization. Bringing talent, knowledge, and skills, each offers selfless service to help God’s special people.

One such person is Caren Mikesh. Caren hails from North Dakota, is married to Vince, and has two children, Lilly and Chris. She also has a sister with special needs prompting her interest in working with that special population while in college and beyond. Caren’s children recently graduated from high school and are attending college. She felt it was the right time to give back and currently serves on our Governance Committee.

Caren was introduced to Protected Harbor last year by a friend who heard of our ministry and likes the fact that Protected Harbor is a local faith-based organization. Caren sees the smiles on the faces of our clients and her desire is to help Protected Harbor achieve its goal of reaching the many people who need our services.

Dr. Mikesh specializes in general and surgical dermatology with an office in downtown Naples. She completed her studies at the University of California in Los Angeles and her medical degree at Tulane University in New Orleans. She also volunteers at a neighborhood clinic.

During her free time, Caren heads to the beach where she enjoys paddle boarding. Her other favorite activity is traveling. We are thankful for the energy that Caren contributes by sharing her time and serving the people we care for through Protected Harbor.

Behind the Smiles: Meet Ashley

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Ashley and friends

Residing in a Protected Harbor home, Ashley has adjusted very well. She describes herself as being very happy living amongst friends and staff. She demonstrates her contentment by helping with daily tasks around the home and encouraging her housemates in their endeavors.

Additionally, Ashley demonstrates her giving nature by volunteering at her church. The balanced feeling of being needed both in the house and at church gives her great satisfaction and peace. During her leisure time at home, she enjoys interacting with the staff and fellow residents, by engaging in various activities including completing puzzles and cooking her favorite meals. She is proud of her ability to contribute.

Ashley’s favorite outdoor activities are walking, swimming, and riding her bike. She loves living in Florida because of the many beaches close by. The soothing sound of the waves gives her peace of mind. Sometimes while watching her housemates play basketball, the rare mood strikes, and she even joins them in a game! She has expressed the desire to learn crocheting, and eventually create a blanket.

Besides leaving the house to attend and volunteer at church, Ashley loves going to Olive Garden where she enjoys her favorite meals without having to clean up afterward! Ashley is happy to let everyone know that her favorite book of the Bible is Psalms, which she reads during her quiet time.

Behind the Smiles: Meet Kimber

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It is a pleasure to introduce Kimber, a resident at our Camino Real Way home. She exudes joy when describing the many reasons, she loves living there. Despite coming from diverse backgrounds and geographical areas, Kimber feels blessed to live in a community surrounded by people who live with similar challenges to those she faces. Communally, they all bring something different to the experience, making it a unique but balanced home environment. The unifying thread throughout is their love for each other and for God.

Kimber rejoices in the fact that the staff is always there to help bring out the best in each of the clients by teaching them new activities and achieving new goals. For example, she is not a strong reader so when trying to decipher a recipe she is working on, the occasional help she receives from staff becomes essential.

Kimber is happy to give back by volunteering in the kitchen of her church. She serves lunches, washes dishes, and does light cleaning. On Wednesday nights she serves dinner providing an opportunity to interact with church members. Also serving as a Greeter during Sunday services gives her a feeling of fulfillment and joy. Everyone at the church recognizes her, and this makes her smile.

Kimber’s daytime is often occupied by recycling and refashioning older jewelry into new pieces. She also enjoys watching Christian movies and going out to eat Chinese food. Her favorite holiday is Christmas because it celebrates the birth of Jesus.

Staff members Pat and Debbie were able to schedule a private tour of the Naples Zoo for our clients. Kimber is looking forward to that excursion! A favorite recent memory, and one she’d like to repeat, was the community “Night to Shine” dance and festivities that occurred a few months ago. Dressing up for that event made her feel like a princess.

When asked about her favorite verse, without hesitation, Kimber replied: 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, it does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth, it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”   These are wonderful words to live by.

Staff Spotlight: Jeanni & Chadwick Duncan

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Jeanni and Chadwick Duncan have been an integral part of our staff for just over two years. As residents of Florida for the past twenty years, they were both aware of the need in our area for support systems that serve persons with special needs. Early in their careers, they served as house parents for the Florida Baptist Children’s Home. The couple continued on to hold many diverse roles. Chadwick became, in fact, their regional manager, while Jeanni held other important positions.

During this time, they became aware of Protected Harbor and were intrigued with the mission statement of our organization. After spending much time in prayer, seeking the Lord’s guidance, they joined Protected Harbor as Direct Support professionals and Operations Managers. Their combined experience and dedication to God’s work are a perfect fit for the needs of our residents.

The Duncan’s believe that their work is “really about helping people who can’t help themselves…we feel that this is something that Christ and the Bible teach us to do”. Since joining Protected Harbor, they are thankful that God led them here. They have had the opportunity to learn about new things and experience personal growth.

When asked about a favorite memory from this past year, they confessed that it is hard to simply pick out one memory or incident. Every day has provided smiles and joy, loving, laughing, and enjoying the company of staff and residents. However, Jeanni did mention that a memorable highlight was seeing one of our clients, Deb, come to Christ and ask to be baptized. Watching the Lord change her heart, seeing her baptized, and watching her grow in her relationship with God’s word is priceless.

The Duncan’s expressed they are convinced this is where God wants them to be at this time in their lives. They love sharing experiences that fill their hearts with joy. Like the small successes of seeing a resident finally master a cooking challenge, or finally being able to do their own laundry. A big God is revealed in the seemingly small things.

For further insight into where their hearts lie, just check out their favorite Bible verses. Chadwick loves James 1:27 and Jeanni’s favorite is Proverbs 3:5,6.

 

Behind the Smiles: Meet Janie

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Janie is happy living at Protected Harbor as her permanent home. She has a routine that keeps her anchored and safe. She starts her day by taking medication as prescribed by her doctor, making breakfast, and regularly doing her laundry. She also likes mopping the floor and carefully cleaning her bathroom. Once her daily chores are complete, Janie leaves the house to volunteer at a local Christian school.

Janie is known to tell those around her to “trust in the Lord!”. She enjoys going to church and praying for others, this gives her fulfillment and a purpose. She is a powerful prayer warrior and whenever anyone has an urgent need they take it to Janie. God hears all prayers but sometimes, Janie’s gift seems like a special direct line to the Lord!

Janie loves her fellow residents at Protected Harbor and considers them family rather than just friends. She also loves crocheting and making gifts for others. During the day, she enjoys walks, admiring the beautiful nature around her, and appreciating living in Florida, where she can bask in the sunshine and good weather.

Despite the beautiful sun & warmth of Florida, Janie’s favorite holiday is Christmas, and her favorite movie is “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer”.  It’s better to enjoy the snow and cold weather from a movie than having to live in it!

Janie loves going to Culver’s where her ‘must order’ item is always ice cream. Her simple tastes and altruistic sentiment endear her to her fellow housemates and anyone she encounters. As a prayer warrior, she looks for those in need as a reason for her to intercede in prayer.

Chapter 14 in the Gospel of John holds her favorite verses in the Bible. The many promises it contains give her joy and hope that the Lord cares about her and is always at her side.

Board Member Spotlight: Jeff Buchholz

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Jeff Buchholz currently serves as Protected Harbor’s board president and on the Executive and Finance Committees.  Ten years ago, Bob Schubring introduced Jeff to the ministry and encouraged him to get involved. Jeff states his reward for the long hours of commitment are the smiles of the people we serve and watching the staff go above and beyond their official duties to guide and love our clients.

The reason for giving his time and talent to this organization is because “this is what God tells us to do”. It gives him joy to help God’s Special People, and Jeff loves the people he serves with. “We are doing God’s work, this is not our ministry, it’s His and we need to listen to God to see where He wants to take this ministry.” Jeff went on to say that we are just the hands and feet that help accomplish God’s work here on earth.

Jeff lived through the ups and downs we collectively experienced during Covid. He also experienced joyful events like attending the Mighty Muscles minor league baseball game where our client Matthew threw the first pitch. However, the highlight of the year was the engagement with the Trailways campers and the spiritual aspect the campers participated in. Watching them enjoy themselves by taking risks, helping one another in tasks, and expressing their love for Christ in worship, was simply amazing.

Looking to the future, Jeff is acutely focused on our need to recruit more people to join Protected Harbor’s mission. This includes prayer partners, volunteers, and financial support. Growth and expansion are not only necessary but essential to equipping us to serve the growing numbers of people who need the services we provide.

Jeff’s favorite Bible verses perfectly describe his passion and drive: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones”. Proverbs 3:5-8

Behind the Smiles: Meet Dennis

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Dennis was the very first resident after the completion of Protected Harbor 2. As such some view him as the “mayor” of the home! He’s been a resident since February 1st of 2018.

Being a very friendly person, Dennis has adapted well to this setting and has quickly made lasting friendships. He enjoys the comradery and the activities he can engage in, in a social setting. The staff members are an integral part of his life also, as they help him complete daily chores such as getting himself ready in the morning, doing laundry, and cooking.

Outside of the home, Dennis enjoys helping out at Goodwill, where he has also made friends. Additionally, he likes playing baseball and basketball and especially going to church on Sundays. Taking long walks is another activity he enjoys, particularly in good weather.

Dennis loves to spend time with his family and joins them for dinner at Perkins where he habitually orders his favorite meal: cheeseburger, French fries, and a diet Coke. He also indulges himself with helpings of cake and ice cream whenever he gets the chance.

The highlight of the past year has been participating in the Trailways Spiritual Camp, which took place last October. He went fishing and caught a large fish, making him very proud. He’s looking forward to the next opportunity to attend again.

His favorite thing about going to church is learning about Jesus through the Bible stories. He loves church where he can participate in worship and learning.

Dennis is a great asset to the Protected Harbor family.

Board Member Spotlight: Peter Hone

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Peter Hone exemplifies the breadth of experience existing in the collective backgrounds of our various board members. He joined the board three years ago and also serves on the fundraising committee. His vast business background and his past role as a  CEO is a valuable asset. He brings personal knowledge from his previous positions in order to help when making business and financial decisions. These decisions are deemed to be an integral part of a mission such as ours. He also describes himself as being “vision-driven” which aligns perfectly with the trajectory Loretta Mottram has embarked on.

Peter admits that watching our clients learn to achieve realistic goals and grow into amazing productive adults puts a smile on his face. Peter stated that “as the residents grow, they just become such a huge blessing to the people around them”. Peter adds that he loves working with a Board that shares his commitment and vision.

He joined our organization after being introduced to it by Jeff Buckholz. Once he learned about the purpose and goals of Protected Harbor, he joyfully agreed to get involved personally. He stated that “Protected Harbor is an example of a ministry that loves and gives to others and enables others to be familiar and involved with these special people”.

One of his fondest memories, after joining the Board, was being able to volunteer and participate in the Olympics held last year. He found it wonderful to see so many volunteers help make it a special day for our residents. He confessed to smiling all the way through that day. Peter wishes more people would be interested in learning more about what Protected Harbor does and would love to see them becoming involved by volunteering in some way.

He is very excited about our future prospects and goals, adding “the fact that our ministry has developed a very specific skill set of serving our residents and that we are going to take that skill set out into that community to help in a larger way.”

John 14:6 is Peter’s favorite verse “I am the way and the truth. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Staff Spotlight: Robin Antone

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We are pleased to introduce the newest member of our team at Protected Harbor. Robin Antone joined us in January in the new role of Senior Director of Community Supports.

Robin has twenty years of experience working with persons with disabilities. Most recently she worked twelve years for Goodwill. Before that, she worked with foster families and was a foster parent herself for ten years. Robin hails from Ohio but has lived in Southwest Florida for thirty-seven years. She is a trained professional and used her experience in data analysis and quality assurance, to work for the State of Florida. She and her husband Mike have been married 35 years and have 4 adopted children, 3 boys and one girl ages twenty-five, twenty-one, twenty, and seventeen.

Robin brings with her a unique set of skills, including her knowledge of compliance with state programs that will help Protected Harbor build community support. Her relationship with Trailways Camp is also very valuable and will help bring our organization to the next level.

Robin’s previous experience with Goodwill has given her an insight into the state requirements for many programs in Florida. She also had a role in opening an adult training center at Goodwill.

Robin is also a CARF surveyor, an important accreditation that agencies must receive demonstrating compliance with required standards. As Protected Harbor grows her expertise will be extremely valuable. Robin is also involved in Family Initiative and does scholarship reviews for the Collaboratory of Ft. Myers. Her knowledge and extensive Florida network will be a huge benefit to us.

Robin was inspired to join the team of Protected Harbor by Loretta Mottram, as well as some Board Members and the staff. Especially after having met some of our clients, she feels the organization is doing amazing things for this unique population. We are grateful she has vowed to use all her energies to insure everything she does enhances the success of our clients and the mission of Protected Harbor.

Robin’s favorite Bible verse, Isaiah 40:31, explains her philosophy of life quite well: “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.”

Behind the Smiles: Meet Kim

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Meet Kim

Kim is a loving and lovely lady who has resided at Protected Harbor for the past ten years. Her family has lived in Florida for over forty years; she is very happy that they all reside in the same state. Kim has made friends in many places over the years who give her a reason for waking up each morning to spend fun time with them. She is thankful for the staff because they offer training in ways she can understand and patiently explain how to resolve personal situations that invariably come up. Kim volunteers at her church five days a week, serving lunches to the students at the school. She also adds her beautiful voice in the church choir on Sundays.

Kim’s favorite hobby is fishing, but also bowling, puzzles, and taking walks with her friends. However, her most gratifying activity is what she does with her friend and fellow resident, Janie. Together they belong to a “Prayer Shawl Ministry” where they create prayer shawls for people with cancer. Kim is proud of her volunteering and when she talks about it, her face lights up. She believes her role is to put others’ needs before her own.

On a more personal level, her favorite TV shows are The Amazing Race, Survivor, and NCIS; her favorite chore is laundry! Kim loves Italian food (who doesn’t!) and enjoys all holidays. Her drinks of choice are Coke Zero and sparkling water. Kim’s future goal is to one day be able to join other church members on a Missions trip, and she continues to pray daily for that to become a reality.