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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.

Friend of the Board Spotlight: Beth Burgham

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Beth and Family

                                                                          Beth, Spouse David, and Son Simon

Being a “Friend of the Board” at Protected Harbor is as important as any other position within this ministry. Each person brings their unique abilities, point of view, and talent.

Beth Burgham is one such person; she has always had a giving spirit and heart for those in need. For the past twenty-two years, Beth has taught middle school students with various disabilities. She has combined compassion with professionalism to bring out the best in each circumstance.

Beth became aware of Protected Harbor through her friendship with board member, Tanya Croy. As a result, we are thrilled to welcome her as a new Friend of the Board. The special friends who join that group enhance our mission through their generous service, support, dedication, and commitment.

Students with learning disabilities benefit from Beth’s guidance and support as she teaches alongside general education teachers. Tanya appreciated how skillfully Beth worked and how she loved the students. Nearing retirement, Beth had begun to look for ways to serve others now and remain active in the future. When the opportunity arose, Tanya eagerly shared the mission and vision of Protected Harbor knowing Beth would be a perfect fit.

 

We are so grateful for Beth and her willingness to come alongside our residents, staff, and board. She is excited to participate in the growth and future she sees for Protected Harbor. We are doubly fortunate that her husband, Dave, has also embraced our residents and has volunteered in some of their social activities. We also look forward to their son Simon joining us when he has time between work and college classes.

 

Beth’s favorite Bible verse is from James 2:26, “Faith without works is dead”. As she continues to commit herself to serving others, Beth prays her faith and work will continue to bring glory to God.

Behind the Smiles: Meet Matthew

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Matthew

Matthew is a native New Yorker who has been a resident of Protected Harbor since May 2019. It’s no surprise, that he picks Matthew as his favorite book in the Bible!

Before arriving in Ft. Myers, Matthew was a resident of Sunrise Group Home in Miami. Once his mother learned of Protected Harbor, the choice was made to have Matthew come live with us.

With staff guidance and support, Matthew has embraced new independence. You may have seen recent announcements featuring him completing a 5k run as well as throwing out the first pitch at a local Mighty Mussels minor league game! He loves running as it gives him an independent feeling of freedom and energy. However, interacting with fellow residents and staff also gives him joy.

Besides running track, Matthew enjoys group sports such as baseball, basketball, and activities like bowling, exercise classes, companion services, STARability functions, and PTO. He has the appreciation, shared by the other residents, of enjoying a private room and bathroom, giving him further feelings of independence. It is never a dull moment when Matthew is around. Behind his smile is the joy of living and sharing in a loving and caring “family”.

Behind the Smiles: Meet Tiffany

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Tiffany is a well-rounded creative young lady, whether it be expressed through music or art. She has a meticulous eye for detail which became obvious once she began experimenting with small pieces of colored glass while creating her first mosaic piece. Her artistic skills caught the eyes of her fellow residents who lavish her with praise and accolades once they see her completed work. This is also true when she plays the Indian flute. What she struggles to express verbally, can be easily understood through her artistic expression.

Tiffany loves to read and learn. In addition to her involvement with the regular training programs offered, she is teaching herself the Japanese system of writing using Chinese characters known as “kanji”. This is an obvious transition for her, as she can use her innate artistic abilities to design perfectly crafted characters while being amazingly able to remember what each one of them means. Along with kanji, she is fascinated by Japanese culture, literature, and art.

When not involved in didactic activities, she loves being outdoors. Tiffany is an avid bicyclist who has been known to take seven to twelve-mile rides alongside staff and peers. Her favorite local trail is the John Yarbrough Linear Park, a short distance from one of our homes. She also enjoys walking and working out to guided video sessions. Maintaining good health is obviously important to her.

Animals find a sensitive friend in Tiffany. She enjoys the beauty of creation and has a special soft spot in her heart for its many creatures. In fact, she rides horses as part of the Special Equestrians program offered to our residents, loves visiting the zoo with her grandmother, and keeps track of the many small animals that saunter around our grounds. Tiffany is often found sitting on a bench by our nearby lake surrounded by and enjoying the beauty of nature.

Above her desk, she has a note that reads: “Remember to Pray. It is the most important skill of all”. We are honored to have Tiffany as a member of our Protected Harbor family and be a part of her growth as she develops her many skills. We are also encouraged by her willingness to be involved in spiritual activities as she grows in her faith.

Behind the Smiles: Meet Ashley

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Ashley is one of Protected Harbor’s residents who contributes greatly to the smooth running of the house she resides in. She has made herself an important part of the prep and cooking team, becoming an integral participant in the success of the daily family dinners.  She loves living at Protected Harbor and regards it as her home and her fellow residents her brothers and sisters.

Much like several of her peers, Ashley volunteers in the Food Ministry of McGregor Baptist Church when school is in session. Her supervisors there praise her for her diligence on the job and occasionally invite her to work with them in the kitchen for other special events at the church. When she is not working, Ashley loves to spend time solving puzzles on her iPad, or engaging in an exciting game of Candy Crush. She chooses apps and games that help sharpen her decision making and thinking skills. She recently took up disc golfing, an activity her housemates also love. They are all looking forward to visiting an actual disc golf course to play their first non-virtual round.

Ashley loves her family and looks forward to holidays or special occasions giving her the opportunity to spend time with them. She is an avid Ohio State fan, proof of which is in her choice of attire: jersey, pants and even earrings with all the markings of the Buckeyes. All other teams need not apply!

Dennis, a staff member at Protected Harbor 1, observed that “Ashley is one of the best workers I’ve seen. She is always on the lookout for something to do and always provides excellent help when it comes to preparing meals. I can always count on Ashley to be ready to help out.”

 

Friend of the Board: Meet Pat Schubring

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Pat and her family

The familiar letters P.S. represent the Latin phrase “postscriptum”, which indicate an afterthought, a last-minute sentence added to a completed letter. However, at Protected Harbor we have our own very special P.S. in the person of Pat Schubring who is far from an afterthought, or a last-minute addition. In fact, Pat has been a valuable asset alongside her husband, Bob for many years, collaborating with and fundraising successfully on behalf of the residents and staff!

Pat and her husband became interested and eventually involved with Protected Harbor over ten years ago through their friendship with George Pappas whose daughter Cleo is still a current resident. Initially Pat saw how God was using Bob in this ministry, but wasn’t sure what her role should be, until she began spending time with the men and women with special needs. Seeing their grateful expressions and the magic spark that evolved into smiles, she became hooked!

Throughout her years of service to Protected Harbor, Pat has smiled, laughed, prayed and wept alongside the residents, remaining committed to the mission because of the love she developed for them. One memory that has remained indelibly embedded in her mind was seeing a former resident, Anne Marie, who was ill and unable to ambulate freely, being helped by volunteer Key Club students. Pat had invited this club of high school students to visit one of our Protected Harbor homes. They joyfully helped Anne Marie get to her feet and walk so she could participate in the games the others were engaged in. Behind the tenuous smile on Anne Marie’s face was the deep gratitude for being shown love and inclusion by what were mere strangers just a short time before. Pat cherishes that memory in her heart to this day.

As a member of the Naples Kiwanis Club, Pat has introduced numerous members to Protected Harbor over the years and engaged many in volunteering and donating. She has also extended her reach by involving three Key Clubs from three different local high schools: Barron, Gulf Coast and Palmetto. The students have volunteered by decorating for Christmas, baking cookies, doing various craft projects and celebrating life with the residents. All thanks to Pat’s leadership.

Her tireless work in coordinating our annual Prayer Breakfast as well as actively fundraising has kept her busy and engaged each year.  Making sure all she is involved in becomes a success, Pat aspires to see the mission of Protected Harbor grow and evolve in order to serve even more of God’s special people by creating opportunities for them to engage with each other, the community and the Lord.

Pat and Bob have been married for 21 years, have three children and seven grandchildren. They met on a construction site in Naples and were married in a lovely garden downtown, but five years later they remarried in a religious ceremony at First Baptist Church Naples. They both enjoy dining out with friends as well as traveling. One of their favorite trips was to Israel. Pat explained that this was a life changing experience for her, being able to walk where Jesus Himself walked many years ago.

Pat still spends time in the construction management field as well as in the interior design industry, all while volunteering at Protected Harbor, enjoying her family and being involved in church activities. Despite all the busy hours, Pat still manages to bake her ubiquitous chocolate chip cookies which she freely shares with family, friends and her very grateful customers. We are thankful that Pat Schubring is no P.S. afterthought, this a lady on a mission for God!