Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Behind the Smiles: Meet Crystal

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Meet Crystal

As her name implies, Crystal reflects bright joy and cheerfulness to those around her. Behind her smile is a young lady who, like many of her contemporaries, loves the outdoors, eating fast food, having fun with her housemates, and staying involved in all the activities provided to her in the community and at Protected Harbor.

When her mother passed away in 2018 Chrystal came to Protected Harbor. Her favorite thing about living in the home is the new family of siblings that welcomed her. She enjoys engaging with them in games, physical activities, and worship. Her demeanor makes her a joy to be around.

Crystal’s favorite book in the Bible is the Gospel of Luke. Her wish is to learn how to draw. She’d love to be able to draw a portrait of her favorite animal. A cat would give her a big smile.

2023 Homes with Heart Luncheon w/ The Founders of John’s Crazy Socks

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Click here to purchase a table or tickets

Click here for Sponsorship Options

We invite you to attend our Homes with Heart Luncheon on March 20, 2023, to learn about our exciting goals for growth as we strive to serve more of God’s special people in more ways. We’re excited to have keynote speakers John & Mark X. Cronin founders of John’s Crazy Socks!  They will entertain and inspire with their story of entrepreneurship and advocacy.  We are honored to have Lois Thome of WINK News again serve as our emcee.


About John’s Crazy Socks

John’s Crazy Socks was inspired by John Lee Cronin, a young man with Down syndrome, and his love of colorful and fun socks—what he calls his “crazy socks.” He and his father, Mark X. Cronin, started the company as a social enterprise with a mission of Spreading Happiness™. They do this by offering socks people can love that allows an expression of one’s true self. More than half their employees have a differing ability, their Giving Back program has raised over $475,000 for charity partners like the Special Olympics, the National Down Syndrome Society, and the Autism Society of America. Most of all, they are Spreading Happiness™.

Protected Harbor Radio-a-thon

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Protected Harbor


Join us and our friends from WAVV FM radio this Sunday (December 11th) from 1-3pm as we celebrate His Blessings at our 21st Holiday celebration.  There will be refreshments, arts and crafts for the kids, cake and yard games. Come tour our home and get to know our residents. This fun-filled day is a celebration of love. 

The celebration takes place at the home that started it all:

4561 Camino Real Way

Fort Myers, FL 33966

(239) 989-1260

To support us you can donate here: Make an Online Donation

To donate an item: Shop for Protected Harbor’s Gift List (

For In-Kind Donations (239) 989-1260

Our Post Hurrican Recovery Needs:

  • 500 Gallons of LP Gas for Generator
  • Landscaping Assistance
  • Power-washing
  • Carpet Cleaning Assistance
  • Replenishment of all perishable foods from PH 2 and replacement of emergency supplies for our shelter at PH 1
  • Bottled Water
  • 20 Lbs. of Hamburger
  • Chicken Breasts
  • Mustard
  • Ketchup
  • Salad Dressing
  • Cleaning Supplies
    • Laundry Detergent
    • Dish Soap
    • Clorox Wipes
    • Trash bags
    • Ziploc Bags
    • Aluminum Foil
    • Saran Wrap
  • Plastic Silverware
  • Paper Plates
  • Paper Cups
  • Toilet Paper
  • Paper Towels

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 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”.