GCHSA Monthly Community Service Projects

“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see” - Mark Twain


This year our moms and children are focusing their efforts on participating in regular community service efforts. Here is some of what we're working on and what we've accomplished so far. Consider joining us, as every little bit helps!


Salvation Army

We ran a food-drive collection for the Salvation Army during the end of the year holidays and also participated in their annual Ring-and-Sing kettle collection.




FM City Nursery

Our kids enjoyed helping out the City of Ft. Myers Nursery with creating a Sunflower Maze at the Calusa Nature Center.  The first step was for the kids to plant 200 sunflower seeds at the City Nursery.  In a few weeks when the sprouts were ready for transplant, we helped install the maze at the Calusa Nature Center.

Ronald McDonald House Logo

We frequently volunteer to cook for the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Ft. Myers. They have a spacious double kitchen, and the children enjoy planning and preparing simple meals for the residents. We also turn in all the aluminium tabs we've collected for their pop-tabs recycling fund-raiser.

To kick off International Earth Day, March 20, 2007 (Spring Equinox), we wanted to get involved in the elephant adoption project below.  As an adoptive family, the children are able to donate money towards the orphaned elephants care and they will also be able to write to the ellies and their caregivers.  

Rest in Peace little Kilgoris


Unfortunately, the 2 month old baby elephant that our group is sponsoring in the spirit of Earth Day has passed away after a long struggle with his health since his rescue.  We love him already and will miss him and will sponsor another orphaned ellie in his honor.

Here is a detailed explanation of what happened to him. http://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org

Here are links to pictures of them both:
View pictures of Kilgoris' rescue here: http://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/asp/orphan_profile.asp?N=167 
Read Amos' journal entries about Kilgoris here:  
Kilgoris has his own photo album here:  

Meet Chyulu


During one of our Chyulu Desnaring Team’s routine patrols on the 18th of August in the Kibwezi forest, they came across a tiny elephant calf of about 5 months old stuck in a drying waterhole on the boundary with the community in an area called 'Kithasyo' and managed to extract the calf assisted by the community. We chose to name the calf “Chyulu” since it is the first elephant rescued in the newly created Chyulu National Park created to try and preserve the indigenous forests that clothe the Chyulu Hills abutting Tsavo West National Park. The waterhole in question is often frequented by elephants, since it is the last to dry during the dry season making it a hot-spot for poaching, which is rife in the area. A female elephant was, in fact, found poached some l0 days ago, and it is believed that this could be the mother of the calf.

For more information on Chyulu:


For her keeper's diary:


Meet Kilgoris


He is a 5 week old baby elephant that GCHSA has just proudly adopted.  He was born on January 25, 2007.  Shortly after birth, he was separated from his mother and herd by flooding in the Mogor River in Kenya.  He is one of 13 orphans in Dr. Daphne Sheldrick's elephant orphanage.  His care-giver’s name is Amos Lekalau  who even sleeps with Kilgoris if he is frightened. 

Read about Amos here: http://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/html/keepers_profiles.html#Amos%20Leleruk

View pictures of Kilgoris' rescue here: http://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/asp/orphan_profile.asp?N=167 

Read Amos' journal entries about Kilgoris here:  http://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/asp/individual.asp?o=Kilgoris

Kilgoris has his own photo album here:  http://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/asp/orphan_gallery.asp?Rhino=&N=167

We kicked off this project this month in order to help make a difference for International Earth Day, March 20, 2007 (Spring Equinox).  As an adoptive family, the children are able to donate money towards Kilgoris’ care and they will also be able to write to Kilgoris and Amos.

Happy Valentine's Day

At our Valentine’s Day Party this year, our families created some beautiful handmade Valentine’s Day cards for the residents at Alterra Sterling House in Cape Coral.  The holiday sentiments were greatly appreciated by the 50 residents, all of which live there full time.

Christmas Carolers

On December 6, we made lovely holiday cards to distribute at the Cape Coral Hospital on December 13, 2006. Everyone that participated in the Holiday Co-op will be singing and signing Christmas carols they learned to the patients at Cape Coral Hospital to brighten their holidays.

We also sent a batch to the injured soldiers residing at Walter Reed Medical Center and you can read the lovely thank you we got.

Books in Truck

Our Group Coordinator headed up a Children’s Book Drive inspired by H-E-A-R-T-S.org .  Our children also made bookmarks to accompany the donated items. If you would like to help by donating some gently used children’s books, please use these guidelines to help you.

*Donations of new, developmentally and culturally appropriate books.
*Used books must be gently used (covers and pages intact, clean and readable).
*Hardcover picture books with brightly colored pictures and interesting stories are ideal.
*Focus on children between the ages of 6 months to 5 years, although books for older children may be accepted
*Books about sensitive issues like divorce, abuse or death cannot be accepted.  

(For more information about this book drive or about the H.E.A.R.T.S organization, please visit these links: http://www.h-e-a-r-t-s.org/BookWeek.html and www.h-e-a-r-t-s.org)


We held a Canned Food Drive for Harry Chapin Food Bank during our  Thanksgiving Feast.  Everyone brought what they could contribute and we made a modest but well-received and much-appreciated contribution.

Cranberries and popcorn

At our Park Day on November 27, we decorated a Christmas Tree for the Birds in Jaycee Park with pinecones coated with peanut butter and birdseed and garlands of cranberries and popcorn.  All things, great and small…

Wreath sample

Our kiddos made Veteran’s Day Wreaths for Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Bethesda Naval Hospital. 

The patients and nurses there loved them so much, they sent this letter in response to thank us!