Blog & Media Releases

Cape Coral Service Project: Hearts and Homes for Veterans

by Angie Filian | Nov 12, 2018

At the Lee County Tax Collector’s Office, our employees are dedicated to giving back to our local community – especially those who served our country. Many veterans struggle to adjust back to their everyday lives and some may even descend into homelessness. The Lee County Tax Collector’s Office believes that every veteran deserves a home, which is why the Cape Coral service center decided to support Hearts and Homes for Veterans as their community service project. 


The collaboration began when Don Payton, founder and president of Hearts and Homes for Veterans, visited the Tax Collector’s Cape Coral Office as a customer. He and the LCTC staff members spoke casually about the organization, and word got to then Branch Manager Lorena Velasquez, a former Army sergeant who served in Desert Storm. Velasquez and Patrick Griffin, who served 20 years as an Army staff sergeant before joining the Tax Collector’s Office, made Hearts and Homes for Veterans the beneficiary of the Cape office’s annual service project.


Hearts and Homes for Veterans was formed not just to be another local charity organization, but to put an end to homelessness among Veterans in Southwest Florida. The purpose of this organization is to support homeless veterans and their families who find themselves without the necessities of everyday life. Hearts and Homes for Veterans provides subsidized housing for veterans and their families, assist veterans in finding employment as well as helping our returning veterans repatriate back into our community as active and productive citizens.


Since the Lee County Tax Collector’s Office fundraising efforts began over 4 years ago, the LCTC team has raised more than $5,000 for Hearts and Homes for Veterans. That money is donated to the nonprofit where they then purchase gift cards to help homeless veterans purchase the items they need to live a more fulfilled life. The Lee County Tax Collector’s office has a responsibility to those who have sacrificed so much to protect our freedom and our team understands that. The LCTC staff goes the extra mile to make sure veterans in need have the necessities of life. Click here to learn more about Hearts and Homes for Veterans and how you can help those in need.