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Shorts and Boots

Shorts and Boots

If the weather in Southwest Florida dips below 60 degrees I pull out my winter wear. Coats, sweaters, scarves, tights and boots all emerge from my closet and I am ready to face the blustery conditions.

It is over the top and by mid- afternoon I might be burning up but will never admit that my winter wardrobe is the culprit. I am a Floridian through and through so any cold snap is my chance to experience a change of seasons.

With only a few days available for this wardrobe swap, I take full advantage and notice many of my Southwest Florida neighbors do the same.

During last week’s thermometer drop into the 40s (with “feels like “ temps in the 30s) it was a full on winter wonderland in downtown Fort Myers.

With mittened hands wrapped around a hot cocoa and a scarf tightly secured on my neck, I smiled and greeted my neighbors in their equally bundled garb. I thought it could snow at any moment and we would be ready!

But as I took a closer look at passersby I realized some folks were wearing shorts and T-shirt’s, looking equally pleased to be out and about .

Their lips weren’t blue and no shivering in sight.

As happy as I was to be in boots and a parka, they were relishing what they considered a mild day in Florida.

I didn’t stop to ask anyone where they were from, but I did notice them chuckling at me, probably thinking I had no idea what cold really felt like.

We all smiled at each other and went on our way.

It was a great reminder on perspective. Our actions and decisions in life are shaped by our experiences and expectations.

Along with cooler weather this time of year brings a renewed focus on generosity and giving in our community. During the holidays the Southwest Florida Community Foundation has the privilege of working with people who want to make a difference and impact through contributions of time and funding….but no two conversations are the same. Each person brings a different perspective to their giving passions strategy.

Last week donors reached out to provide food to the hungry, gifts to children who would otherwise go without, support of Alzheimer’s caregivers, and funding for children experiencing the loss of a parent.

Some give anonymously, while others engage with the organizations and people they support.

Each person with their own perspective. Just like shorts and boots on a cold day- it all works.


About the Southwest Florida Community Foundation

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation, founded in 1976, cultivates regional change for the common good through collective leadership, social innovation and philanthropy to address the evolving community needs in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The Foundation partners with individuals, families and corporations who have created more than 400 philanthropic funds. Thanks to them, the Foundation invested $6.8 million in grants and programs to the community. With assets of more than $126 million, it has provided $78.2 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves since inception. The Foundation is the backbone organization for the regional FutureMakers Coalition and Lee County’s Sustainability Plan. The Southwest Florida Community Foundation’s regional headquarters are now located in the historic ACL Train Depot at Collaboratory in downtown Fort Myers, with a  satellite office located in LaBelle (Hendry County). For more information, call 239-274-5900 or visit



Sarah Owen
Sarah Owen

Sarah Owen, President & CEO of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, leads a passionate and diverse team dedicated to driving regional change for the common good. The Foundation is committed to engaging the community in conversations and action that creates sustainable positive change and provides the funding to make those changes a reality. More