SARASOTA, FL – The Community Foundation of Sarasota County’s annual campaign to prevent homelessness that is conducted in partnership with Herald-Tribune Media Group exceeded its goal of securing $2 million in donations from the community in two and a half months.
Now in its 19th year, “Season of Sharing” provides financial support for emergency, one-time funds to help with rent, utility bills, child care and other expenses needs to help families and individuals secure their finances. The aim is to stop homelessness before it happens. The last several years more than $2 million has been raised each year to support people in needs in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties. The funds are called upon throughout the year to help those in need through a network of human service organizations.
“We have such a giving community – it’s in our DNA,” said Roxie Jerde, President and CEO of the Community Foundation, which operates the campaign without any management costs. “The funds raised are of vital importance because there are so many people facing unexpected challenges.”
This year’s campaign received gifts from nearly 3,000 people. Some 10 partner agencies oversee requests for the funds, which come through more than 60 non-profit groups who care for the thousands of people who have to call on this this community-wide safety net. An average of 3,000 individuals and families receive one-time assistance each year.
The Patterson Foundation, a longstanding partner in the campaign, generously donated a $100,000 gift to Season of Sharing each time the community raised $500,000 for the campaign. Additionally, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County provided a gift of $200,000, and Sarasota philanthropist Gerri Aaron issued a challenge matching grant of $100,000, which the community successfully met with its own contributions.
“Every gift counts. Every gift makes a difference,” Jerde said. “We received a $2 check this year, and that means just as much as larger gifts because it was someone who knew their $2 would help someone in need. With Season of Sharing we are truly neighbors helping all our neighbors.”
Donations to the Season of Sharing fund are accepted all year and may be made online at cfsarasota.org or by sending a check (payable to Community Foundation of Sarasota County) to Attn: Season of Sharing, 2635 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, FL 34237. Contact the foundation at 941-556-2399 for more information or to request a credit card form. All donations are tax-deductible.
To read stories about families helped by Season of Sharing, visit www.heraldtribune.com/seasonofsharing.
About the Community Foundation of Sarasota County: The Community Foundation of Sarasota County is a public charity founded in 1979 by the Southwest Florida Estate Planning Council as a resource for caring individuals and the causes they support, enabling them to make a charitable impact on the community. With assets of over $398 million in more than 1,400 charitable funds, the Community Foundation awarded grants and scholarships totaling $34 million dollars last year in the areas of education, the arts, health and human services, civic engagement, animal welfare and the environment. For more information, visit www.CFSarasota.org or call (941) 955-3000.