Season of Sharing Reaches $2 Million Goal for Second Year
The Community Foundation of Sarasota County and Herald-Tribune Media Group announce that the annual Season of Sharing campaign has reached the $2 million mark. These funds will help more than 2,800 individuals in need to stay in their homes. The $2 million goal was set in order to match the success of last year’s record new height.
Now in its 15th year, this year’s campaign was supported by the generosity of donors, local organizations, media partners, and the community. In an effort to promote community involvement, The Patterson Foundation offered a gift of $100,000 for every $500,000 raised, matching a total of $300,000 for the $1.5 million raised by the community. Additionally, Philanthropists Chuck and Margie Barancik – whose gift of $150,000 last year, and $100,000 in 2013, helped the community to meet the goal - again pledged a capping gift of $200,000 once the campaign was at the $1.8 million dollar mark, helping to breach the $2 million target. Other noteworthy gifts were made by the Selby Foundation and from Carol and Morton Siegler.
While matching incentives from partners were less than previous years, community donors raised $287,000 more than last year’s campaign.
“I am no longer surprised by the generosity of our community, but I continue to be amazed by the incredible willingness to help those in need. We not only surpassed our $2 million goal, but surpassed last year’s giving as well. I think this is great recognition of a program that has proven to be efficient and effective in helping our friends and neighbors in critical need,” says Pat Dorsey, Publisher of the Herald-Tribune Media Group.
“Season of Sharing is a great reminder to those of us who support and share this great community that the problems of so many can be substantially resolved by the readiness of people willing to help and pool resources,” say Carol and Morton Siegler.
Season of Sharing prevents homelessness by providing targeted financial assistance of up to $1,000 (per family, per year) for crucial needs like rent or mortgage, utilities, and other expenses such as car repairs, child care, food vouchers and more. While most of the funds are raised around the holiday season, from November through February, assistance from the Season of Sharing Fund is available all year long through participating social service agencies for those in need in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties. A significant feature of Season of Sharing is that 100% of all donations go to direct assistance for families at risk of homelessness. Our nonprofit partners are critical in identifying those in need and administering the funds. They do this without any administrative fees – just like the rest of the partners – showing their caring and compassion and ensuring more families on the brink are able to stay in their homes.
The campaign has been a success thanks to the generosity of thousands of donors and numerous businesses throughout the community. More than 55 businesses contributed gifts ranging from $25 to $12,500, resulting in nearly $47,000 in Season of Sharing contributions. Of the nearly 3,700 gifts to Season of Sharing, 69% are $100 or less – gifts of less than $100 make up nearly 8% of the total fundraising total. The Season of Sharing campaign proves that everyone can be a philanthropist, and every gift makes a difference.
“How moving it is for Season of Sharing to once again reach such great heights,” said Community Foundation of Sarasota County president and CEO Roxie Jerde. “Time and time again, this community demonstrates an incredible giving spirit and heart. Thousands of area residents at risk of homelessness will be able to stay in their homes, thanks to the generosity of so many. I want to thank the Baranciks for inspiring others to give and for believing that there is no goal our community can’t reach if we come together around a worthy cause. I also can’t express enough gratitude to The Patterson Foundation for their commitment to this campaign over the years. This year they believed that our community could demonstrate a willingness to own Season of Sharing, and they were right.”
"This year's Season of Sharing milestone demonstrates an unprecedented community-wide movement to help those on the verge of homelessness," said Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. "A community campaign in every sense, each donor's generosity helped trigger The Patterson Foundation's gifts resulting in thousands of families being assisted in the coming months."
Season of Sharing, now in its 15th year of raising emergency funds, is a partnership of the Herald-Tribune Media Group and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. Since 2000, more than $13 million has been raised to prevent homelessness.
The partnership is enhanced by a collaboration of media partners that have joined to spread the word, spurred to action by the urgency of the times. Collaborative partners include the Bradenton Herald, iHeart Radio, Sarasota Magazine and Biz941, SNN Local News, WWSB ABC 7, Bright House, Sun Coast Media Group, and the One to One Group.
“We can not thank our media partners enough,” Jerde added. “Each collaborating partner– by devoting column inches, advertising space, or airtime – was critical in informing the community of the need of so many hardworking families in our region and inspiring giving.”