December is prime time for reflecting on the last 11 months, taking stock of what 2022 has meant for all of us, individually and collectively. I like to use this reflection time to consider the possibilities of the coming year, thinking of my resolutions for a hopeful and joyous 2023.
One key aspect of the year 2022 is the continued growth of new residents coming to the Suncoast. The growth is exciting, but presents many challenges, both immediate and long-term, from affordable housing to environmental implications.
While our community is experiencing tremendous change, one thing remains constant: our generosity. This generosity has been demonstrated this year through the 2022 Giving Challenge – where in just 24 hours, $16 million was raised to strengthen the capacity of our nonprofit agencies – as well as the full force of response following Hurricane Ian, when in just six weeks our community raised nearly $5 million to help our area rebound with resiliency through the Suncoast Disaster Recovery Fund.
We were fortunate to have Season of Sharing in place for those immediately displaced by Ian, both those whose home damage required unanticipated expenses, and those who have been displaced and now seek rental assistance. It has been these dollars that have helped our community have stability by allowing those facing an economic cliff to regain their peace of mind and ability to thrive. We are hopeful that this same generosity will buoy our 23rd annual Season of Sharing campaign, which raised and provided $4.4 million in assistance last year to help neighbors in need.
With the end of the year on the horizon, the time is already here for year-end giving, and already many of you are choosing Season of Sharing as your choice for caring for our community. I am heartened by the eagerness of generous people to pay it forward, giving others not just financial help, but hope.
Even with challenges hurled our way this year, the enormous generosity of our community has allowed us to come together as a community to support those who are most vulnerable and fortify the capabilities of those with dreams of a brighter tomorrow. I look forward to 2023, with the hope that this same collective energy of so many caring people continues into the new year.
What are you wishing for in 2023? I’d love to hear your thoughts.