A Commitment to Our Community, No Matter the Crisis

Categories: COMMUNITY CARE: Preventing Homelessness, Donors, Season of Sharing, CEO Message,

If 2020 was summed up by how we respond and recover in the face of crisis, then 2021 is defined by how we continue to reimagine the opportunities as we adapt following a very trying time.

We’ve been living in an ongoing, once-in-a-lifetime moment, one that has spotlighted how so many in our region remain on the economic edge and a single paycheck away from difficult choices affecting where they sleep and how they live. These are complex, very human challenges that our neighbors throughout Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, and DeSoto counties never expected to face, yet have been left to overcome with no shortage of bravery, resiliency, and that ever-present force for good: hope.

For the last 21 years, our region has called upon Season of Sharing for a responsive – and caring – way to tap into this force and help neighbors in need.

Beginning next week, our partners with the Sarasota Herald Tribune will once again be sharing the stories of the many people across our community who are still experiencing heightened needs around housing, childcare, transportation, and utilities that came about during the pandemic, and were certainly not expected. We are counting on this time-tested and trusted region-wide campaign to support a vital, emergency safety net for neighbors, supported by neighbors.

The grassroots simplicity behind Season of Sharing encourages everyone to be a philanthropist, no matter the means. Every dollar given stays local, too.

Gifts from $4 to hundreds of thousands of dollars quickly and thoughtfully make their way to those who need it most, and without the proverbial “red tape” that would delay dollars getting to where they are needed most thanks to a trusted and robust network of more than 50 human service agencies. As always, there are no administrative fees, so 100% of funds raised by the community – your gifts – go directly to those who need it most.

Thanks in large part those who have shared their personal stories of crisis through the Herald-Tribune, many of us have been moved to make gifts that have enabled more than 38,000 individuals and families to remain in their homes and regain daily stability. I am humbled by the courage of those who relay their most difficult moments with no other intention than to share their appreciation in hopes that their story will inspire greater giving to help others. Over the next year, journalist Saundra Amrhein will lend her pen to give voice to those touched by Season of Sharing and explore the longstanding challenges that cause instability across our community.

I hope this heartfelt reporting will inspire action among those of us who are able to offer a gift to others in need. To strengthen your generosity, longtime Season of Sharing partner – The Patterson Foundation – is continuing its support through a matching opportunity, contributing $100,000 for every $500,000 raised by the community through January 31, 2022. With no cap on the number of contributions donors can activate, there is no better time to give and know that every dollar matters.

As we’ve experienced in the last year and a half, change is constant, yet so is the unwavering generosity behind Season of Sharing, no matter the crisis.

With the abundance of resiliency, hope, and unity that we see among everyone touched through this heartfelt campaign, our community has the power to come together for the betterment of everyone who lives here.

We hope you’ll be a part of it.

Thank you for inspiring hope,
Roxie Jerde

About Author

Roxie Jerde

President and CEO