For the fifth year in a row, the annual Season of Sharing campaign has again broken the $2 million milestone. With donations ranging from $5 to $100,000, this year’s campaign received an outpouring of gifts from more than 2,900 donors.
Created by the Herald-Tribune Media Group and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County in 2000, Season of Sharing is a community-wide campaign that provides a safety net for families and individuals in danger of becoming homeless. Funds that are raised are distributed by a network of nonprofit fiscal agents and may be used for rent or mortgage, utility bills, child care, transportation, food vouchers or other crucial expenses.
“We’re so grateful to live in a community that truly embraces the annual Season of Sharing campaign. Thanks to the media partners, nonprofit organizations, and the incredible giving spirit of our community, everyone comes together to ensure families and individuals on the verge of losing their homes are given hope and the ability to stay in their homes,” says Roxie Jerde, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. “It’s a great demonstration to prove that our community truly cares about all its citizens. Thanks to the generosity of so many, our most vulnerable neighbors have a safety-net they can rely on when life throws unexpected challenges.”
This year The Patterson Foundation matched $100,000 for every $500,000 raised by the community in order to promote giving, for a total of $300,000. This year’s campaign was also boosted by two $100,000 gifts from notable local philanthropists, Gerri Aaron and Jacqueline Lewis, to inspire others to give.
“Every year our community’s giving spirit inspires us,” said Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. “The contributions provided by The Patterson Foundation served to spur further displays of generosity from community donors throughout Season of Sharing by strengthening the impact of their gifts and helping even more local families remain secure in their homes.”
Of each dollar raised, 100% will go directly to support families and individuals on the verge of homelessness, thanks to hundreds of hours of administrative support donated by the Community Foundation, local media partners, and nonprofit fiscal agencies involved in this collaborative effort.
Season of Sharing provides a preventative measure towards addressing homelessness. Knowing it costs eight times more to put a family back into housing after they have lost the roof over their head, stopping homelessness before it happens is an approach that makes sense. Not only is this reasoning more economically sound, it also allows individuals and families to avoid the heartache, anxiety, and indignity of losing the place they call home. More than 85% of recipients don’t return for help again the following year.