Community Foundation of Sarasota County Grants $322,924 in Hurricane Irma Recovery Funding to Local Nonprofit Organizations

Categories: Board of Directors, COMMUNITY CARE: Emergency Needs & Disaster Relief, Philanthropy, Human Services,

SARASOTA, FL – The Community Foundation of Sarasota County awarded $322,924 from the Hurricane Irma Relief and Recovery Fund to 41 local nonprofit organizations in order to assist with recovery efforts or expenses directly related to Hurricane Irma. These expenses included: evacuation costs, lost wages, overtime costs, equipment and preparation costs, relief for clients, business property damage and lost revenue. Individual grants range from $500 to $40,000.

“We wanted to ensure that we kept a pulse on the needs of our local nonprofits, and how they were doing addressing the various needs that arose before, during, and after the storm,” says Roxie Jerde, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. “We are grateful and fortunate that so many stepped up in a time of need and contributed to the fund in preparation for what could have been much worse. Now that the dust has settled and we have evaluated our region's needs, our nonprofits are able to get back on their feet with the help of this funding.”

The CFSC Hurricane Irma Relief and Recovery Fund was created in early September in response to Hurricane Irma’s projected path through our community and to ensure there was a fund available for the caring individuals, businesses and other funders who would want to support our community during a crisis. Donations were collected locally and from around the country, and the fund was boosted by a generous $100,000 gift from The Patterson Foundation to inspire other funders and an additional $100,000 commitment from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County’s Board of Directors.

“Even as people in our community faced their own unique challenges and perils in the wake of Hurricane Irma, they and other generous donors nationwide took action to support our region’s recovery process,” said Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. “The Patterson Foundation’s gift served to catalyze this generosity to strengthen our vital nonprofit community and the region’s resiliency in preparation for disasters yet to come.”

Following Hurricane Irma, the Community Foundation sent out a survey to more than 600 local nonprofits to assess what needs there were related to recovery efforts from the storm. A follow-up grant application was sent in December for nonprofits to request funding for Hurricane-related expenses, and a committee made up of Community Foundation staff, board members, and community leaders met to review and make recommendations for approval of funding. Particular emphasis was put on requests that focused on long-term recovery efforts and preparedness for future disasters.

The awardees are as follows:

  • Angels Among Us / My Choice Pregnancy Centers - to replace a failed air conditioner and replace frozen food items that were given to their clients in the food bank program
  • Animal Rescue Coalition - for partial support for reimbursement of lost spay/neuter revenue
  • Artists Guild of Anna Maria Island - for partial support for operating costs
  • Center of Hope of South County - for partial funding to replace a storage shed
  • Centerstone - for partial support for loss of revenue from client services
  • Charlotte Players, Inc. - for partial support for lost revenue for scheduled performances
  • Community Broadband Radio Association - to purchase a generator to keep power on for all systems
  • Crossroads Hope Academy - for partial support to purchase and install impact windows
  • DeSoto County Habitat for Humanity - for lost revenue from ReStore sales which is used directly for house builds
  • Epilepsy Services of SW Florida - for partial support for damage to the office in Naples, FL
  • First Brass of Sarasota - for partial support of losses incurred by canceled performances
  • Florida Rescue Farm - for property damage to enclosures and high water mitigation
  • Foundation for Dreams - for loss of revenue from clients and property damage to the Dream Oaks Camp
  • Friends of Manatee County Animal Services - for the replacement of sail shades
  • Habitat for Humanity South Sarasota - for partial support for loss of revenue from ReStore sales and power surge damage to equipment
  • Harvest House Transitional Centers - for supplies and clean up expenses for property damage
  • Honor Animal Rescue - to replace damaged solar panels and batteries needed to cool the animal kennels
  • Hope for Children and Families - for partial support for damages to two houses in the Homeless Program
  • Humane Society of Manatee County - for property damage and tree removal
  • Incarnation Schools - for partial support for property damage to classrooms
  • Just for Girls - for property damage and tree removal at the East Bradenton Center
  • Manasota SOLVE - for property damage to include privacy fence replacement, office roof repair and tree removal, as well as food and water, evacuation costs and generator fuel
  • Marie Selby Botanical Gardens - for partial support lost revenue due to facility closing for one week
  • Miracle Swimming for Adults - for partial support to replace a heater, fence repair and lost wages
  • Moonracer No Kill Animal Rescue - for partial support for barn rebuilding supplies
  • Mote Marine Laboratory - for partial support for damage to offshore coral nursery recovery efforts
  • Parrot Outreach Society - for partial support for the purchase of additional carriers to transport animals
  • Prospect Riding Center - for repair and replacement of fencing
  • Royal Palm Players - for partial support for loss of revenue
  • Salvation Army Sarasota Chapter - for partial support for lost revenue and lost wages/operating expenses
  • Sarasota Emergency Radio Club - to mount three replacement antennas on two towers in Sarasota
  • Sarasota YMCA - for partial support for property damage at the Bowman Youth Ranch and the Evalyn Sadlier Jones branch
  • Sarasota Youth Sailing Program - for fencing replacement
  • Satchel's Last Resort - for property damage
  • Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary - for property damage due to flooding.
  • The Children's Garden - for partial support for tree removal and clean up and lost revenue
  • TREE Foundation - for partial support for inspection and repair to the Walkway in Myakka
  • Visible Men Academy - for partial support for roof repair, ceiling tiles, carpets and damaged electronics
  • We Care Manatee - to replace vaccines and loss of revenue due to closure
  • WEDU - for partial support for loss of revenue due to inability to offer communications
  • WSLR - for loss of revenue and generator repair


About the Community Foundation of Sarasota County: The Community Foundation 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 $333 million in more than 1,400 charitable funds, the Community Foundation awarded grants and scholarships totaling more than $33 million dollars this past year in the areas of education, health and human services, the arts, animal welfare, and the environment. Since our founding, more than $217 million has been invested back into the community through grants and scholarships. For more information, visit