August 12, 2020
Community Foundation of Sarasota County & Herald Tribune Media Group Establish Journalism Partnership
Categories: COMMUNITY CARE: Emergency Needs & Disaster Relief, COMMUNITY CARE: Preventing Homelessness, Season of Sharing, Response and Recovery,
A dedicated journalist will cover nonprofit and community response efforts related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
SARASOTA, FL – Building upon the 20-year partnership of “Season of Sharing,” the community-wide support program that helps individuals and families in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, and DeSoto counties who are on the verge of homelessness, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and the Herald-Tribune Media Group have expanded locally-supported community journalism by hiring a journalist dedicated to telling stories of our community’s response through the next year related to the coronavirus pandemic.
After a national search, the partnership selected Angela DiMichele as the assigned reporter tasked with developing data-supported articles that give voice to individuals and families supported through “Season of Sharing,” and that assess and inform trends in services and needs across the region. While remaining community oriented, DiMichele will feature personal stories that illuminate the impact of “Season of Sharing” across the area.
“What began as a partnership between two community-minded organizations has transformed into something much bigger than both of us, touching thousands of lives each year through the power of storytelling paired with philanthropy,” says Roxie Jerde, President and CEO of the Community Foundation. “We are thrilled to welcome Angela to our community and partner with her to give voice to those in need and further embed “Season of Sharing’ into our community culture.”
DiMichele holds a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Florida and has reported for The Florida Times-Union and The Gainesville Sun. DiMichele was also Capitol Correspondent with Fresh Take Florida and her reporting has been published in the Associated Press and newspapers nationally and internationally. DiMichele recently earned an award from The Society of Professional Journalists for her for her work at Fresh Take Florida.
Over 20 years “Season of Sharing” has helped more than 35,000 households and individuals in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties by providing more than $24 million to provide one-time, emergency assistance to help with rent, utilities, food vouchers, child care, and other unexpected costs that may be the difference between financial stability and losing one’s home. Since mid-March 2020, as a response to the expected increase in requests for help from Season of Sharing, the community raised an additional $2.7 million, including $1 million from longtime partner, The Patterson Foundation, in gifts and matching funds.
The dedicated journalist position with the Herald Tribune aims to offer understanding of the charitable support available to the community in a challenging time, and compassion for the many people who never anticipated needing assistance, said Mischa Kirby, Vice President of Strategic Communications at the Community Foundation.
“The pandemic has changed everything, and the work of the Herald Tribune to capture the important steps our community is taking to care for those facing great needs is key to understanding how we will make our way through this moment in time,” Kirby said. “Journalism is often called the first draft of history, and it seems appropriate that expanding this 20-year partnership will guide both what we remember and who we choose to become as a community."
Donations to the Season of Sharing fund can be made throughout the year at any level. Gifts can be made online at any level at www.cfsarasota.org/season-of-sharing or by sending a check (payable to Community Foundation of Sarasota County) to Attn: Season of Sharing, 2635 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, FL 34237. There are no administrative fees and 100 percent of your gift goes to helping the people and families who are working to stabilize their lives. All donations are tax-deductible.
About the Community Foundation of Sarasota County: The Community Foundation of Sarasota County 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 $418 million in more than 1,500 charitable funds, the Community Foundation awarded grants and scholarships totaling $21.5 million dollars last year in the areas of education, the arts, health and human services, civic engagement, animal welfare and the environment. Since its founding, the Community Foundation has been able to grant more than $274 million to area nonprofit organizations to our community thanks to the generosity of charitable individuals, families, and businesses. For more information, visit www.CFSarasota.org or call (941) 955-3000.