f nothing else, 2020 could be defined by its unpredictability. Each and every one of us found ourselves in circumstances that would have seemed unfathomable prior to COVID-19. While immense in scope and effect, the pandemic is an example of a destabilizing disaster that can dramatically impact our lives. For too many of our neighbors, this threatens their very safety and stability.
Fortunately, in our region, there is another attribute that rises to the top: Caring. While this is not a new attribute by any means, it has perhaps never resounded as loudly as it has this year — a feat owed to our caring community’s inspired response to strengthen others coping with unforeseen financial hardship due to COVID-19. Of the ways our region has put its generosity into action, the reactivated Season of Sharing campaign stands out for the $2.8 million it helped generate in the early months of the pandemic — providing a vital safety net for families and individuals in Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties when government or other private assistance is exhausted.
Amid the uncertainty brought on by the pandemic, Season of Sharing has stood in stark contrast by offering a time-tested, trusted network to help neighbors, individuals, and families with immediate basic needs regain stability through community philanthropy.