SARASOTA, FL – The Community Foundation of Sarasota County’s annual campaign to prevent homelessness that is conducted in partnership with Herald-Tribune Media Group surpassed $1 million in giving following the Christmas holiday.
Now in its 19th year, “Season of Sharing” provides financial support for emergency, one-time funds to help with rent, utility bills, child care and other expenses needs to help families and individuals secure their finances. The aim is to stop homelessness before it happens. The last several years more than $2 million has been raised each year to support people in needs in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties.
“Year after year our community comes forward to care for their friends and neighbors, ultimately making where we live a better place for all,” said Roxie Jerde, President and CEO of the Community Foundation. “Generosity from individuals – no matter how much – demonstrate our philanthropy is truly a demonstration of the love of humanity.”
The funds from the campaign are distributed throughout the year by a coalition of human service organizations. While 10 partner agencies oversee the use of the funds, those supported by this community-wide safety net request help from more than 60 non-profit groups.
A significant amount of the contributions made to the campaign this year come from The Patterson Foundation, a longstanding partner in the campaign. Already that private foundation has donated $200,000 with a $100,000 gift being made to Season of Sharing each time the community raises $500,000 for the campaign, which runs through Jan. 31, 2019. Additionally, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County provided a gift of $100,000 to mark the community’s more than $1 million in gifts.
Now, notable Sarasota philanthropist Gerri Aaron has issued a challenge matching grant for the first $100,000 at the start of 2019. The dollar-for-dollar match is Aaron’s second six-figure contribution to Season of Sharing in as many years.
“I think Season of Sharing is doing something special, and I hope other people will follow me by giving,” Aaron said. “I want to inspire people to want to give, and there is so much need here in our community.”
Donations to the Season of Sharing fund may be made online at cfsarasota.org or by sending a check (payable to Community Foundation of Sarasota County) to Attn: Season of Sharing, 2635 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, FL 34237. Contact the foundation at 941-556-2399 for more information or to request a credit card form. All donations are tax-deductible. To read stories about families helped by Season of Sharing, visit www.heraldtribune.com/seasonofsharing.
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 over $398 million in more than 1,400 charitable funds, the Community Foundation awarded grants and scholarships totaling $34 million dollars last year in the areas of education, the arts, health and human services, civic engagement, animal welfare and the environment. For more information, visit www.CFSarasota.org or call (941) 955-3000.