SARASOTA, FL – As an initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County is relying on the time-tested and trusted Season of Sharing partnership with the Herald Tribune Media Group and multiple nonprofit agencies to quickly and proactively help the most vulnerable individuals and families with immediate basic needs such as payments for utilities, childcare and rent.
As a response to this crisis and to bolster Season of Sharing funds, our longtime partner, The Patterson Foundation, has committed up to $1 million to strengthen this important safety net. The commitment includes an immediate $500,000 contribution, along with an additional dollar-for-dollar match up to $500,000.
“Even in regular times, Season of Sharing is vital to many in our community, and we are so fortunate to have it to help now,” said Roxie Jerde, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. “In times like this, philanthropy can truly shine by providing resources for those most vulnerable. Our network of local human services nonprofits will be especially needed. Bolstering Season of Sharing funds now will further support the changing government and private measures that are being developed at state and federal levels.”
When the match is fulfilled by the community, there will be $1.5 million total in additional funds for distribution in the four-county region of Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties.
“While people navigate the evolving challenges COVID-19 presents in their own lives, they also want to know how to help others who find themselves facing uncharted financial trauma,” said Debra Jacobs, president & CEO of The Patterson Foundation. “For 20 years, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and the Herald-Tribune Media Group have harnessed Season of Sharing to help strengthen individuals and families in our region and move them from uncertainty to security. Season of Sharing’s network offers donors a tried and true way to ensure their funds are administered effectively to those with immediate needs.”
For 20 years, “Season of Sharing” – conducted in partnership with the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and Herald-Tribune Media Group – has empowered neighbors to help neighbors in need by providing 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 Season of Sharing’s inception in 2000, more than 35,000 families and individuals have been touched by our community’s generosity, which is amplified by the approximately 3,000 annual contributions to sustain and strengthen the campaign’s reach.
“Every gift of every size that can be made at this time to help our friends and neighbors is deeply appreciated,” Jerde said. “Our community and country are facing an unprecedented time. While the circumstances are evolving and we are facing the unknown, as a community foundation, we exist to serve our community, especially in times of critical need.”
Donations to the Season of Sharing fund may be made online 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.
We anticipate multiple phases of funding and are collaborating with other local foundations to learn about different community needs. Together our organizations will coordinate resources to further support the changing government and private measures that are being developed.
To support local nonprofit and other community organizations engaging in short-term response and longer-term recovery, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County has several current grant funds available and applications are accessible at www.cfsarasota.org.
To read stories from families and individuals who have been 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 $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.
About The Patterson Foundation: The Patterson Foundation strengthens the efforts of people, organizations and communities. The Foundation focuses on issues that address common aspirations and foster wide participation, along with ways organizations learn and share as they evolve. For more information, please visit www.thepattersonfoundation.org and connect with @ThePattersonFdn on Twitter.