COVID-19 Response

As an initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are relying on the time-tested and trusted Season of Sharing partnership with the Herald Tribune Media Group and our multiple nonprofit agencies to help the most vulnerable individuals and families with immediate basic needs such as payments for utilities, childcare and rent. Even in regular times, Season of Sharing is vital to many in our community, and we are fortunate to have it to help in addition to the government and private measures being developed.

The Patterson Foundation, a longtime partner and supporter of Season of Sharing, committed up to $1 million to strengthen this vital reactivation, including an immediate $500,000 contribution along with an additional dollar-for-dollar match up to $500,000 for all gifts made to Season of Sharing. In just 26 days, our community raised nearly $2 million with gifts ranging from $15 to $250,000, far surpassing the initial match and encouraging additional matching gifts. This includes another $200,000 dollar-for-dollar matching gift from an anonymous donor and a $100,000 from the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors, which was also met in record time and providing $2.4 million more in additional funds for distribution in the four-county region.

In times like this, philanthropy can truly shine, and we appreciate every gift of any size that can be made at this time to help our friends and neighbors. 

Support the Season of Sharing Campaign

While Sarasota is ranked among Florida’s most affluent communities, hundreds of hard-working families are one paycheck away from the threat of homelessness. Our community’s most vulnerable are struggling to simply survive and provide for their families. To break this vicious cycle, one-time emergency financial assistance is the key.

Having just finished its 20th anniversary, Season of Sharing is a community-wide fundraising partnership that helps individuals and families in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, and DeSoto counties who are on the verge of homelessness regain stability and stay in their homes. All collected funds are distributed to those in need and may be used for rental assistance, utility bills, child care, transportation, food vouchers, or other crucial expenses to help families get back on their feet.

Hundreds of hard-working families are one paycheck away from the threat of homelessness.

In the 2019-2020 campaign, more than 3,000 gifts contributed to the over $2.5 million raised in funds.

As a reflection of our belief that anyone can be a philanthropist regardless of means, Season of Sharing is an open invitation to all members of our community to give what they can to uplift and help others. In the 2019-2020 campaign, more than 3,000 gifts contributed to over $2.5 million raised in funds, bringing the 20-year total to nearly $24 million. 

While these results are truly inspiring, they also have a measurable impact: over the campaign's 20-year history, more than 35,000 families, veterans, and seniors have been able to remain in their homes thanks to our community's generosity.

Fundraising for Season of Sharing officially runs annually from November to January, but charitable giving continues throughout the year. Because the Community Foundation provides grants directly to nonprofit agencies, individuals must be working with a case worker at a social service agency to receive funds.

If you need assistance, please contact one of the following nonprofit agencies:

Not sure which agency matches your needs? United Way 2-1-1 assists potential clients in finding an appropriate agency. Visit United Way 2-1-1's website to begin your search.

Season of Sharing was created by the Herald-Tribune Media Group and the Community Foundation, but has since been enhanced by a collaboration of media partners: The Patterson Foundation, the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation, and other funders who provide significant matching dollars, in addition to local donors who contribute gifts of varying amounts.

Since its inception, Season of Sharing has raised and distributed more than $21 million to more than 280 supporting nonprofit agencies. 

View the 2018–2019 Season of Sharing Factsheet.

How to Donate

Donate Online

Donate to the Season of Sharing Fund. As always, all of your donation — 100% —  goes directly to helping families stay in their homes. Please select from the following individual funds:

Donate by Mail

Mail your check – payable to Community Foundation of Sarasota County (please indicate county designation on memo line) – to:

Season of Sharing  
c/o Community Foundation of Sarasota County  
2635 Fruitville Road  
Sarasota, FL 34237

Donate by Phone

Call 941-955-3000. 

Stories of Impact: Season of Sharing

Read More Stories from Families & Individuals Served By Season of Sharing

Get Involved

Kirsten Russell 

Vice President, Community Impact