Season of Sharing Campaign

22 Years of Stability, Flexibility, and Neighbors Helping Neighbors in Crisis

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 for immediate basic needs is key.

As a community-wide campaign founded on collaboration and partnership, trust lies at the heart of Season of Sharing. For more than 21 years, Season of Sharing has empowered neighbors to help neighbors, individuals, and families in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, and DeSoto counties who are in crisis regain stability. 

All collected funds are distributed to those in need in our four-county region and may be used for rental assistance, utility bills, child care, transportation, food vouchers, or other crucial expenses to help families restore a sense of security when it is needed most urgently. 

As a vital safety net, Season of Sharing is a trusted way for neighbors to support one another, whatever the crisis, be it hurricanes, Red Tide, economic downturns or even a global pandemic.

As a vital safety net, Season of Sharing is a  trusted way for neighbors to support one another, whatever the crisis, be it hurricanes, Red Tide, economic downturns or even a global pandemic. 

Over the campaign's 22-year history, this time-tested and trusted resource has distributed more than $30 million to more than 38,000 families and individuals who have been able to get back on their feet thanks to our community's generosity.

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 empower and help their fellow neighbors. To this day, Season of Sharing remains a grassroots campaign that depends on generosity at all levels

Over the campaign's 21-year history, this time-tested and trusted resource has distributed more than $30 million to more than 38,000 families and individuals who have been able to get back on their feet thanks to our community's generosity.

In 2020 alone, 3,252 grassroots donors and several local foundations raised more than $3.7 million - with nearly 3,800 gifts - to address head-on the challenges exacerbated by the pandemic, an amount unheard of in the campaign’s two-decade history.

Year after year, Season of Sharing shows us that by offering help, we all can answer “yes” to give the gift of hope and embrace the simple yet powerful notion of “paying it forward.”  

COVID-19 Response

As a 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 multiple nonprofit agencies to help the most vulnerable individuals and families with immediate basic needs such as payments for rent, utilities, child care, transportation, and food vouchers. 

While Season of Sharing exists to be an emergency resource of last resort, it is also an indicator of our community’s capacity to heal. In times like this, philanthropy can truly shine, and we appreciate every gift of any size that can be made to help our friends and neighbors. 

The Patterson Foundation is strengthening the givers in our region who make Season of Sharing’s impact possible. From now through Jan. 31, 2022, The Patterson Foundation will contribute $100,000 to Season of Sharing for every $500,000 donated by the community — with no cap on the number of $100,000 contributions donors can activate throughout the campaign. Learn more about The Patterson Foundation’s support for Season of Sharing.

Additional $100,000 Gifts From The Patterson Foundation

How is Help Requested through Season of Sharing?

  1. To request help, those in need call 2-1-1—United Way’s hotline that assists potential clients in finding the appropriate agency—or work with a social worker.
  2. During this call, clients will be referred to one of fifty agencies that best fit their needs and location, whether that be staying in their home, keeping the lights on, or repairing a car so they can get to work.
  3. Following consultation with a social worker, funds from Season of Sharing will be distributed directly to the client’s landlord, utility, childcare provider or car repair shop.

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.

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

Each life touched by Season of Sharing has a story. Throughout its 20 continuous years, Season of Sharing has embraced the belief that heartfelt storytelling – by learning about someone’s personal experiences—can unite and inspire our community.

The courageous families and individuals who share their stories during their most difficult times demonstrate how we are all deeply affected by the current pandemic, including those who have recently received support:

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

Get Involved

Kirsten Russell 

Vice President, Community Impact