Even in balmy Florida, fall settles into our lives in some ways: the crisper weather, pumpkin spice offerings at bakeries and coffee shops, and vibrant wreaths and decorations on our neighbors’ homes.
While our tropical climate doesn’t yield all the telltale signs of fall, the feeling of autumn—the associations of abundance and joy stimulated by the proverbial fall harvest—is in the air. Seeds sown in the spring come to fruition, and the harvest that’s brought about delivers security and possibility of sustenance for months to come. All over the world, the connection between this season and the gathering of food and loved ones is strong.
Season of Sharing helped Army veterans Victoria Lopez and Lee LaVallee pay for childcare after the Sarasota County Commission paused funding to the Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota County in November 2022. Despite having secure jobs, Lopez as a teacher and LaVallee as a county employee, affording childcare became out of reach for this North Port couple, threatening to destabilize their lives.
For us at the Community Foundation, fall also signals the beginning of Season of Sharing, a campaign we started 24 years ago as a safety net that keeps families secure in their homes. The official campaign begins Nov. 5. While we look at this as Harvest Season, now is truly the time to sow seeds of goodwill that will be called upon all year. As friends of the Community Foundation, you know best that Season of Sharing truly has no end date; dollars gifted now are depended upon all year long to help families experiencing acute crisis. Like an abundant harvest, Season of Sharing is a source of comfort and subsistence.
"It’s possible to see the real benefit of accumulating resources that can be drawn upon in times ahead."
The bounty that Season of Sharing delivers is relied upon all year long, and this year has seen unprecedented demand for Season of Sharing dollars as families climbing out of financial straits brought about by the pandemic, or Hurricane Ian—or both—continue to face setbacks they never saw coming.
For so many, Season of Sharing provides a bridge to stability that enables a move to solid ground. Especially this time of year, one centered on a successful harvest, providing a plentiful supply of gratitude and fortitude to carry us through the next many months, it’s possible to see the real benefit of accumulating resources that can be drawn upon in times ahead.
I am grateful that this community has been so generous for our neighbors through nearly a quarter century of Season of Sharing. It takes uniquely kindhearted people to consistently recognize the possibility that exists in paying it forward.
I hope as you embrace the traditions of autumn—whatever that looks like for you—that you experience the joyful abundance that characterizes this season.
I’m curious: what aspects of the harvest season are you most grateful for?