Season of Sharing Enters 24th Year Beginning Nov. 5
The safety net became an essential resource amid shifting financial realities
During this time of year, the community eagerly anticipates the holiday season. However, it is important to remember that many individuals find themselves in dire circumstances through no fault of their own. This has been addressed year after year by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County through Season of Sharing, an initiative aimed at assisting with basic living expenses such as rent or mortgage, utilities, transportation, and childcare. Since its establishment in 2000, Season of Sharing has successfully raised and distributed over $38 million, benefiting more than 50,000 households in the four-county region.
Trusted and Time Tested
The Patterson Foundation will once again amplify donations with $100,000 for every $500,000 raised by the community through Jan. 31, 2024. Since initially supporting Season of Sharing more than a decade ago, The Patterson Foundation has contributed more than $7.5 million.
The Patterson Foundation, after 14 years, remains committed to providing unwavering support for Season of Sharing, a trusted and time-tested community resource that showcases generosity and compassion for those in need. The challenge match is a testament to the firm belief in the unyielding dedication and empathy of this giving community, which demonstrates a shared desire to assist our neighbors in times of hardship.
Power of Collective Philanthropy
The Season of Sharing represents the remarkable compassion and generosity of our community. The act of paying it forward has proven to be a profound salvation for our neighbors who require assistance in regaining stability. They simply need a helping hand to regain a sense of security.
In the previous year, the Community Foundation teamed up with The Patterson Foundation to establish the Suncoast Disaster Recovery Fund, a vital aid for long-term recovery following Hurricane Ian's devastating impact. During this time, Season of Sharing proved to be an invaluable resource, addressing immediate needs with utmost efficacy. Moreover, throughout the past decades, Season of Sharing has consistently provided support during times of personal and community-wide turmoil.
While donations are collected for Season of Sharing with an emphasis on the fund drive from November through January, money is distributed throughout the year to residents in need. The Community Foundation works with a network of trusted human service agencies with caseworkers who oversee individual requests and fund disbursement.
The generosity of the Suncoast has been demonstrated through the number of people giving to the fund, with more than 55,000 individual gifts given since its inception. With a third of the gifts at $100 or less, Season of Sharing illustrates it is not the grand gesture of a few, but the united efforts of many, that have built the stalwart safety net that Season of Sharing is.
Strengthening the Impact
As we approach the 24th year of the Season of Sharing, it is evident that the initiative stands as a beacon of hope and community spirit in our four-county region. It reflects a profound truth about philanthropy: every individual has the power to impact lives, whether through modest contributions or larger donations. The story of Season of Sharing is not just about the funds raised but about the fabric of a community interwoven with the threads of empathy, action, and resilience.
The commitment demonstrated by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, alongside the enduring partnership with The Patterson Foundation and the support from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, underscores a shared vision—a vision where no neighbor is left to face tough times alone. As we enter another season of giving, let us carry forward this legacy of joining together to impact our community with renewed vigor and heartfelt contributions. Whether through the stories that move us or the donations that make a tangible difference, each one of us is a crucial part of this season's narrative of sharing and caring. Let's continue to write this story together, ensuring that the Season of Sharing remains a lifeline for the community, not just for today, but for many more years to come.
Visit CFSarasota.org to donate and learn more about Season of Sharing, and join the conversation on social media using #SeasonOfSharing.