A generous region inspired through a Season of Sharing

A generous region inspired through a Season of Sharing

Posted on November 25, 2013 by Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation

While there is a great sense of joy, family, and togetherness that this season brings, thousands of families across Southwest Florida face the threat of homelessness.

Since 2000, the Season of Sharing campaign has helped relieve some of that pressure. Created by the Herald-Tribune in partnership with the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, the Season of Sharing campaign provides emergency relief to families in the Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties that are on the verge of homelessness. Since its inception, the campaign raised more than $9 million to help families stay in their homes.

For the past five years, we've stepped up with a $500,000 challenge to help inspire generosity and help the Season of Sharing campaign reach new heights.

It's time for our community to answer the call once again. What we know is that donations of all sizes make a difference to keep people in their homes.

This year, The Patterson Foundation has pledged to match up to $500,000 in new or increased donations. Last year, this inspired $1.76 million dollars that helped more than 2,500 families in the four-county region.

People may find themselves in financial circumstances beyond their control, which is why The Patterson Foundation invests in inspiring others to support this campaign. All donations are used to directly benefit families. History shows that capable caseworkers distribute the funds -- from this,  85% of those assisted don't have a need the following year.

Season of Sharing brings together members of the print and broadcast media to work together in collaboration to further share the messages of need.  In partnership with the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, funds raised target caseworker-approved families with specific financial needs.

This prevention of homelessness costs less to communities, with about $1,000 of assistance to keep a family in its home versus $8,000 to get them back in again, the Season of Sharing campaign beautifully illustrates how a community can rally around and support families for the good of the neighborhood.

To donate, please visit the Community Foundation's donation page.


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