Photo: Season of Sharing — caring-collaborating-contributing

Caring Community Achieves 500,000 Dollar Season of Sharing Match in Less Than a Month

Posted on April 22, 2020 by The Patterson Foundation
In the month since COVID-19 necessitated sweeping changes for people worldwide, many in our region have shifted from coping with its immediate aftermath to adapting to life during our current circumstances. Too many, however, are struggling with immediate, unforeseen financial hardship that disrupts their hard-earned balance and creates barriers to regaining thrivability that aren’t easily breached.

Thankfully, our caring community remains a reliable, inspiring constant amid today’s uncertainty. That generous spirit, coupled with equally generous community collaborators, is what has fueled Season of Sharing’s impact for over 35,000 families and individuals in our region living on the verge of homelessness since 2000. Last month, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and the Herald-Tribune Media Group reactivated Season of Sharing’s time-tested and trusted network to meet the emerging, immediate financial needs created by COVID-19 through emergency assistance covering payments for essentials like utilities, childcare, and rent. The Patterson Foundation, a long-time Season of Sharing collaborator, agilely stepped up with a commitment of up to $1 million to strengthen this effort, including an immediate $500,000 gift and a $500,000 dollar-for-dollar match to catalyze the community’s support.

The community response, even in the wake of the record-breaking $2.4 million raised during the 2019-2020 Season of Sharing campaign, has been astounding. With their generosity genes ignited, donors across southwest Florida have stepped in quickly and contributed 921 gifts in less than a month, surpassing The Patterson Foundation’s match and helping to raise more than $2 million total to quickly and proactively help our most vulnerable individuals and families.

Every dollar raised through Season of Sharing is distributed through a network of human service agencies collaborating across our four-county region of Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties — to understand the challenges facing our community and the opportunities to create sustainable impact through these funds. Their annual commitment to contributing to the effort and expertise necessary to harness Season of Sharing’s potential is one of the campaign’s greatest assets. Now, their willingness and readiness to spring into action during the pandemic has positioned Season of Sharing as one of the most effective ways our community can make a difference for our neighbors in need.

The gifts made to Season of Sharing over the past month serve as an inspiration to us all — from contributions of $15 to $250,000. What’s more, that inspiration has inspired continued action. Following the completion of The Patterson Foundation’s match, an anonymous donor has authorized another $200,000, dollar-for-dollar matching gift, augmented by a further $100,000 from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County to create a new $300,000 matching opportunity for future Season of Sharing gifts toward COVID-19 relief.

The Patterson Foundation is proud to have helped connect those eager to lend a hand with Season of Sharing’s sustainable model and catalyze this inspiring achievement. Our caring community — and the impact their generosity has made possible — has created a welcomed bright spot that will continue to light our way through the pandemic toward a stronger future.

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