Photo: Season of Sharing logo on the left and a no germs illustration and a wash your hands illustration on the right

Caring, Connecting, and Contributing — COVID-19

Posted on March 20, 2020 by Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation
As our world continues to come to terms with the reality of COVID-19, it faces challenges unforeseen and, until recently, unfathomable. While there is much uncertainty to navigate through, The Patterson Foundation has witnessed how trying times during disasters here and abroad bring out the best of humanity. Friends turn to friends, and neighbors turn to neighbors — each inspired to reach out and offer what they can to help.

As every person and organization works through the challenges of COVID-19, The Patterson Foundation has paused on its in-person engagement efforts, so all can focus on their own well-being — knowing we are all part of a caring community. As a testament to that caring community, The Patterson Foundation knows there are many people representing businesses, government, nonprofits, the media, or simply themselves, who aspire to help those who find themselves facing uncharted financial trauma due to the pandemic.

Thankfully, our region is home to a time-tested and trusted network that has helped thousands of our neighbors get back on their feet following financial hardships that have put their security and comfort at risk. For more than 20 years, Season of Sharing has helped over 35,000 families and individuals throughout Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties remain safely in their homes by providing funds for emergency expenses. With each campaign, the community has generously responded to the stories of those whose lives have been strengthened through Season of Sharing’s funds. It continues to serve as a shining light for our region — and it’s a light we can all look to now for guidance on how best to help our most vulnerable citizens.

In response to the challenges created by COVID-19, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and the Herald-Tribune Media Group are activating Season of Sharing’s network of agencies to help individuals and families in Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties financially affected by the pandemic with emergency assistance for immediate basic needs such as payments for utilities, childcare, and rent.

The Patterson Foundation has been a longtime supporter of Season of Sharing and will continue to strengthen the effort by committing up to $1 million through the following contributions:
  • An initial $500,000 contribution for immediate needs
  • An additional dollar-for-dollar match up to $500,000
When this match is fulfilled by the community, there will be $1.5 million total in available funds for distribution in the four-county region. These funds will be administered by organizations in our region working with those whose lives have been financially impacted by the pandemic.

The impacts of a disaster are immediate, but they also evolve. From a catastrophic storm to an unpaid bill for a family working to make ends meet, people routinely face unforeseen challenges that affect their well-being. Understanding that disasters take many forms, The Patterson Foundation works to create outcomes that strengthen communities recovering from challenging circumstances like COVID-19. For more than 20 years, Season of Sharing’s model has exemplified this approach by connecting multiple sectors to create a lasting impact for individuals and families. No matter the challenge, it all begins with people coming together and helping their friends and neighbors. Season of Sharing’s time-tested and trusted network offers donors a way to give with confidence that their funds will be used effectively.

Strengthening people who find themselves facing immediate financial trauma is the focus of The Patterson Foundation’s COVID-19 support. As the pandemic continues to unfold, additional community needs necessitating support for long-term recovery will likely take shape. The Patterson Foundation is grateful for the dedicated group of community and private foundations in our region that have committed and continue to commit their time, talent, and resources toward opportunities to strengthen recovery efforts as they emerge.

We’ve seen our community’s willingness and generosity help restore stability and hope to our fellow residents and neighbors. Guided by our collective humanity and commitment to strengthening our communities, we’ll get through this time together. I hope you will join me by donating to Season of Sharing here.

Comments (1)

  • Kathy Keh

    Kathy Keh

    24 March 2020 at 08:56 | #

    Thank you Debra and The Patterson Foundation for being a pillar of strength and source of hope during these extraordinary times


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