Beginning in March, the US Census Bureau will begin mailing postcards to every home in the US with a simple request: be counted.

Every ten years, the constitution mandates that a census is taken. While there are many things impacted by the census count, I can sum up the importance in one sentence. $675 billion of federal funding every year and your state’s representative count in Congress.

Through the Census 2020 Education project, The Patterson Foundation is working to increase the public’s awareness of why being counted is critical and how to be counted. In partnership with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune Media Group (HT) through Aspirations Journalism, stories about the direct impact of a complete count in our community will be published over the next few months. Additionally, a Census 2020 Primer will debut in March.

While the HT is at work, TPF will be reaching out across our networks in Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties to make sure our partners are connected with the resources needed to contribute to a complete count in Census 2020.

Every person in your household counts when you fill out the census! At The Patterson Foundation, we know that life is busy. However, children 0-4 were the most undercounted population in the 2010 census, and that number affects funding for things like: school lunch programs, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, special education grants, Title I school funding, adoptive assistance, and Children’s Health Insurance Program.

The next ten years. On average, we’ve learned through testing it ourselves, that it takes about two minutes per person in your household to complete the census. That means that even if you have three kids, it will still take you less than ten minutes to create a better community for them to grow up in over the next ten years.

If your organization is looking for ways to fund additional Census work, there are options! The Community Foundation of Sarasota County is supporting up to $10,000 of census work through their community impact grants. Additionally, Sarasota City’s Complete Count Committee also has options for Sarasota based organizations. If you’re simply looking for collateral, the Census Bureau website has tons of free info sheets, facts and figures, and PSA announcements. You can access them all here.

Lastly, if you or someone you know are looking for part-time work, the Census Bureau is hiring in your neighborhood! Help others be counted in your community. Find out more information here.

I hope you’ll join The Patterson Foundation and many other community organizations as we work together to make sure our communities are counted!

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