Season of Sharing Raises Two Million Dollars for Local Families Emergency Needs

Season of Sharing Raises Two Million Dollars for Local Families Emergency Needs

Posted on April 27, 2017 by Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation
Far too many families and individuals live perilously close to the threat of homelessness. Far more tragic is how little it takes to push them over the edge. Routine expenses for services like utilities and child care — not to mention unforeseen costs following a medical emergency or other hardship — can jeopardize a person’s stability and force them out of the safety of their home.

Thankfully, our community continues to strengthen families and individuals throughout Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties through the Season of Sharing campaign. During the 2016-2017 effort, donors have once again honored a tradition of community generosity by providing more than $2 million from over 2,900 individual gifts made toward emergency payments and aid to people living on the verge of homelessness. In the 17 years since the Herald-Tribune Media Group and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County launched Season of Sharing, the campaign has attracted more than $17 million for those in need.

Since its inception in 2000, Season of Sharing has helped more than 20,000 local individuals and families remain in their homes — restoring stability and hope to thousands of our fellow residents and neighbors. Remarkably, Season of Sharing has provided this service to the community without incurring any operating expenses since its inception thanks to donations of time and resources from partnering nonprofit organizations and media outlets.

The Patterson Foundation has proudly supported this community-wide effort since the 2009–2010 campaign, contributing $300,000 to the 2016-2017 campaign alone and $3.6 million total to strengthen the futures of families and individuals throughout the region. The Foundation’s most recent contribution was driven by the community’s generosity, as gifts from The Patterson Foundation of $100,000 were triggered at key donation milestones — incentivizing sustained donations throughout the campaign.

Each contribution to Season of Sharing affirms the fact that caring for families in crisis is not only kind — it’s part of our region’s DNA. It also reflects our shared emphasis on taking an innovative approach to meeting the challenges of preventing homelessness. For every dollar spent on helping a family remain in their home, it costs $8 to return them to a home they’ve lost. Furthermore, just over 12 percent of those who receive assistance from Season of Sharing require additional assistance the following year — making this program a smart investment into our community’s future.

I must laud Season of Sharing’s media partners for donating their time and talent to illustrating Season of Sharing’s impact. Their passion for telling the stories of those strengthened by the campaign lends an essential human element to this community-wide effort:
As in years past, we are ever grateful to our region’s donors and human services providers for all they have contributed to make Season of Sharing a continued source of strength in the lives of individuals and for our community as a whole.

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