HT: A view of Season of Sharing from the philanthropic trenches
By Christina Russi
Originally published by the Sarasota Herald Tribune. Dec 4, 2018 at 6:40 PMDec 4, 2018 at 6:40 PM
It’s a time for reflection on Season of Sharing, an annual effort that raises money to provide emergency funds to individuals and families on the brink of homelessness.
What makes this campaign, which is now underway, successful? How do these funds contribute to the effectiveness of our social services network in in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties? How do our families and individuals benefit from these freely given, generous donations by neighbors, family, friends and residents of our region?
The Season of Sharing campaign is one built on a solid foundation of caring, concern for community well-being, an eye for efficiencies and study of needs. The Community Foundation of Sarasota County, media partners such as the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and others, the foundation task force and fiscal agents all have contributed their expertise in identifying viable processes and procedures, marketing and development plans, oversight and dedicated stewardship of the donated dollars.
Time, continuity and a woven fabric of trust have allowed for a strong collaborative of nonprofit organizations working with fiscal agents to effectively address the struggles of families and individuals in our communities in a streamlined, effective, efficient and expedient way.
While our communities work diligently to maintain a steady flow of federal, state and local grant dollars to meet the needs of clients, we must also acknowledge that without Season of Sharing funds, there would be hundreds — hundreds — of residents without services and help.
Ideally, the community searches for long-term solutions while supporting the efforts of our working families, individuals, persons with disabilities, veterans, unaccompanied youth and others to operate independently using their own resources. SOS dollars give them time to recover from challenging and, oftentimes, unexpected circumstances and to improve their situation.
Season of Sharing is a unique campaign, and the dollars raised are special dollars with a very important meaning that has endured over time.
Our region finds itself in the uncommon position of having these funds. It’s not something many other communities can claim.
The Community Foundation of Sarasota County has always acknowledged that every contribution, regardless of amount, counts.
Season of Sharing has touched thousands over the past 19 years. Of course, it touches the recipients of the SOS dollars first and foremost. But it touches all involved — donors, case managers and fiscal agents — putting us all on the path of positive action.
From my humble perspective, the Season of Sharing campaign is, during this traditional time of giving and sharing, a journey of hope, support and recognition of the importance of our residents.
Every dollar donated is a dollar received with humble gratitude and — with true thankfulness — carefully spent.
We are a small and young organization and having the ability to network and partner with other community organizations is key to the quality and impact of our work. In addition to the affordable space that The Glasser/Schoenbaum Human Services Center provides to all of us, it inspires us to use this collaborative model as we work to empower our students and their families.
Beyond the savings we experience, we are so grateful for the truly supportive environment both our clients and staff experience on the campus. The collegial nature of our organizations fosters a spirit of health and wellness.
As a small organization with a staff of two, employee safety was a big consideration when we were looking for office space. We did not want our employees to be in a place where they were alone. Being on the GSHSC campus has been great because there is a whole community of like-minded professionals.
We appreciate your interest in our campus and the organizations that provide services here. Please make a selection below to connect with the best department. Together, we can make a difference on our community and beyond!
All donations are made to The Glasser/Schoenbaum Human Services Center (a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation), and are tax deductible as provided by law. A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the Division of Consumer Services by calling toll free 800-435-7352 within the State. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval or recommendation by the State. Our Registration is #CH1216. 100% of your contribution goes to support The Glasser/Schoenbaum Human Services Center, Inc. EIN 59-2707877