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SRQ DAILY Apr 8, 2020

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

Wednesday Philanthropy Edition

"With the pandemic changing daily, we are staying flexible and innovating our designs to best serve the need in our community based on recommendations from experts and reliable sources"

- Ping Faulhaber, Suncoast Science Center/Faulhaber Fab Lab

[Science + Technology]  Suncoast Science Center Begins Distribution of COVID-19 Face Mask/Shield Project
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

In order to falter the spread of COVID-19 throughout our community, Sarasota’s Suncoast Science Center/Faulhaber Fab Lab–in partnership with a group of dedicated volunteers–has been leading the cause by providing face masks and face shields to local assisted living facilities, nursing homes and various non-primary healthcare facilities to combat the shortage of protective wear during the ongoing Coronavirus battle.

"With the pandemic changing daily, we are staying flexible and innovating our designs to best serve the need in our community based on recommendations from experts and reliable sources," says Ping Faulhaber of SSC/Fab Lab. 

With access to CAD and other design software, laser cutters, 3D printers, vinyl cutters, CNC routers, soldering equipment, power tools and much more, the Fab Lab team of scientists recently finalized their face mask prototype last week and began production. And since the CDC recommends the combination of both mask and shield for optimal protection for healthcare workers, they also created a face shield prototype similar to those made by CoxHealth. Upon review for feedback by local physicians, deliveries became ready to rollout early this week. 

Suncoast Science Center made their first delivery (15 shields, 30 masks) to the Lung Associates of Sarasota yesterdaywhose nurses and doctors work in an office and at the hospital with at-risk patients, including the elderly and those suffering with lung cancer, pneumonia and asthma. 

"We've also identified a need for shields for front line workers at Sarasota Memorial Hospital," says Jenn Samm of SSC. "They're currently using single-use shields which are far from ideal so we are working with their executive director of supply chain on a custom prototype to fit their specific needs. They likely need hundreds, if not thousands, of shields so our need for funds and supplies will increase dramatically. While we're grateful for the donations we have so far, those funds will run out quickly as we work to fill new requests." 

Materials and supplies are also greatly needed to continue making this protective gear possible. Have any extra 100% cotton fabric or 1/8" - 1/2” elastic lying around the house? Perhaps harder-to-source, there is also a major shortage of 6-9 mL PET plastic (polyethylene terephthalate, sometimes referred to by brand name Mylar), required to manufacture the shields. If you are able to supply any of these materials, there is a sanitized green recycling bin outside SSC’s facility where you can leave donations. Everything will be properly sanitized before distribution.

"With thousands of requests coming in and material needs growing," says Faulhaber, "donations are critical to help us protect our community."

Donations can be sent by check to the Suncoast Science Center (a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization) at 4452 S Beneva Rd., Sarasota or online here. 

Do you want to support this effort? If you have sewing skills or a sewing machine to use to help make masks, a willingness to help produce masks/shield, distribute supplies, etc, complete the Call for Volunteers Form. 

Photos taken at SMH, courtesy of Suncoast Science Center.

[Fighting Hunger]  All Faiths Food Bank Adjusts Operations in the Face of the COVID-19 Crisis

Due to the coronavirus disease pandemic (COVID-19), All Faiths Food Bank - the largest hunger relief organization and only food bank serving Sarasota and DeSoto counties - has had to make significant changes to its operations. The organization is working to alert the community to the changes so that those who wish to help can do so, and so that those who are in need of food can find it.

Health officials are advising people to limit grocery shopping because of the contamination risks. The public is also being instructed to disinfect every item brought into their homes. Because the Food Bank distributes millions of pounds of food, the potential for contamination is exponential. Therefore, the organization has placed a temporary hold on consumer food donations while very gratefully accepting cash contributions. 

Additionally, as community members have been asked to practice social distancing and ordered to stay at home, the Food Bank has placed a temporary hold on group volunteers. There is just a very small group of long-time volunteers still assisting the organization; staff members at all levels are now filling significant gaps in mission-critical operations – such as food sorting, packing, boxing and distribution – in addition to performing their regular duties. 

Due to sanitation and social distancing requirements, the Food Bank is building pre-packed boxes of food that can be distributed with bags of produce or meat. With schools closed and children eligible for free or reduced-price unable to access those meals, the Food Bank has accelerated its Campaign Against Summer Hunger and is already partnering with the Sarasota School District to help feed children at eight area schools as well as through area Boys & Girls Clubs, Children First, Girls Inc. and Early Learning Coalition. 

General food distribution has shifted to a drive-thru model at all locations in order to protect the health and safety of the community. For those who wish to contribute much-needed funds, it is important to note that the Food Bank can purchase five meals for every $1 given.  

Click to donate or to find out where and when to find upcoming food distributions.

[Giving Back]  Gulf Coast, Barancik Foundation Award First Grants from COVID-19 Response Initiative

Gulf Coast Community Foundation and Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation have awarded the first grants from their COVID-19 Response Initiative. The foundations have issued 11 grants totaling more than $220,000 to relieve strain on key health and human-service organizations that are aiding residents hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic. Services supported include emergency childcare for first responders, rental assistance for families recovering from homelessness, and virtual healthcare for high-risk patients. Meanwhile, the foundations continue working closely with these and other lead safety-net agencies to prepare for a wave of cascading needs yet to emerge from the crisis. “These grants—and many more we have in the pipeline—are what I call ‘quick hits,’” said Teri A Hansen, president and CEO of Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation. “They give some of our strongest nonprofit partners what they need right now to continue their critical work, even as their own staffs and revenues are affected. We will continue working with them to prepare for the intermediate and long-term challenges yet to come.” 

The first grants awarded through the foundations’ COVID-19 Response Initiative include:


CenterPlace Health - $20,000 to continue providing primary care to Sarasota County’s underserved and uninsured, including pregnant mothers and children, through telehealth services. Virtual visits will ensure patients continue to receive care without risking exposure to the coronavirus or putting clinical staff at risk. First Step of Sarasota - $26,000 to ensure high-risk individuals in addiction recovery can continue to access counseling, therapy, psychiatric services, and other supports through telemedicine. The grant will fund laptop computers so clinicians can work remotely with patients. Multicultural Health Institute - $5,000 to expand its health information outreach in the Newtown area to vulnerable populations most at risk for COVID-19. MHI works closely with the elderly and those with chronic disease such as diabetes, hypertension/heart disease, cancer, and HIV/AIDS. 

Basic needs

Family Promise of South Sarasota County - $25,000 for rent assistance to help low-income families who have overcome homelessness remain stably housed during the crisis. Many families served by the agency have lost jobs in industries hit hard by the pandemic, while the trauma of their past experience would make a return to homelessness devastating. Harvest House - $4,650 to buy laptop computers so staff can transition to remote work and continue to provide case management for residents overcoming homelessness or addiction. Their desktop PCs also will be reconfigured for safe use by those same clients for job searching and other needs. HOPE for North Port - $500 for food-pantry assistance at Hope Community Church, one of the few food distribution sites in North Port, where demand has doubled and clients are traveling from as far as Lee and Manatee counties. This grant comes from the Helen K. Hadden Memorial Endowment Fund at Gulf Coast Community Foundation.

Jobs and Financial Security

Women's Resource Center - $21,500 to provide women critical counseling sessions and social support through enhanced telecommunications. Reemployment counseling is expected to be one of the biggest demands since WRC has been forced to move to all virtual programming.  Gulfcoast Legal Services - $1,000 to support software for securely transmitting sensitive client data via email. The technology will help the agency continue providing pro bono legal aid to vulnerable populations for issues such as domestic violence, housing evictions, financial insecurity, and immigration services. Capital Good Fund - $30,000 to launch a new Crisis Relief Loan program that provides highly flexible, low-interest loans to Sarasota County residents most at risk from predatory lenders. The loans include a “pay it forward” component, as repaid principal and interest rolls back into the loan fund so more loans can be funded to help other families in crisis. This grant is funded through Gulf Coast’s Financial Sustainability Initiative Fund. 

First Responders

SKY Family YMCA - $50,000 to provide childcare for essential healthcare and emergency-response employees. As demand for the roles of first responders increases and school closures have left no place for their children to go during the day, childcare has become one of their greatest needs. Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County - $40,000 to launch its First Responder Program to provide free childcare to local first responders employed by Sarasota County Fire Department, Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, Sarasota Memorial Hospital, and Sarasota Police Department


[Gift]  Asolo Rep to Receive $175,000 from Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation

The total contribution represents a $125,000 general operating grant plus $50,000 in assistance for COVID-19-related contingencies. 

Asolo Repertory Theatre will receive two grants totaling $175,000 from the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, including a $125,000 one-year award for general operating support. In addition, the foundation elected to give Asolo Rep a further $50,000 in assistance for navigating uncertainties resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are so proud to have the longstanding support and partnership of the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation,” said Asolo Rep Artistic Director Michael Donald Edwards. “Their commitment to the community is awe-inspiring, and their generosity has empowered us as we look forward to our upcoming 2020-2021 season.”

On March 20, 2020, the Toulmin Foundation awarded Asolo Rep a $125,000 one-year grant to be dispersed throughout Asolo Rep’s extensive artistic, educational and community engagement programs. The foundation then generously added an additional $50,000 to help redress Asolo Rep’s truncated 2019-2020 season and to plan for uncertain economic conditions going forward. “Virginia was the ultimate cheerleader for those causes she was so passionate about. She believed strongly in Michael Edwards, and in turn, in Asolo Rep. We at the Foundation are always considering what Virginia would want most with her contributions. It is with this in mind, that the Toulmin Foundation is providing this matching grant challenge,” said William Villafranco, Co-Trustee of the Toulmin Foundation.

On March 13, shortly before the scheduled opening of Lauren Yee’s The Great Leap, Asolo Rep leadership made the difficult decision to suspend the remainder of its 2019-2020 season—more than 100 performances—due to the coronavirus pandemic. The safety of artists, staff, volunteers, audience and community remains paramount to the theatre, and in canceling those performances Asolo Rep was following the guidelines of public health officials and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Ticket-holders were encouraged to convert the price of their tickets to a full, tax-deductible donation to Asolo Rep.

The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation has been a consistent and substantial supporter of Asolo Rep since the foundation was founded in 2011. In addition to this year’s major general operating grant, the Toulmin Foundation has in the past provided a number of special grants to Asolo Rep, including support for the creation of the Associate Artistic Director position in the fall of 2018, sponsorship for the annual June family show, and funding for the implementation of the Tessitura database and ticketing system. 

For more info.

[Virtual Performances]  For WBTT, the Show Must Go On(line)

For Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, the decision to go dark for the remainder of its 20th anniversary (2020-2021) season due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was particularly painful as it had just opened its newly-renovated theater building to patrons in January. In an effort to lift spirits as well as generate critically-needed revenue, WBTT is proud to launch its new live streaming platform, "WBTT Live!" with the musical, Vinnette Carroll’s "Your Arms Too Short to Box with God," the production that WBTT was forced to cancel in March, after just three weeks of its run.

WBTT LIVE! will offer videos of favorite performances, messages from favorite troupe members, and special events. The page can be accessed at westcoastblacktheatre.org/performances/wbtt-on-demand.The purchase of access to the live streaming site will help WBTT in this difficult time when its theater is closed, resulting in losses of roughly $50,000 per week. Per the terms of WBTT's agreements with Irving Street Rep, Inc. and Actors’ Equity Association, the organization has secured permission to stream "Your Arms Too Short" – which was just the second show to open in the newly-renovated Donelly Theatre in the beautiful new Gerri Aaron & the Aaron Family Foundation Theatre Building – through April 19, or until WBTT reaches 4,200 views.

WBTT is offering free access to view the show for patrons who had tickets to canceled performances of "Your Arms Too Short" and graciously donated back their ticket costs rather than requesting a refund.

"Going dark is simply not a natural state for WBTT – we are happiest when we are performing on our stage as well as at events and programs throughout the community and country," said WBTT Founder and Artistic Director Nate Jacobs. "We are so grateful to this generous community, which has supported us over the past 20 years. We hope that everyone will enjoy this hand-clapping, foot-stomping inspirational Easter story, which is guaranteed to lift spirits, regardless of one's religious affiliation!"

"We were heartbroken to end our 20th Anniversary Season early; due to our theater renovations, shows were scheduled through mid-July," said WBTT's Executive Director Julie Leach. "The good news is that, during this difficult time when we all could use some hope and joy, technology enables us to spread a little happiness while offering an opportunity to generate some much-needed revenue for our organization. It seemed appropriate to us to launch this effort with a show that tells a story of renewal, redemption and – ultimately – triumph over tragedy."

The complete 75-minute performance was filmed in March by local videographer Bill Wagy. Tickets are $15 (including $2 processing fee). 

Pictured: Cast members in WBTT's 'Your Arms Too Short to Box with God' include Derric Gobourne Jr. (front) and (back, l-r) Chakara Rosa, Joshua Thompson, Dasean Garrett and Annaya Osborn. Photo by Sorcha Augustine.

Link to purchase tickets to watch the performance video.

[Easter Holiday]  Order the Easter Special at Michael's On East for Pick Up or Delivery

Michael’s On East is offering a 3-Course Easter Dinner for $49.95 per person, plus tax. Diners may choose from three entrees (menu listed below).  Each meal includes five signature side dishes, along with freshly-baked bread and an assortment of desserts from Pastry Chef Ray Lajoie’s Easter Pastries. All meals must be preordered by Friday, April 10, 2020 at 12pm. Diners may pick up their meals at Michael’s On East between 12pm-5pm on Easter Sunday. Orders can be placed online at www.michaelsathome.com.  Beginning at 5pm on Easter Sunday, the Michael’s At Home menu will also be available to diners from 5pm-8pm.  

Order online.

[Recognition]  Ross Wiemken Receives JMX Brands President’s Award for Second Time

JMX Brands Business Finance Manager Ross Wiemken received the company’s President’s Award for the second year in a row during the Sarasota-based niche internet retailer’s 17th anniversary celebration earlier this year. Wiemken joined JMX Brands in April 2016 and quickly made an impact as a product manager. However, it has been his work as manager of the business finance team that has shown his capabilities. Promoted to the role in October 2017, Wiemken quickly worked to streamline accounting and financial processes including implementing a working budget that has helped to reduced costs on various organizational levels. Most recently he played a large role in establishing a group health insurance plan and spearheaded and implemented the strategy to become tax compliant after new tax laws for online retailers were mandated by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2019.  While presenting Wiemken with the award, JMX Brands CEO Jim Miller mentioned that the latter was no easy task since the new tax laws for online retailers were unknown to even accountants and attorneys Weimken conferred with. “The work that Ross was having to do was plowing new ground,” said Miller. “How effectively he met this challenge is an example of the way he approaches his work every day, with determination and creative solutions.” 

For more.

[Announcement]  Coldwell Banker Realty announced former local TV newscaster RAY COLLINS has affiliated with the Downtown Sarasota Office.

Ray was the Sarasota Bureau Chief and Anchor of 'Good Day Tampa Bay Weekends' for Fox 13 News, as well as Anchor of 'Good Morning Suncoast' on ABC 7.  He also anchored the news in Ft. Myers, Richmond and in his hometown of Buffalo. Ray won several awards from the Associated Press including for "Individual Achievement for Overall Excellence." He was a two-time President of the Florida Broadcasters Club. Ray is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University where he was inducted into the campus radio station's Hall of Fame.


For more.

[Moving Stories]  SRQ MEDIA Partners with Local Businesses and Nonprofits Through Moving Stories, Our New Documentary Division

SRQ MEDIA recently launched Moving Stories—a documentary division steeped in the craft of storytelling. As we get ready for the 2020 Giving Challenge Noon to Noon this April 28 to April 29, we look back on the celebration and philanthropic spirit captured in the 2018 Giving Challenge mini-doc. Check it out and join the Community Foundation of Sarasota County this April 28th and 29th. 

Click to check out the Giving Challenge mini-doc and SRQ's newest documentary division Moving Stories.

[Giving Back]  Forty Carrots Puts Children and Families First During COVID-19

Forty Carrots Family Center has implemented unique strategies for giving children and parents the tools and support they need to navigate these challenging times. Due to COVID-19, and the Sarasota County School closure schedule, the Forty Carrots’ facilities will be closed through May 1st. However, by quickly moving services to tech-based communication platforms, our therapists, educators, and staff continue to put children and families first in the midst of this global pandemic.

“First and foremost, we remain committed to the health and safety of our families, donors, staff, and volunteers,” said CEO Michelle Kapreilian. “We also understand that while our methods may change during this time, the need for our services has never been greater. Mental health concerns are on the rise, as are domestic violence and substance abuse that directly impacts the risk of child abuse. We remain focused on doing our part to prevent abuse and neglect from happening to our community’s children.”

Among the many services being offered by Forty Carrots during this time:

— Mental Health and therapy sessions continue, using telephone and video-conferencing platforms.
— Individual Parenting Consultations are available to assist parents who suddenly have children home 24/7.
— Parenting Education groups for parents of newborns and toddlers will move to online, discussion-based groups.
— Preschool is conducting virtual class time, allowing children and families to stay connected with their teachers and classmates.

While the vast majority of Forty Carrots’ formal partners have closed their operations, there is still remote work in mental health and parenting education continuing on with CenterPlace Health, Solve Maternity Homes, and with clients directly, who under normal circumstances are reached through other partnerships. 

For more info.

[Giving Back]  Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast Goes Digital Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

More than 1,800 children have a mentor through Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast. However, during these uncertain times, their routines of walking on the beach, playing at the park, watching a movie or just hanging out have changed. Jeanie Baik, Vice President of Programs and Volunteer Experience for the agency, said Bigs and Littles are staying in touch. "We're encouraging Bigs and Littles to continue to stay in touch. We are hosting virtual interviews and providing internal processing through a variety of online mechanisms based on the client’s familiarity and comfort level and what type of phones they have. We have also started doing virtual match support with our families-the visual simply helps keep the connections alive even for existing matches and helps with the social isolation,” said Baik. Bigs are there to guide their Littles. For children, any disruption in their life is a cause for concern. With something like this, something they have never experienced before, they’re really looking for those people in their lives right now that can provide that guidance and be that role model and mentor they need. Instead of in-person fingerprinting Big Brothers Big Sisters is utilizing Sterling Volunteers to run State and Federal background checks, as child safety remains number one. Virtual orientation sessions have proven successful, where the participants have signed up for a virtual interview to become a Big. The organization is still taking applications for volunteers. There is a background check and, for now, virtual interviews. For further information or if you wish to help, please contact Rose Bloch at rbloch@bbbssun.org. 

[Giving Back]  The Hermitage Artist Retreat Receives $100,000 Matching Pledge in Response to COVID-19 Crisis

Andy Sandberg, the artistic director and CEO of the Hermitage Artist Retreat, today announced a generous dollar-for-dollar pledge from the Manasota Key-based Cook family. According to Sandberg, the Cooks have committed to matching every donation the organization receives up to $100,000 until June 30. “Amidst challenging times, it is wonderful to have champions,” says Sandberg. “We are delighted and heartened by the Cook family’s extraordinary support, and all of us at the Hermitage are truly grateful.” Through this match, the Cooks are doubling the impact of every gift in this critical time. “We are sensitive to the fact that the work that we and our artistic colleagues do, however vital and impactful, may seem less urgent when compared to matters of life and death amidst this horrible pandemic,” Sandberg adds. “Still, the arts and the creative spirit are part of what make our lives so meaningful and special. We are fortunate to be part of a community in which the arts are such an important player, and we look forward to rolling out our plans for the upcoming season. “We are hopeful the Cooks’ overwhelming generosity will inspire others to show their support for the Hermitage, as we rally behind the artists and the creative process that fill the stages, the museums, and the concert halls that we all know and love. In addition, as you open your hearts to make a difference in our community, we hope you will consider not only the Hermitage, but also our fellow arts organizations who are struggling in this difficult time.” A number of celebrated Hermitage Fellows, including Pulitzer Prize winners and past winners of the prestigious Hermitage Greenfield Prize, have been speaking out about the importance and meaning of the organization in this critical time, noting the transformative and inspirational nature of this unique program and environment. These alumni have shared statements and videos raising their voices in support of the organization. 

View testimonials from Hermitage alumni.

[Giving Back]  Sarasota/Bradenton Charity Funds Over $220,000 for Youth-Focused Organizations Proceeds from Concession Charities’ Archie Griffin Celebrity Golf Classic bring much-needed support for programs at Visible Men Academy and Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota Cou

Concession Charities, a 501(c)(3) organization established by businessman and philanthropist Bruce A. Cassidy, Sr. and the Cassidy family, has announced that its Archie Griffin Celebrity Golf Classic, hosted in early March at The Concession Golf Club, has netted over $220,000 to support organizations helping young people and their families.

Local contributions include:

Visible Men Academy – Through Concession Charities’ generous contribution, the Bradenton charter school will be able to cover significant costs for school bus transportation and helping school families in times of crisis. Grant funds will also be used to provide food, computers and internet access to boys from kindergarten through fifth grade in the program.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County – The awarded grant from Concession Charities gives 38 children full membership to the Roy McBean Girls & Boys Club and year-round access to enriching programs that help them to excel in school and life, becoming leaders and adopting healthy habits.

Through the success of this year’s golf tournament and the generous support of sponsors, Concession Charities has raised more than $1.2 million dollars over the last ten years. During this time, the Cassidy family has also supported organizations such as Girls, Inc. Sarasota and the Sarasota Manatee Association for Riding Therapy (SMART).

Also announced this week, Concession Charities has made a $25,000 gift to Manatee Community Foundation’s Manatee County COVID-19 Community Response Fund. This fund will provide support to health and human service organizations impacted by the global pandemic.

“Young people and their families in our community need strong organizations like these to offer stability and hope in this time of uncertainty,” shared Bruce Cassidy, Sr. “We’re grateful for Archie and all of the sports celebrities, along with the sponsors who offered their time and treasure to participate in the golf tournament this year and look forward to a time of healing so that we can all be healthy and together for another great event in 2021.”

The 2021 Archie Griffin Celebrity Golf Classic is scheduled for March 1-2, 2021 at The Concession Golf Club in Bradenton. To receive updates and advance sponsor information, contact Sherry Cassidy at 941-677-0010 or sherry@concessioncharities.org. 

Pictured: Bruce Cassidy, Sr. addresses audience of over 220 attendees at the 2020 Archie Griffin Celebrity Golf Classic Pairings Party.

More about Concession Charities.

[Collaboration]  Interagency Efforts Open Childcare Space for Healthcare Employees, First Responders

An impromptu community effort by a dozen public and nonprofit partners is opening childcare spaces for children of essential healthcare workers and first responders. So far more than 575 spots have been opened for infants, toddlers and school-aged children at sites across the Sarasota County. Spearheaded by Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation and Sarasota Memorial Health Care System (SMH) they identified the need when a survey of hospital employees reported more than 1,400 children needed somewhere to go while school campuses and other private daycare facilities are closed, due to the COVID-19 crisis.

“Without childcare, we don’t have healthcare workers,” says Carol Ann Kalish, Esq., Chief Legal Officer of SMH. “We’re trying to get ahead of the issue before essential employees are having to call out of work to prioritize the safety of their children.” A task-force was created to identify opportunities to open safe and regulated childcare facilities. Included in the conversations were the Florida Department of Health, Sarasota County Emergency Management, Sarasota County Schools, Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, The SKY Family YMCA, Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota County, The Florida Center for Early Childhood, Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County, and other critical partners.

“Right now, each day is like a year in terms of responding to the COVID crisis,” says Teri A Hansen, President | CEO of Barancik Foundation. “We knew we had to act swiftly, and once again our nonprofit partners provided the leadership and flexibility to meet the community need. We’re serving those who serve us.” All facilities comply with appropriate guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and state licensing agencies. Essential health care and public safety employees can contact the following organizations to find availability. More spaces and organizations are being identified to expand capacity.

The Florida Center Starfish Academy
Infant to age 1
Sarasota and North Port
Contact Susan Carney, 941.402.5394, susan.carney@thefloridacenter.org

Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County
Ages 6 to 12
Lee Wetherington Club, Sarasota
Registration open at www.BGCSarasota.com or Contact Dawn Page, 941.366.3911, dpage@bgcsarasota.com

Ages 2 to teen
Port Charlotte, Englewood and Venice
Registration online at SWFLYMCA.org

Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota County
Infant, toddlers and preschool children 0-5 years
Sites throughout the county
Contact for daily availability informationrequest@childcareconnectionsarasota.org

Details are forthcoming from the Florida Office of Early Learning regarding early childcare subsidies that will be provided for designated hospital employees. This program will be administered through the local Early Learning Coalitions and information is anticipated to be released shortly. 

Support their efforts.

[Support]  Louis and Gloria Flanzer Philanthropic Trust Implements a $250,000 COVID-19 Rapid Response Plan in Arcadia

After conducting a full assessment of the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the Arcadia community, the Louis and Gloria Flanzer Philanthropic Trust has implemented a $250,000 COVID-19 Rapid Response Plan. The initiative targets Arcadian’s greatest needs during this time of uncertainty and supports four key areas including Education, Food Insecurity, Health & Safety and Family Sustainability.  “The COVID-19 Rapid Response Plan is in step with the Louis & Gloria Flanzer’s Philanthropic Trust’s commitment to the Arcadia community,” said Eric Kaplan, co-trustee of the Flanzer Trust. “We stand behind the people of Arcadia.”

The plan includes:

— Enhancing educational opportunities for children through tutoring sessions from April to August;

— Expanding Internet access in underserved neighborhoods for four months;

— Purchasing and distributing wholesale food to hundreds of people for 90 days;

— Purchasing personal protective equipment for local first responders; and

— Alleviating the costs of past-due utility bills for 1,000 households.

The Flanzer Trust has convened partner agencies to assist with the plan’s implementation including Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County, All Faiths Food Bank and the School District of DeSoto County. “We are pleased to partner with nonprofits in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has caused so much illness and financial harm to so many individuals and families,” said Dr. Dean Hautamaki, co-trustee of the Flanzer Trust. The COVID-19 Rapid Response Plan for Arcadia is just one of many initiatives the Flanzer Trust has launched to help mitigate the pandemic-related challenges. Recently, the Flanzer Trust awarded JFCS of the Suncoast a $250,000 grant to help financially prepare for anticipate increased needs directly related to the hardships caused by the COVID-19 crisis. The Flanzer Trust also increased their matching contribution to JFCS of the Suncoast from 1:1 to 2:1 through their 2020 Flanzer Contribution Matching Program for all gifts $5 to $500. 

For more info.

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