As information continues to surface on the extent of Hurricane Ian’s destruction, two prominent Sarasota County foundations have set up a disaster relief fund to help area residents through what is expected to be a long-term recovery.
The Patterson Foundation has given a gift of $500,000 to the new Suncoast Disaster Recovery Fund at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.
In addition, Patterson has offered a dollar-for-dollar match for every donation up to $750,000 – all of which has the potential to bring the fund to at least $2 million.
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“I think the power from a donor’s perspective is that you want to double your impact,” said Debra Jacobs, The Patterson Foundation's president and CEO.
“We need to raise the funds to address what will emerge as our region sorts out the damage and finds ways to recover with resiliency,” Jacobs added.
Patterson Foundation provides support to Sarasota community impacted by Ian
Roxie Jerde, the Community Foundation’s president and CEO, lauded The Patterson Foundation and Jacobs for the generosity, flexibility and foresight needed to create the fund.
“Once again, they have stepped up,” Jerde said, referring to The Patterson Foundation's major past contributions to other initiatives, like the Season of Sharing campaign.
As with Season of Sharing – through which the Community Foundation works with more than 50 area nonprofits – the disaster recovery fund will build upon the foundation’s years of partnerships with human services agencies to determine the greatest needs on the ground.
“We will work with local governments, but our nonprofit partners are going to be really vital to be helping people get back on their feet again,” Jerde said. “This is going to be a collaborative process. We are great listeners and that is going to be really important as we go through this.”
The fund will be focused on Charlotte, Sarasota, DeSoto, and Manatee counties and will help cover needs not already addressed by government programs, insurance or other sources – everything from housing to employment to mental health-related issues.
“This is an opportunity to leverage the generosity of The Patterson Foundation, and it lets you do something,” Jerde said of residents who might have been left relatively unscathed by the storm and are seeking ways to aid others.
“This is a way for anybody who has a helper’s heart to help with confidence that their money will be well- deployed,” Jacobs said.
How to help in Sarasota
Donations can be made with a credit card through the Community Foundation’s website at cfsarasota.org.
They can also be sent by check through the mail to the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, 2635 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, FL, 34237.
Checks should be made out to the Community Foundation of Sarasota County with a note in the memo line indicating the Suncoast Disaster Recovery Fund.
This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Hurricane Ian recovery fund: Sarasota foundations provide help