Sarasota, FL (April 21, 2020) - Children First has received a $30,000 grant from the Gulf Coast Community Foundation and Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation for emergency and critical needs relief to ensure continued delivery of crucial services to its children and families during the COVID-19 pandemic. The two foundations are relieving strain on key nonprofit partners that are aiding residents hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic.
The grant funding will serve as a “match on top of a match” for Children First in the upcoming community-wide Giving Challenge, presented by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. With a 1:1 match for all unique gifts up to $100 from the Patterson Foundation, and all gifts matched up to a total of $30,000 through the COVID-19 Response Initiative, supporters can further their impact for at-risk children by tripling their gift. $100 becomes $300 in the fight against the current, global pandemic.
Since 1961, Children First has been at the forefront of supporting the most at-risk children and families in our community. This crisis has deepened the agency’s resolve as its staff continue to provide its core services and emergency support for the more than 900 children and families served each year.
“This investment by the Gulf Coast Community Foundation and Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation through the COVID-19 Response Initiative supports our children and families during this incredibly challenging time. Our goals are to keep families from falling off a financial “cliff” and to support them in being their children’s first teacher,” says CEO Philip Tavill.
With 87% of families served living below the Federal Poverty Level ($21,720 for a family of three), the impact of COVID-19 has been catastrophic for those already facing adversity. The results of reduced work hours, job loss, and unexpected medical bills puts these families at increased risks of housing and food insecurity as well as related health problems.
The support provided through the COVID-19 Response Initiative allows Children First to help families address issues immediately, so they can have hope beyond this crisis and focus on building a strong, stable future.
To match the investment made by these foundations, Children First will use this support to encourage donors to give generously during the Giving Challenge on April 28-29, noon to noon. If you are interested in making triple the impact for our community’s most vulnerable families, visit www.GivingPartnerChallenge.org and search for “Children First” to make a life-changing gift. For more information, please call 941-953-3877 or visit childrenfirst.net.
About Children First:
Founded in 1961 and ranked in the top 1% out of over 1,800 Head Starts nationwide, Children First strengthens children and families by improving the quality of their lives through a comprehensive approach to development, education, health, and well-being. At 15 sites throughout Sarasota County, Children First offers full-day preschool, infant and toddler care, and nutrition and health care assistance to children ages birth to five years old from low-income families. Through Children First, the children receive the social and cognitive skills needed to enter kindergarten and elementary school on track. For more information, call (941) 953-3877 or go to childrenfirst.net.