The essence: Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation has recently approved grants for affordable housing, human services, and projects that promote environmental sustainability. This funding brings Barancik Foundation’s total philanthropic investment into the region to more than $105 million since 2014.
Building a New Future for Our Community’s Youth
- Our investment: A $1 million grant to Safe Children Coalition to support the construction of a new youth shelter aimed at helping to prevent children from entering foster care.
- Why it matters: Safe Children Coalition provides vital services to homeless, runaway, abused, or abandoned youth. The current shelter is 60 years old, and it’s time for a new facility. With more than 2,000 homeless youth in our community, the new facility will provide much-needed services, including a safe place to sleep, meals, hygiene, and access to social workers and case managers.
Protecting the Sentinels of Our Coastal Ecosystem
- Our investment: A $1 million grant to Chicago Zoological Society to support the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program as it engages in conservation work to better understand and benefit the long-term resident dolphins of Sarasota Bay and our shared ecosystem.
- Context: Sarasota is home to the world’s longest longitudinal study of dolphins in the wild. These dolphins act as sentinels of the health of our ecosystems, so we need to be able to monitor trends and detect and respond to environmental issues before they become too severe to mitigate.
Supporting the Development and Preservation of Affordable, Service-enriched Housing
- Our investment: A $800,000 grant to Harvest House to support the organization as it expands its facilities and service offerings.
- Context: By investing in housing infrastructure over the last 30 years, Harvest House has experienced steady growth in the number of clients served and housed. With rising inflation and housing costs, the need for their services is at an all-time high.
Building a Network of Strength and Resiliency for Girls and Families
- Our investment: A $610,630 grant to support Girls Inc. of Sarasota County’s Family Strengthening Program. The program eliminates barriers and offers a continuum of services designed to address the social-emotional health of girls while strengthening a family’s communication through awareness, parenting tools, behavioral interventions, and referrals to community resources.
- Why it matters: Girls Inc. is observing the effects the pandemic has posed on our youth. Girls experienced varying levels of isolation, neglect, and limitless exposure to uncensored media. This has led to drastic increases in behavioral problems, such as verbal/visual profanity, inability to self-regulate, and lack of bodily autonomy.
Expanding Trauma-informed Services
- Our investment: A $600,000 grant to Resilient Retreat to expand mental health programs designed for first responders and helping professionals in the community.
- Why it matters: Compassion fatigue, PTSD, burnout, and vicarious trauma experienced by first responders and helping professionals is on the rise, and the demand for therapeutic services continues to increase.
- Our investment: A $500,000 grant for Barancik Foundation to establish a Recidivism Initiative to support work to prevent criminal reoffending in the 12th Judicial Circuit.
- Context: Hundreds of individuals leave Sarasota County Jail each year with new problems that push them back into the system, frequently involving a minor yet recurring violation that could have been avoided. Local philanthropy has created a program where two navigators work with inmates before their release to chart out hurdles. The effort has reduced the incidence of repeat offenders down to the 12% range. This effort could expand the work into Manatee and DeSoto counties.
Expanding Parenting Education
- Our investment: A $400,000 grant to Parenting Matters to allow the organization to build capacity and expand services.
- Why it matters: Parenting Matters exists to help parents understand their children’s development and behaviors. Program participants learn new, effective parenting skills that will keep their children safe and allow them to reach their full potential.
Providing Comprehensive Services for Displaced Legal Residents
- Our investment: A $300,000 grant to Lutheran Services Florida to effectively support refugees by providing comprehensive and socially integrated services that are holistic, culturally competent, collaborative, and responsive to immediate needs.
- Why it matters: Florida’s refugee program is the largest in the nation, receiving more than 5,000 refugees, asylees, and others forced to flee from war, the threat of violence, or genocide annually. These displaced individuals/families often must leave their homes with little time to prepare or gather belongings and then frequently deal with the trauma of seclusion and culture shock.
Diversifying Ocean Research Opportunities
- Our investment: A $250,000 grant to Minorities in Shark Sciences to promote diversity and inclusion efforts in marine science and conservation efforts.
- Why it matters: Science internships and research experiences have become increasingly more competitive. These opportunities are frequently underpaid, require a full-time commitment for an extended period of time, and/or need graduates to move near research facilities, which comes with relocation expenses. That often disproportionately impacts minorities and people from marginalized communities.
Renewing Passion for Teaching
- Our investment: A $320,000 grant for Barancik Foundation to continue the TIME Teacher Fellowship program.
- Context: To honor Margie Barancik’s chosen profession, the TIME Fellowship supports as many as 25 grants to Sarasota County School District educators, each totaling up to $12,000, to help refresh and renew their commitment to teaching. Selected Fellows design and attend trips across the country and world to gain new experiences and perspectives.
Increasing Access to Local Cultural Experiences
- Our investment: A $262,273 grant to support thought-provoking exhibitions and hands-on activities during Sarasota Art Museum’s free Second Sundays programming.
- Why it matters: Sarasota Art Museum is a catalyst for appreciation and understanding of the art of our time. Their commitment to inclusion is inspiring.
Creating a Suncoast Housing Collaborative
- Our investment: A $250,000 grant to Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness to create a mitigation fund for landlords by offering financial assurances and incentives for lowering barriers and housing highly vulnerable individuals and families.
- Why it matters: There are a limited number of landlords offering affordable housing options for people with existing barriers. Creating the Suncoast Housing Collaborative will connect individuals and families experiencing homelessness to private market units that offer flexible screening criteria in exchange for benefits designed to mitigate risk for the property owner.
Engaging Citizens in Meaningful Environmental Sustainability Efforts
- Our investment: A $250,000 grant to the Science and Environment Council of Southwest Florida to support an Environmental Summit that convenes and engages our regional community in meaningful dialogue that motivates action on priority environmental challenges and solutions.
- Why it matters: As our community has grown, we’ve degraded and lost habitats and systems that sustain local fish and wildlife and protect our community’s health, quality of life, and economy. Recent high-visibility environmental imbalances have provided a clear warning to leaders across all sectors of our community that we need to rededicate ourselves to more responsible environmental stewardship.
Providing Stability for Women and Families
- Our investment: A $225,000 grant to Women’s Resource Center to support their services and staff.
- Why it matters: Many barriers prevent Women’s Resource Center’s clients from earning a living wage, such as lack of transportation, childcare, education, and mental health issues. This will allow the organization to have the resources needed to address these barriers.
Increasing Transitional Family Housing
- Our investment: A $200,000 grant to The Salvation Army of Sarasota County to provide case management and supportive housing for families.
- Why it matters: Family emergency shelters are confronted with a growing waiting list as delays are commonplace in finding affordable housing. With 77% of rentals in the Sarasota area above fair market rates and a 53% reduction in housing stock, families and support agencies are experiencing difficulties providing affordable housing for clients.
Boosting Workforce Development Programs
- Our investment: A $150,000 grant to the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce Foundation to support CareerEdge’s Bridges to Careers training program.
- Why it matters: When it comes to training new employees, CareerEdge has an innovative approach that aligns education strategy with employer needs. This collaborative effort provides foundational skills in a variety of industries so people can earn living wages.
Demonstrating and Educating on Sustainable Horticultural Practices
- Our investment: A $150,000 grant to Friends of Sarasota County Parks to support the Educational Outreach Gardens at Twin Lakes Park in Sarasota. These gardens focus on educating people about nine principles of Florida-Friendly Landscaping that protect our ecosystem.
- Why it matters: There is a growing need to educate the community about how individual and neighborhood implementation of sustainable landscaping strategies can positively impact the environment. Sarasota County’s 2020 population of 433,300 is expected to reach 546,500 by 2045. This growth will lead to increased development, more roads and bridges, new residential housing and planned communities, and more commercial establishments.
Supporting Families Affected by Autism and Down Syndrome
- Our investment: A $150,000 grant to Beyond the Spectrum to help individuals and families in our community affected by autism, Down syndrome, and related developmental diagnoses.
- Why it matters: Beyond the Spectrum is experiencing an increased demand for various forms of therapies, including mental, behavioral, and occupational services.
Growing Prenatal and Postpartum Support and Education for Spanish-speaking Women
- Our investment: A $140,000 grant to Healthy Start Coalition of Sarasota County to support prenatal and postpartum support and education for Spanish-speaking women in Sarasota County.
- Why it matters: Data shows that pregnant women who speak Spanish and their babies are at a greater risk of poor pregnancy outcomes, such as low birth weight and preterm birth. Historically these families have very limited or no access to prenatal and postpartum education and support because of a language barrier, cultural gaps, and transportation problems.
Embracing Our Differences
- Our investment: A $100,000 grant to expand Embracing Our Differences’ education programming to serve more teachers and students in Sarasota and Manatee County schools and hire additional staff to support these projects.
- Context: Embracing Our Differences is best known for its annual international art exhibition in Sarasota’s Bayfront Park. However, its year-round education initiatives, including professional development opportunities for educators, reading days, unity days, and other special events, also provide a much-needed consistent dose of positive energy in the community.
Supporting Reading Recovery for Students
- Our investment: A $56,622 grant to Sarasota County Schools to support the growth and sustainability of Sarasota’s Reading Recovery program.
- Context: With more than 30 years of research and results, Reading Recovery is the world’s most widely studied early reading intervention. The program’s proven formula helps catch up elementary students who struggle the most with reading and writing. Data from more than 2.2 million students across the country consistently show its benefits for students and schools: 75% of students achieve grade-level standards after a full series of lessons.
Improving Homeless Care Coordination in Manatee County
- Our investment: A $30,000 grant to Turning Points to support their navigation program, which assists those experiencing homelessness or at risk for homelessness, including walk-ins and referrals from within Turning Points and the community.
- Why it matters: Homelessness is at an all-time high in Manatee County, and every day, with additional resources that the grant provides, Turning Points will help more individuals in crisis.
An additional $230,500 in grants was awarded for annual operating costs and programs of organizations that Chuck and Margie held close to their heart.