Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation has provided more than $2.5 million in aid to teachers and schools support personnel, food banks, early learning centers, medical providers, social and legal navigators and a series of non-profits helping residents in the wake of Hurricane Ian, the strongest storm to strike Sarasota, DeSoto and Manatee counties in many decades.
In the immediate days following the storm, the foundation created a $200,000 fund for the Sarasota County School District to assist staff with immediate needs and a similar $30,000 effort for the DeSoto County School District. Another $200,000 was contributed to help ease the financial burden on thousands of Sarasota Memorial Health Care System staffers impacted by storm. About 25% of the system’s more than 8,000 employees live in the hard-hit areas of south Sarasota County.
Other recipients of the Barancik funding and other aid in those first days included the Boys & Girls Club of Sarasota and DeSoto counties, the YMCA of Southwest Florida, All Faiths Food Bank, Harvest House, Links2Success, Children First, Florida Center, and Early Learning Coalition.
In the weeks following the storm, Barancik Foundation deployed additional grants focused specifically on relief and recovery for organizations impacted by the storm and on the residents they serve.
Rebuilding a Non-profit Community
- Our investment: A $95,000 grant to The Haven to support the reconstruction of roofs on several buildings so the organization can continue to provide services to its residents.
- Why it matters: The Haven serves more than 500 clients with disabilities each year, providing specialized therapies, education, life skills, vocational training, and employment assistance. During Hurricane Ian, 13 staff and 49 residents stayed together in one building for safety, demonstrating the “family” approach The Haven takes with its residents.
Helping Provide for Residents Who Needed Food
- Our investment: A $400,000 grant to All Faiths Food Bank to meet spiking demand in food services and the resulting increase in fuel, staff compensation, and need for warehouse space and additional vehicles.
- Context: With the destruction of many homes and businesses in south Sarasota County, residents needed immediate help with food essentials, requiring an infusion of funds to support the food bank after Hurricane Ian.
Covering Costs created by Ian at an Essential Non-profit
- Our investment: A $160,000 grant to CenterPlace Health to recoup costs as the organization paid out salaries rather than forcing staff to take time off while clinics were closed. CenterPlace lost several days of revenue to Hurricane Ian.
- Context: Hurricane Ian forced many people to stay home and prepare for the storm, missing work. CenterPlace shut down all six of their sites for four days, giving its staff time to prepare and care for their families.
Two Grants Helping Residents Dealing With Legal Issues Brought on by Hurricane Ian
- Our investment: A $43,750 grant to Legal Aid of Manasota to provide legal services to residents impacted by Hurricane Ian.
- Context: Legal Aid plans to hire an outreach coordinator and pro-bono/Volunteer coordinator to bring more legal and education resources to residents. The organization provided 7-day-per-week legal services for a month to residents impacted by the hurricane and expects some of those legal issues to continue for years.
- Our Investment: A $94,746 grant to Gulfcoast Legal Services provide legal help to residents impacted by Hurricane Ian.
- Context: This money will allow Gulfcoast to add an additional attorney to its south county team, where damage from Hurricane Ian was the fiercest, and to increase its outreach, marketing and education efforts to ensure that the organization is reaching those in need.
Helping Repair Damaged Structures Aimed at Serving the Region’s Older Residents
- Our Investment: A $60,000 grant to provide support for clean up and repairs to Senior Friendship buildings in Sarasota County.
- Context: Senior Friendship Centers saw more than $100,000 in damage to its buildings and campuses in Sarasota County. Though all insured, the deductible for the damage was $160,000, meaning the organization would have to cut other programs to meet the cost of repairs without the grant support.
Helping A Critical Early Childhood Service Provider Weather the Hurricane
- Our Investment: A $215,362 grant to provide support The Florida Center for Early Childhood’s economic losses and staff impacts.
- Context: The Florida Center owns a building in North Port that serves as a clinical therapy office and preschool for children with developmental delays that was significantly damaged by the hurricane. There also was damage to the organization’s Sarasota campus. Many staff who lived in North Port also were unable to come to work because of personal losses and power outages. The Florida Center continued to pay its staff despite not collecting billing revenue or preschool tuition while closed.
Helping An Established Housing Provider in DeSoto County Repair Storm-Damaged Homes
- Our investment: A $50,000 grant to Arcadia-DeSoto County Habitat for Humanity to provide certified home repair services to residents impacted by Hurricane Ian.
- Context: Since the hurricane struck, Habitat managers have been working to expand their existing Critical Home Repair (CHR) Program into a Disaster Recovery CHR Program to meet the increased needs DeSoto County, which saw an estimated 35% of its housing damaged by Ian.
Helping A 50-year-old Agency Empowering Individuals and Families Boost Its Capacity for Aid
Our investment: A $557,662 grant to Step Up Suncoast support capacity building efforts to assist with case management and financial support for clients.
- Context: With the grant, StepUp plans to strategically expand staff capacity and modify existing job functions to meet the increased demand for its services. That effort will enable the agency to distribute available funds more efficiently, provide the wrap-around support its clients need, and strengthen families in the community.