Want to lend a helping hand to our area’s myriad nonprofits, but not sure where to start? Here are a few of the many giving opportunities, in a range of choices that can fit your passions and your pocketbook. Whether big or small, every donation matters, and you’ll know exactly how you helped to change somebody’s world.
Thanks to the Gulf Coast Community Foundation and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County for their help in compiling this list.
A package of shelf-stable hurricane meals for homebound seniors through Meals on Wheels Plus of Manatee, in case severe weather prevents delivery for a day or more. Meals on Wheels Plus serves some 2,100 seniors annually, and feeds more than 50,000 needy people in partnership with area food pantries and social service agencies. (mealsonwheelsplus.org, 747-4655).
A gas card for a military veteran receiving services from Manasota Operation Troop Support (mots-online.org, 782-0748) or an expectant homeless mother at Manasota SOLVE Maternity Home (manasotasolve.org, 748-1594).
A weekend backpack full of nutritious food for a hungry child for one whole year through All Faiths Food Bank, which, along with its partner agencies, distributes food to more than 7,000 people every week in Sarasota and DeSoto counties. (allfaithsfoodbank.org, 379-6333).
An airplane ticket to help fly in one of Sarasota Opera’s visiting stars. This season, the internationally acclaimed opera company will present fall performances, four winter operas and a youth opera world premiere. (sarasotaopera.org, 366-8450, development department).
Live remote broadcasting equipment for independent radio station WSLR, whose volunteers produce programming and perspectives you just won’t hear through most other media outlets. (wslr.org, 894-6469).
A new refrigerator for Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s high-energy actors, so they can enjoy cold water during long performances. WBTT’s winter season starts in November and continues through May, with summer shows also on tap (wbttsrq.org, 366-1505).
A two-month supply of diapers for a classroom of infants at Children First, which serves more than 600 of Sarasota county’s most vulnerable children from birth to age five. (childrenfirst.net, 953-3877).
A pair of hearing aids for a hearing-impaired person through the Ear Research Foundation. The foundation emphasizes research, education and treatment and offers a free and sliding scale clinic. (earsinus.com, 365-0367).
Pole barns for shade and shelter of horses, sheep and goats through Sarasota in Defense of Animals, which provides comfort and care to more than 350 animals in a rural 10-acre sanctuary. (sdasarasota.com, 924-2505).
A four-inch balance beam for the South County Family YMCA gymnastics program, which trains tomorrow’s Olympians. (veniceymca.org, 475-1234).
Telemetry equipment for lemur collars in the Myakka City Reserve of the Lemur Conservation Foundation. Forty lemurs from Madagascar roam the 100-acre reserve; the foundation aims to conserve these endangered primates through captive breeding and research. (lemurreserve.org, 322-8494).
A benchtop centrifuge for research at the Roskamp Institute, which is dedicated to understanding causes and finding cures for neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders and addictions. (rfdn.org, 752-2949).
Chairs and music stands for the Perlman Music Program Suncoast, which each winter brings 30 gifted string musicians ages 12-20 to Sarasota for a two-week residency, and hosts many free public concerts. (perlmanmusicprogramsuncoast.org, 955-4942).
Sends 15 young ballerinas to Sarasota Ballet’s four-week summer intensive camp, which trains dancers from around the world and right here at home. (sarasotaballet.org, 359-0099, ext. 104).
A fully equipped bloodmobile for Suncoast Communities Blood Bank., which provides blood products for Bayflite 2, Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, Manatee Memorial Hospital, Sarasota Memorial Hospital and other medical centers, helping save thousands of lives each year. (scbb.org, 954-1600).
Thirty-two two-bedroom apartments for clients of the Salvation Army, Sarasota, who are transitioning from homelessness and addiction to independent and healthy lives. (salvationarmysarasota.org, 364-8845).
Endows the position of the executive director of the Ringling Museum, so it could be “Your Name Here” Executive Director of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. A chance to leave a real legacy in the Sarasota art world. (ringling.org, 359-5821).