Even with demand for services increasing, health and human service organizations on the Suncoast are not backing away from a challenge.
Children First staff and volunteers are working on the front lines to serve families during the economic downturn as many of the 900 children and families the organization serves seek wrap-around services.
Throughout the year, the agency provides infant and toddler care, early childhood education, and parenting classes through its Families First Institute. However, more than 70% of their clients are now turning to the organization for additional necessities such as food, financial assistance, and supplies like diapers, wipes, and infant formula.
“During an unexpected crisis, our families are the first to hurt and the last to recover,” says CEO Philip Tavill. “We’re steadfast in continuing to serve our children and their parents when they need us the most, thanks to the support of our community partners.”
A $125,000 grant from Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation has fortified Children First to maintain its ability to provide immediate relief to its clients and retain staff and volunteers. Funds will also be used to pay program staff to assist families as they file for unemployment and apply for other assistance.
“Our support safeguards the integrity that makes Children First such a valuable community resource,” says Teri A Hansen, President | CEO of Barancik Foundation.
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.
About Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation
The Charles and Margery Barancik family has long believed in the power of philanthropy to shape our world and enrich the lives of all people. It was the expression of this belief that led them in 2014 to establish the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation—a private, family foundation located in Sarasota, Florida. The Barancik Foundation creates initiatives and awards grants in Sarasota and beyond in the areas of education, humanitarian causes, arts and culture, the environment, and medical research. For more information, visit www.barancikfoundation.org.