SARASOTA, Fla. (June, 2020) – Girls Inc. of Sarasota County supports hundreds of girls in its facilities each year, but with doors closed due to stay-at-home orders the nonprofit has found new ways to engage members utilizing the organization’s core values: strong, smart, and bold.
Since ceasing in-person services, staff mobilized with community partners to distribute food, supplies, and financial resources to Girls Inc. families impacted by job loss and childcare issues. The organization also launched virtual programming for girls, including interactive videos, online activities, and individual tutoring through its Family Strengthening Program.
“It was new territory for us to have empty classrooms, but we knew we had to meet our girls and their families where they were,” says President & CEO Angie Stringer. “Our staff have been incredible in coming up with ways to support families outside of our regular scope of work, and our new and existing community partners have been invaluable.”
The organization has also transformed its industrial-sized kitchen, normally used in their culinary curriculum, to prepare hundreds of at-home meals for foster and adoptive parents who are part of Bridge a Life, a nonprofit agency that supports children who are in out-of-home care programs.
Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation has helped offset operational and staffing costs for the organization and alleviated the emergency overhead expenses through a $100,000 grant. Thanks to this support, Girls Inc. staff continue supporting their members’ needs during the economic downturn.
“Now more than ever the girls and their families rely on their trusted relationship with Girls Inc.,” says Teri A Hansen, President | CEO of Barancik Foundation. “We wanted to ensure resilient organizations like Girls Inc. make it through this. We hope others do their part as well.”
Benefactors of the foundation, Chuck and Margie Barancik, were to be posthumously honored in March at Girls Inc. 32nd Annual Celebration Luncheon, which was postponed until later this year. The couple were ardent supporters of Girls Inc. and funded a number of innovative projects at the organization’s campus, including the installation of the largest private solar panel array in Sarasota County.
Girls Inc. has reopened its on-site programming for the summer, anticipating to serve about 60 children throughout June and July. Recommended health guidelines and social-distancing protocols will be in place to ensure safety.