More than ever, Manatee County charities are relying on this year’s Giving Challenge [B. Herald]

More than ever, Manatee County charities are relying on this year’s Giving Challenge


Much like past years, the 2020 Giving Challenge is offering a chance to support hundreds of charities in Manatee and surrounding counties.

But this year’s event is especially crucial for the charities and communities affected by COVID-19, said Susie Bowie, executive director of the Manatee Community Foundation.

“It’s easy for people to feel powerless at a time like this, but the Giving Challenge is a perfect opportunity for people to come together in whatever way works for them,” she said. The 24-hour challenge begins at noon on Tuesday and ends at noon on Wednesday, supporting nearly 700 charities between Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte and DeSoto counties.

And with continued support from the Patterson Foundation, every contribution has twice the impact. The foundation will match up to $100 per donor, per charity for donations made at

The Giving Challenge — hosted by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County — allows donors to address hunger, addiction, education, housing and more than a dozen other causes.

Project Light of Manatee, located off 14th Street West in Bradenton, was depending on the Giving Challenge more than ever before, said Charles Cunningham, president for the board of directors.

The program started teaching English to adults more than two decades ago. Students leave the program with a newfound confidence, ready to help with their child’s classes and to pursue new jobs or volunteer opportunities.

Cunningham said demand was growing, along with the need for support, but the COVID-19 pandemic was causing uncertainty about his future budget.

“I can’t predict how our donor base is going to turn out,” he said.


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