Each summer, the Zonta Club of Sanibel-Captiva, through its foundation, invites applications from 501(c)(3) organizations in Lee County for grants to be awarded early the following year. Those selected become Zonta “partners,” each with a club member as liaison.
And every March since 2002, Zonta has raised grant funds through “A Peek at the Unique,” the home tour. In January 2020, Zonta distributed $104,700 from its 2019 Peek to 16 local partners, including Community Housing and Resources (CHR), F.I.S.H., SalusCare, Habitat for Humanity, Dress for Success, PACE and ten more.
Despite cancellation of the 2020 Peek last March, out of concerns for health and safety, funds for distribution in January 2021—while reduced—will be available through the generosity of benefactors, sponsors, and 2020 tour ticket-buyers. Zonta is proud to introduce some of the wonderful organizations supported by these funds.
Meet Sanibel’s Community Housing and Resources (CHR). CHR’s mission is to provide affordable housing for families and individuals who work in and serve the community of Sanibel. Steadily increasing housing prices make it an increasing challenge to support Sanibel’s work force. According to Executive Director Melissa Rice: “Housing is the foundation of a community: it supports our local economy; it enables the delivery of quality care and services; it is where individuals find stability and families grow.” Over the years Zontians have contributed many hours of service to CHR, beautifying gardens at residential complexes, decorating for the Mardi Gras fundraiser, supporting Give Back Wednesdays, and some, most recently, participating in Manatee Madness.
CHR’s mission goes beyond housing. “Don’t forget the ‘R’ for Resources,” added Rice. CHR provides funds and information to residents who seek to further their education or address health or financial crises. Zonta funds support CHR women residents with the cost of classes, tuition, books, and fees, helping them to obtain the knowledge and skills to improve their lives and the lives of their children. A woman’s life can change dramatically when she graduates from a technical school, finds a full-time job with a steady income, and has a skill she can use for the rest of her life. Zonta 2021 liaison to CHR, Robyn Moran, has seen such changes: “Nothing could be closer to Zonta’s mission than to improve the life of one woman!”
Look for information soon about a “Repurposed Peek” set for Saturday, March 13, 2021. To support Zonta’s work, visit www.ZontaSanCap.org and click on “Donate.”