At their year-end board meeting May 27, held via Zoom, the Zonta Club of Sanibel-Captiva voted to award emergency grants to help island organizations during the economic crisis stemming from the coronavirus: $700 for Community Housing & Resources (CHR) and $500 for F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva; they also approved $250 for the Harry Chapin Food Bank in Fort Myers.
Both CHR and F.I.S.H. have received regular grants from Zonta for the past several years. However, those funds come from the Zonta Foundation of Southwest Florida and are the proceeds of the previous year’s Peek at the Unique home tour. The regular grant cycle for such awards begins in late summer and checks are typically distributed the following January.
By using club funds, the board was able to provide these emergency grants quickly. Zonta vice president Nancy Swofford, who along with Laura deBruce proposed the grants, said: “Because the virus caused us to cancel several service projects during our last fiscal quarter, we had money left in the club budget. It made sense to use some of this money to feed the hungry and help those in need in our own community.”
Separately, Zontian Kelly Turnage organized a drive among Zontians for non-perishable food items for F.I.S.H., to be picked up on Friday, May 29th from homes throughout the island.
“Hunger is a concern for me, especially on the island where workers, including those serving or preparing food in restaurants, may not be able to put food on their own tables,” said Turnage. “Zontians responded generously and it felt great to drive around for such a good cause.” Zonta members contributed an additional $150 in cash donations for F.I.S.H.
The Zonta Club of Sanibel-Captiva is a service organization of professional women working together to provide hands-on assistance, advocacy and financial support to empower women and girls on the islands, in Lee County and around the world through Zonta International. Visit zontasancap.com, follow Zonta Sanibel-Captiva on Facebook and “like” the club (@zontasancap) on Instagram.
Featured Photo Above – Zontians Kelly Turnage (center) and Luann Fortune (R) present collected food donations and a check to Maria Espinoza, director of food programs at F.I.S.H.