This Week's Good Deeds

Scholarship donations, grants to fight homelessness and more in this week's roundup of locals giving back.

By staff December 1, 2016

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Akgun Temizer

Citing his belief in public education and the importance of attending college, Sarasota resident Akgun Temizer recently donated $1.2 million to New College of Florida to expand a scholarship fund. Temizer established the fund in 2014 to provide scholarships with preference to honors students from his native country, Turkey. The first Temizer Scholar came to New College in fall 2015. His new gift essentially doubles the size of the scholarship fund and will allow the college to have two Temizer Scholars beginning in fall 2018.

Children First recently received a $150,000 grant from the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation to help stabilize families and provide children with high-quality early childhood education. The support of the Barancik Foundation will ensure that children and families in need will receive additional services to support their emotional and behavioral well-being.

The Patterson Foundation announced this week that it will contribute $100,000 each time the community raises $500,000 during Season of Sharing, the region’s annual campaign to help individuals and families on the verge of homelessness.

The Child Protection Center recently received a Dart Foundation grant worth $8,800 to purchase iPads for the organization's Sexual Abuse Treatment Program. The program provides specialized treatment services for children who are victims of sexual abuse and for their families, recognizing that child abuse is traumatic for the entire family. The center was also recently awarded $3,540 by the Heron Creek Community Foundation. This grant will fund therapy programs for children residing in North Port and receive therapy services at the Child Protection Center's North Port office.

The homebuilder Neal Communities recently donated $5,000 to the Detert Residences at Loveland Village, a state pilot program that includes 42 affordable apartments that allows adults with developmental disabilities to live independently.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast was recently awarded $3,500 by the Staples Foundation, the private charitable arm of Staples, Inc., through a program called 2 Million & Change that allows Staples associates around the globe to direct more than $2 million in donations each year.

The burger restaurant BurgerFi recently donated a combined $2,500 to the Humane Society of Lakewood Ranch, Susan G. Komen Florida Suncoast and Suncoast Charities for Children. Proceeds were generated from a percentage of sales and raffles during BurgerFi’s Grand Opening weekend Oct. 21-23.

Teacher Barbara O'Brien recently spearheaded an annual service learning project for students at her school, benefiting the Salvation Army. First and second graders at the Hershorin Schiff Community Day School raised $1,370 by collecting goodie bags filled with books, coloring items, toys and candy for children staying at the Salvation Army, and decorating the dining hall in order to spread Thanksgiving cheer.

On Oct. 22, members of Adams and Reese LLP's Sarasota office participated in United Way Suncoast’s 2016 “Day of Caring” by donating their time to beautify the grounds of The Florida Center for Early Childhood. Attorney and staff volunteers contributed hours of gardening and landscaping services at the early childhood center’s Sarasota location. The services will enable the Center to begin holding early education classes and programming outdoors for the children and families it serves.

On Nov. 19, the Sarasota YMCA provided 384 Thanksgiving meals to families in need at the Frank G. Berlin, Sr. YMCA branch's Bari Brooks Teen Center. These families are currently being served through Y programs such as Achievers, Operation Graduation and Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters.

Sarasota Orthopedic Associates staffers are collecting toys and clothing for disadvantaged children, holiday meal gift cards for families and bags of canned goods. Anyone wishing to make a monetary contribution or donate non-perishable items or canned goods may do so before Thursday, Dec. 15, at any of the three Sarasota Orthopedic Associates locations: 2750 Bahia Vista St., Sarasota; 6230 University Parkway, Lakewood Ranch; or 435 Commercial Court, Venice.

Gecko's at the Landings will host a Pajama Party to raise money to purchase new bunk beds for the YMCA Youth Shelter. The party begins at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9. The event will have food and drink specials, a photo booth, a raffle and more.

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