Barancik Foundation board approves nearly $8 million in grant funding

Mental health initiative, early childhood education and emergency assistance among types of programs to win financial support

The Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation recently approved grants for mental health initiatives, early childhood education, emergency assistance, and projects that promote environmental sustainability, among other efforts in the area, the nonprofit has announced.

Much of the funding addresses its nonprofit partners’ critical need to elevate staff wages, expand programs and stabilize organizational infrastructure, a news release explains.

The following projects received grant assistance, the release adds:

  • Expanding Behavioral Health Services for Youth — a $1-million grant went to the Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation for mental health program support. “There is a growing need for behavioral health services in the community and a lack of funding to support them,” the release explains. “Many patients are uninsured or underinsured,” and often, Medicaid will not provide reimbursements for intensive outpatient programs, the release adds. This investment supports the creation and expansion of programs that foster community behavioral health needs, including those for youth ages 13 to 17.
  • Investing in Sarasota’s Bayfront — a $1-million grant was provided to The Bay Park Conservancy to operate and maintain The Bay Park, located on the City of Sarasota’s downtown waterfront, “to the highest park conservancy quality and service standards,” the release says. “The Bay initiative is establishing a cultural and economic legacy for the region while ensuring open, public access to the bayfront,” the release explains. With future phases having been proposed “to include an abundance of green space and native vegetation, bioswales, and the preservation of natural shoreline, the 53-acre bayfront park is poised to enhance the future well-being of our environment and community.”
  • Redefining Early Learning: Investing in the YMCA — a $668,332 grant went to the YMCA of Southwest Florida for Redefining Early Learning: Investing in the YMCA’s Quality and Capacity. “The YMCA is the region’s largest childcare provider, making this investment hugely important and beneficial to hundreds of local students, families, and teachers,” the release points out. “As a model of professionalism and innovation, the YMCA has become the anchor institution and backbone of the local early learning community.”
  • Supporting Dreamers within the Hispanic/Latino Community — a $550,000 grant was provided to UnidosNow for general operational support and to create the Luz Corcuera Educational Endowment. “The existing gaps in the Hispanic/Latino community related to educational attainment rates, healthcare access, and civic engagement inform every decision made at UnidosNow,” the release notes. The organization’s team “is emboldening students and their parents to create opportunities to bridge these gaps.” This investment strengthens the nonprofit’s infrastructure and allows for its continued success.
  • Enabling Young People to Reach their Full Potential — a $300,000 grant was awarded to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties for capacity building and to expand teen programs. “Recruiting quality staff to do the critical work of supporting youth is challenging in the highly competitive job market,” the release explains. “This investment increases hourly pay and staff benefits and bolsters the organization’s recruitment efforts. Funding will also enhance the Club’s nationally recognized teen programs.”
  • A Collaborative Approach to Health care — a $250,000 grant was provided to We Care Manatee to create a community collective that will provide health care to uninsured residents of Manatee County. “Manatee County’s complex safety net of care lacks cohesion, which makes navigating the system difficult for uninsured patients in need of medical services,” the release points out. “Manatee County Connects for Care is envisioned as a collective of organizations creating an access point for uninsured residents to receive the care they need.”
  • Building Confidence through Adventure — a $186,800 grant was awarded to Adventures for All for the Adventure Biking Program. Too often, people assume that individuals with exceptionalities will never ride bicycles “because they lack the ability to master the task,” the release notes. “The problem, however, does not lie within their exceptionalities but rather within society’s disbelief in their abilities. Adventures for All teaches individuals to ride independently and overcome the adversities they face.”
  • Fostering Champions for Clean Water on the Suncoast — a $175,000 grant was provided to the Suncoast Waterkeeper to create new community engagement programs. “With diminished monitoring and enforcement of environmental laws on the Suncoast, the organization advocates for policies that restore and protect coastal waters,” the release explains. “With this grant, Suncoast Waterkeeper will preserve talent, increase staff capacity, and engage citizens through new community programming.”
  • Policy Research to Promote Shared Prosperity in Florida — a $175,000 grant went to the Florida Policy Institute for general operations involving the study of, and support for, reducing barriers to economic opportunity and reducing health inequities. Florida Policy Institute’s staff of experts in health care, education, housing, criminal justice, and child well-being provide leadership and a credible analysis of critical issues facing Floridians, the release notes. “They take a non-partisan approach to research and are committed to equity, which improves people’s quality of life and strengthens our state’s economy.”
  • Direction During Crisis — a $150,000 grant was awarded to Second Chance Last Opportunity for capacity building and emergency assistance. The global pandemic, recent hurricanes and inflation have made living increasingly difficult for many people, the release points out. In response to the situation that has been created, the release says, “Second Chance Last Opportunity equips individuals in crisis with tools to manage their lives successfully despite the obstacles standing in their way.”
  • Emergency Stabilization for Food Insecure — a $50,000 grant was awarded to Kim’s Krew to expand services in Manatee County. “According to Feeding America, more than 44,000 Manatee County residents are food insecure. Kim’s Krew is responding by delivering food, basic necessities, and case management to those residents, many of whom have major medical issues and/or no transportation, the release points out. This investment expands the organization’s food pantry while increasing its staff and capacity for delivery services.
  • Produce Rescue and Feeding Those in Need — a $50,000 grant went to Transition Sarasota for operating support. “With more than 46,000 Sarasota County residents lacking access to food, Transition Sarasota is harvesting excess farm and backyard produce” to help them, the release explains. The organization’s efforts “feed people, support the environment, and help local farmers through free labor.”
  • An Outdoor Theatre Experience — a $20,000 grant was provided to the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training to support plans for an outdoor production of William Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost at The Ringling. Producing outdoor theatre programs “benefits the actors, who learn new methods of vocal projection and forge unique and interactive relationships with diverse audiences,” the release explains. “Not only do outdoor performances celebrate the origin of the theatre, which dates to the 10th century, but they also bring communities together.” Additionally, this investment will make it possible for local students to enjoy the performance for free or at a reduced cost.
  • Renewing Passion for Educators — a $310,000 grant was awarded for the third year to the Time to Inspire Margie’s Educators (TIME) Initiative for teacher revitalization. “To honor Margie Barancik’s chosen profession,” the release notes, the TIME Fellowship supports as many as 25 Sarasota County School District educators by helping them “refresh and renew their commitment to teaching.” Selected Fellows receive up to $12,000 to gain new experiences and perspectives.
  • The Barancik Foundation’s Early Learning Initiative, 2023 — The Barancik Foundation is investing $1,350,000 this year to continue its Early Learning Initiative. Along with key partners, the Foundation “continues to identify gaps in the early learning system,” with a focus on teacher recruitment and retention, behavioral health, business development and leadership, and policy and planning, the release points out. A new Teacher Recruitment Campaign and Early Learning Directors Collaborative piloted by the YMCA of Southwest Florida is on the horizon.
  • Additional investments — Along with the above awards, $1,506,250 in grants was provided for annual operating expenses and programs of organizations “that Chuck and Margie held close to their heart,” the release says.