Each week, The Sarasota Observer will feature a different donor who is involved with Season of Sharing, a 10-year, community-wide fundraising partnership created by the Community Foundation. Donations to the Season of Sharing fund may be made by check or credit card, payable to the Community Foundation of Sarasota, or online at www.cfsarasota.org. For information, call 955-3000.
Alexis Upham remembers what it was like growing up with little money. Her parents were Canadian immigrants who worked long hours as a nurse and a teletype repairman.
Upham’s family didn’t have much, but looking back on her childhood she says she never felt poor.
“We always shopped at second-hand stores, but that didn’t matter,” she says. “My parents managed their money in such a way and loved us so much that we always felt our lives were abundant.”
Upham, who now resides in Sarasota where she is the senior director of development at the University of South Florida, has never forgotten the values she learned as a child.
As a young girl, Upham would give a large portion of her 50-cent allowance each week to the Episcopal church she attended. Today, she donates to Season of Sharing, and even though she has more than a few cents to give, she still believes that every little bit counts.
“Whether it’s an act of kindness or caring for or loving our neighbors, we all have the power to help each other,” Upham says. “That’s what I hope to do through Season of Sharing.”
When Upham first heard about Season of Sharing almost 10 years ago, it was the organization’s emphasis on community involvement that drew her to become involved.
“It was really a call for community participation and caring; it is a collaborative effort that reaches out to all,” says Upham. “If people believe in themselves and have hope we can all be self-sufficient … sometimes we just need others to help us believe.”
Contact Maria Amodio at [email protected].
To donate to Season of Sharing, click here.