Each week, The Longboat 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.
Barbara Blumfield was reading the newspaper one afternoon four years ago, when a story about a local family caught her eye. The family, which had several children, had fallen into financial crisis and was helped through funding provided by the Season of Sharing.
Blumfield made her first donation to the community-wide fundraising partnership that year and has given generously ever since.
“All you have to do is look at those children’s eyes and you want to do something to help them,” says Blumfield.
Blumfield has long been a patron of many organizations, including the Sarasota Orchestra, the Sarasota Ballet, Jewish Family and Children’s Services and Temple Beth Israel.
Blumfield says she learned her passion for philanthropy from her family when she was growing up in Chicago.
“My parents and grandparents were always great contributors,” she says. “I remember my grandmother would even hand money to people on the street who were in need. I learned the importance of giving back as a child, and it just became second nature.”
The former teacher and preschool coordinator, who earned her master’s degree in early childhood education from the University of Chicago, says she feels especially compassionate toward children.
“These children believe in Santa Claus and they want some sort of miracle to happen during this time of year,” says Blumfield. “Season of Sharing makes that miracle come true.”
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