PUNTA GORDA — With the support of the Rotary Club of Punta Gorda, local nonprofits have been able to get a bit of a financial boost during coronavirus.

Through the club’s Charitable and Education Foundation, the Punta Gorda Rotary has donated around $25,000 in support funding for organizations in the area, including Habitat for Humanity, Charlotte Community Foundation, the Charlotte Homeless Coalition and more.

“Our club typically gives away something in the neighborhood of $25,000 a year,” said James Williams, member and former president of the club’s local chapter. “This year, we really focused on the local community needs and its need for food and food banks.”

Local groups receiving grants, according to a Rotary press release, include:

Habitat for Humanity’s TEAM Builds project with $3,500 for house framing and roof trusses materials.

Charlotte Community Foundation’s HUG program for COVID-19 relief with $2,700.

The Charlotte County Homeless Coalition with $2,500 for emergency funds.

Society of St. Vincent de Paul with $1,000 for facility improvements and another $1,000 for emergency food purchases

The Harry Chapin Food Bank with $1,700.

Other grants went to the Jesus Loves You Ministry ($1,500 for food) and the Boys & Girls Club ($1,000 for its summer continuing learning program).

Punta Gorda Rotary also donated funds to:

The Homeless Students Gap Fund of Charlotte County, which received a $500 grant for educational supplies for homeless students.

Back Pack Kidz, which received $1,095.

The Peace River Botanical Gardens, which received $1,025 for a new education program, Charlotte Technical College’s nursing program, which received $455 to purchase graduation pins for the 2020 graduating class.

Punta Gorda Rotary Club members also raised $1,350 in just 30 minutes in August to help teachers prepare for the new school year.

Other local grant recipients include the Punta Gorda Historical Society toward renovations of its Historic Women’s Club location, the Civil Air Patrol, the Goodwill MicroEnterprise Institute and the Charlotte County Concert Band.

Club members are also currently raising around $1,500 to provide 50 turkey dinners to needy families with the help of Publix at Burnt Store Marketplace and Charlotte High School.

Money raised to make these grants possible come from the annual Taste of Punta Gorda, Testimonial Dinner and donations from members and friends of Punta Gorda Rotary.

“We give thanks for the opportunity to help our community and the world in so many ways,” said club president Darcy Hanley in a press release. “We are proud to live up to Rotary’s motto ‘Service Above Self.’”


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