Through its foundation, the Zonta Club of Sanibel-Captiva invites applications each summer from 501(c)(3) organizations in Lee County for grants to be awarded early the following year. Those selected become Zonta “partners,” each with a club member as liaison.
Every March since 2002, Zonta has raised grant funds through “A Peek at the Unique,” the home tour. In January 2020, Zonta distributed $104,700 from its 2019 Peek to 16 local partners, including Community Housing and Resources (CHR), F.I.S.H., Habitat for Humanity, and a dozen more.
Despite cancellation of the 2020 Peek, out of concerns for health and safety, funds for distribution in January 2021—while reduced—were available through the generosity of benefactors, sponsors, and tour ticket-buyers. Zonta is proud to introduce some of the wonderful organizations supported by these funds.
Meet F.I.S.H. of Sanibel and Captiva, celebrating 39 years serving the islands, neighbor to neighbor. The vision of F.I.S.H. is to enrich the daily lives of all people on Sanibel and Captiva with social services, education, and assistance. In 2020, F.I.S.H. answered over 25,000 service requests and distributed 246,545 pounds of food through their Food Pantry program. “The depth and breadth of the services we offer would not be possible without our generous donors and dedicated volunteer force,” says F.I.S.H. President and CEO, Maggi Feiner. “We run on a lean staff of about 7 full-time employees, so the majority of our work from delivering hot meals to seniors, stocking our food pantry, filling kids’ food backpacks, and delivering medical equipment is being carried out by our 200 volunteers.”
Zontians have long volunteered at F.I.S.H. by gathering food for the shelves, delivering services to neighbors in need, and staffing its annual fundraiser, the F.I.S.H. 10 K Race. Describing the 2021 Zonta grant award to F.I.S.H., Zonta liaisons Betty Abbott and Kelly Turnage pointed out that F.I.S.H. considers women’s health intrinsically linked to economic self-sufficiency, noting that many of the clients it serves are female heads of households, often the only parent. The 2021 Zonta grant provides funds to help women with medical expenses so they need not decide between their own health and the ability to support their families.
Look for information soon about a “2021 Peek Repurposed” set to begin on March 1. To support Zonta’s work, visit www.ZontaSanCap.org and click on “Donate.”