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The MSC Foundation: Building On A Legacy Of Community Involvement

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At a well-attended business luncheon last week—hosted by the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County—the noted Florida economist, Sean Snaith, delivered one of the most upbeat forecasts for our region that we’ve heard in quite some time.

In so many words, Mr. Snaith suggested that even as the most tenacious recession in history finally loosens its grip on the nation’s economy, Southwest Florida’s recovery is poised to break away from the pack based on vigorous improvements in our market’s key housing, construction and tourism sectors. People are moving to Florida in substantial numbers again; and it is showing up on our bottom lines.

Naturally we were overjoyed to hear such a positive forward assessment of our market. Yet, we temper that emotion with the knowledge that the Great Recession continues to exact a terrible toll on many of our most vulnerable citizens—including children, military veterans and the elderly.  It has also placed a punishing financial burden on the various not-for-profit agencies that help those in need get back on their feet. As the recession got longer and deeper, many of the programs and services they once offered have all but perished for lack of public and private funding.

Extending A Helping Hand 

Helping to bridge the funding gap is one of the primary reasons behind the MSC Foundation, the charitable arm of Michael Saunders & Company that was launched two years ago as the Great Recession was still grinding on.   In spite of especially challenging times for the real estate industry, we couldn’t think of a more appropriate time to expand on the company’s legacy of philanthropy by involving our agents, staff and management at every level of giving back to the communities that have supported our business for nearly 40 years.

The MSC Foundation is funded entirely through voluntary donations.  Each agent and employee who contributes becomes eligible to petition the foundation for financial grants to their favorite local charity—provided the charity’s goals are consistent with the foundation’s mission of improving lives within our community through shelter, sustenance, education and a path to self-sufficiency. The foundation’s governing council—made up of participating agents and staff from every one of the company’s 24 branch and divisional offices—then makes the final determination of which organizations receive grants.

Last Friday, the foundation awarded charitable grants to over 20 not-for-profit agencies in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte Counties. These include Southeastern Guide Dogs (for visually impaired military veterans), HOPE Family Services, FELT Inc. of Manatee (Feeding Empty Little Tummies), Women’s Resource Center of Manatee County, Manatee County Habitat for Humanity, Temple Emanu-El Pre-School (kids backpack food program), Miracle League Manasota, Family Partnership Center, Salvation Army, The Children’s Healthy Pantry/Community Foundation of Sarasota, Joining Our Youth (JOY), Community Coalition on Homelessness, Laurel Civic Association, Community Youth Development, St. Vincent de Paul, Charlotte County Homeless Coalition, Manatee Education Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota, Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Sarasota-Manatee (military family assistance program), ITN Sarasota, Women’s Sertoma Club of Venice, Inc. and The Venice Symphony’s Summer Music Camp (need-based scholarships for students in grades 4-12).MSC_Foundation_July2013_33

Though still relatively new, the MSC Foundation is growing its charitable endowment with each passing grant cycle. Still, even one person in this time of tremendous need can make a huge difference. For as Mother Theresa once said, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”

  • User Gravatar Livewell Homes
    July 19th, 2013

    Thanks you for your community support! Things will continue to improve as more and more people get involved 🙂

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