Children First Changemakers Inspire Community with $600,000 Matching Gift Challenge


The coast of the gift

To donate in support of the Changemaker Collective, please visit

As children and families are disproportionately impacted by the current child care crisis, Children First continues to make progress in improving and expanding comprehensive services for the most vulnerable in our community. As the exclusive provider of Head Start and Early Head Start services for Sarasota County, Children First is proud to announce a $600,000 matching donation challenge led by its Changemaker Collective. The Changemaker Collective is an initiative for leaders who go above and beyond in service to our community and want to invest in the tools children and families need to reach their full potential. All collective backers will be matched 1:1 with an overall goal of raising $1.2 million. The main philanthropists who make up the Collective are: Anonymous, Stephanie & Allen Hochfelder, Joan & Dr. Bart Levenson, Katherine & Frank Martucci, Keith Monda & Veronica Brady, Gaye & Jack Schwarz, Joe & Nora Stephan, Karen Solem, and the Virginia B Toulmin Foundation. At 15 sites in North Port, Sarasota and Venice, Children First provides comprehensive services to hundreds of economically vulnerable children, ages 0-5, and their families each year. Comprehensive services include early childhood education, nutrition, emotional and behavioral support, and family strengthening services.

“Joining the Collective is an investment in the tools children and families need to reach their full potential,” says Vice President of Philanthropy Jessica Rogers. “Whether you want to support qualified teachers who provide stable and supportive relationships, provide safe classrooms for children to enjoy rich learning experiences, fill hungry bellies with nutritious meals, and provide a variety of health, or strengthen the whole family to ensure general well-being, it is essential that we continue to support the most vulnerable in our community.

To donate in support of the Changemaker Collective, please visit

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