Our Commitment to You During COVID-19 and Beyond

March 18, 2020

A curious baby
A young boy with his head popping out of a jungle gym at a park

Table of Contents

A Message from CEO Philip Tavill:

As an agency dedicated to strengthening those most vulnerable within our community, we are reaching out to you, the members of our Children First family, directly: the children and families we serve, staff members, volunteers, supporters, and partners. Our highest priority is to ensure the health and well-being of the Children First family and we are committed to meeting needs as they evolve.

Children First follows the Sarasota County School District protocol for school closure, and therefore, our children will also be on extended break through April 15. We are following the protocols and procedures endorsed by the CDC, the Florida Department of Healthour Governor and the Commissioner of Education. Our team is hard at work amplifying our current, strict cleaning protocols while maintaining active communication with our children and families. We will continue to monitor local updates from local, state, and national levels.

Our job as an agency is to transform lives.

For those we serve, we continue to be on the front lines making a direct impact every day. Our Family Services Team is working to assess and meet the needs of our individual children and families. Our Education Team is developing a plan to meet in-home educational needs. Our Leadership Team is meeting daily to bring every resource possible to our children, families, staff and their families. While our doors may not be physically open, the delivery of service will continue at the highest possible level.

We have made the decision to postpone our 20th anniversary Fairytale Ball, originally scheduled for Saturday, April 4 at Michael’s on East, as a precautionary measure against COVID-19 and the spread of the coronavirus. This decision was not easy to make, as our widely anticipated event helps to raise critical funds that support more than 900 children and their families each year.

Our wonderful partners at Michael’s will be hosting us for the rescheduled event in the early fall. We hope that you will still be able to join us in “lighting the path to success” for our children and families. We’d like to thank our event co-chairs, Stephanie & Allen Hochfelder, Lisa & Jeff Jackson, and Andree & Mike Keebaugh, as well as the entire volunteer committee, our generous event sponsors and supporters, as well as our guests who planned to attend.

The decision to postpone our celebration was made with extreme caution in keeping those we serve, and those who support us, as safe and healthy as possible. We hope you will continue to help us meet the challenges before us as we work to provide all of our families with the services they need.

As new information becomes available, we will keep you informed and adjust all plans accordingly. Please keep checking our Facebook page and our website at www.ChildrenFirst.net for updates.

If you would like to make a gift online to support our core needs during this time, please click here or go online to childrenfirstsrq.org/donate/. 

For additional information, please contact Communications Coordinator Evan Ackerman directly at: eackerman@childrenfirst.net.

We thank you for your understanding and support.