top of page

What Charities Are Saying

All Faiths Food Bank

"All Faiths Food Bank’s BackPack Program reduces childhood hunger by providing pre-packed ‘backpacks’ which are distributed to students at school to take home for weekends and/or holidays. Over the weekend and on school holidays, students do not have access to free or reduced-price school meals and may otherwise go without nutritious meals. BackPack bags includes: 8-10 nutritious, child-friendly, ready-to-eat snack items with an emphasis on low sodium, low added sugars, and allergy-free proteins. In 2022, All Faiths Food Bank provided 295,220 bags of food to students in Sarasota and Desoto Counties."


Blaze of Hope

"A grant from the Florida Wine Fest would help Blaze Of Hope financially assist families that have a child in the hospital. It will pay the families everyday bills so that they can spend more time with their sick child and less time worrying about their bills."

The Blessing Bags Project

The Blessing Bags Project is a volunteer based 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization that services Manatee and Sarasota Counties assisting the homeless children and their families by providing basic, critical needs. In addition, it provides services to navigate families towards sustainability by offering a variety of empowerment workshops and by addressing each family’s individual needs. The volunteers at the The Blessing Bags Project of Bradenton also have a “Street Ministry” where they see first-hand the needs of children requiring food, clothing, shoes, diapers, warm jackets, and sleeping bags.

They provide “Children’s Bags” to local agencies that meet with newly homeless families. Each child is given a handmade cloth bag containing hygiene products, coloring sets, healthy snack, and a Beanie Baby to hug. The needs of children continue to grow. We are thankful for the local businesses, volunteers and generous donations that ensure that tomorrow will be a better day for those children and their families less fortunate in our community.

Children First

“Children First is incredibly grateful for Florida Winefest & Auction’s continued support of the children and families we serve. This grant will provide support for our Families First Institute. The Families First Institute strengthens and enriches the lives of the community families we serve. By focusing on the family as a whole, we are helping families achieve greater self-sufficiency and ensuring a better community. We offer several classes and workshops that focus on child development, parenting strategies, career and personal growth, and money management.”

Children Guardian Fund

"The Children's Guardian Fund responds to the immediate and ongoing needs of children removed from abusive or neglectful homes and placed in the state's care. Grant funds will provide local foster children with beds and bedding, school clothing, and other items to enable normalcy. Funds will also support their social and academic development through one-on-one tutoring, after-school programs, music lessons, bicycles, school trips, and prom."

Community Haven

“Winefest’s grant will help fund our Transitions program which is the regional provider of High School/High Tech, a national program for students who are on track to receive a standard diploma, but have physical, emotional or other learning disabilities. Through HS/HT, students are encouraged to set their sights on college and career in the fields of science, technology, engineering or math. Students with disabilities who are not on track to obtain a standard diploma participate on Transition’s Work Trek program, which focuses on the employment preparedness skills required to obtain employment upon graduation. Work Trek exposes students to vocational training and job opportunities at Community Haven and elsewhere.”

Early Learning Coalition of Manatee

"The gift from WineFest will allow us to purchase books for the ReadingPals program. ReadingPals is a literacy initiative that provides volunteer mentors for Pre-K students in Manatee County who may need extra help with foundational literacy skills or social and emotional development. The books used are more than just “things” to read. They spark a connection between the mentor and child, enhance collaboration between the program team and the early learning staff, and build the at-home library of participating students. These factors contribute to better school success, which benefits them for a lifetime."

Early Learning Coalition of Sarasota

"Your grant will allow the Early Learning Coalition (ELC) to quickly and effectively relaunch our Bucket of Books early literacy program which places free, large buckets of books in the lobbies of local small businesses for young children to enjoy while they wait. Buckets are filled with 20 books, fitting for ages 1-8, and are strategically placed in underserved neighborhoods at businesses including auto body shops, cash ‘n check locations, nail salons, barber shops, laundromats, sliding-scale medical clinics, cell phone shops, pet shelters, pregnancy centers, and more. Prior to COVID, the ELC had 120 buckets across Sarasota County. But that success ended when the pandemic hit. The Coalition now has to start from scratch."

Forty Carrots Family Center

"Funding will fulfill a critical need for mental health support for Title I Elementary school students. Forty Carrots Family Center therapists will conduct individual therapy sessions or in groups onsite at children’s schools. Therapy will address behaviors and feelings within the context of relationships, while increasing empathy and understanding while individuals learn new skills vital to maintaining healthier coping habits and building resilience."

Foundation for Dreams

"It is through the help and generosity of the Florida Winefest and Auction that we are able to continue our work giving children with special needs and chronic illnesses unforgettable camp experiences where they can participate and succeed in activities adapted to their strengths, empowering them to learn new skills, engage in meaningful friendships, and develop a lifelong sense of exploration and wonder. You are making a difference that stretches far beyond our campus, impacting the hearts and lives of children for years to come. We are so grateful that you are joining us in making real change possible, igniting the flames that enable the children we serve to BURN BRIGHT. Thank you for being the spark!"

Healthy Teens Coalition of Manatee

"This grant from Florida Winefest & Auctions will empower youth to make positive, healthy decisions. The funding will support the recruitment and training of our Teen Health Educators, incredible high-school students who volunteer with Healthy Teens to become peer health educators and mentors, working with some of the most at-risk and disadvantaged teens in their community. Through helping their peers make more informed decisions about their health, the Teen Health Educators are creating more successful futures for the young people they support."

The Healthy Start Coalition

"The Healthy Start Coalition of Sarasota County's mission is to improve the health and well-being of pregnant women, infants, and young children. This grant from the Florida Winefest will help save lives by providing a safe place to sleep to local babies who would otherwise have none, and education for parents about how to reduce the risk of SIDS and infant death due to unsafe sleep. We are so grateful to the Florida Winefest for making it possible for Healthy Start to provide grateful families in our community with this very important gift. "

Hope Family Services

“Thanks to the generous grant from the Florida Winefest and Auction, children who reside with their mother in HOPE Family Services’ (HOPE) Emergency Safe Shelter due to domestic violence will have healthy and nutritious meals made from wholesome and fresh staples. The Florida Winefest and Auction funding contributes to HOPE’s Children’s Healthy Eating Program designed to help residents learn the value of balanced and nutritionally sound meals, while strengthening client’s ability to budget for their family’s nutritional needs. The program is also intended to spark change in the way residents view feeding their children by learning about the hidden costs in prepared and processed food.”


Just For Girls

“Florida Winefest shares our vision of a community where today’s young girls grow up feeling safe, capable, and smart, having developed self-respect and self-confidence along with a desire to achieve academically. Thanks to Florida Winefest support, Just for Girls has tutors that help young girls with homework and FCAT preparation, and a literacy program that uses discussion, drama, art, movement, laughter, and writing to motivate girls to read.”

Laurel Civic Association

“The Florida Winefest grant is a cornerstone of our Empowering Youth Program by helping to underwrite the salaries of two employees we could not do this program without: the Empowering Youth Coordinator/Liaison and the Program Assistant who manages our school year Kid’s Café that makes sure each child has an evening meal along with taking care of our homework assistance space. The Empowering Youth Program encompasses essential activities including safe, supervised after-school homework assistance, computer access, school/parent support, and life skills training that lead to graduation. With the support of our safe, educational summer activities we are able to make summer a great time for hundreds of young people. We make sure they have a midday meal, and give them a pathway to a successful post-secondary future. Thank you Florida Winefest and Auction for supporting us with the staff to make our program successful.”

Manatee Foster & Adoptive Association

"The generous grant from Florida Wine Fest will Manatee County Foster & Adoptive Parent Association to provide new backpacks full of school supplies to nearly 50 local foster snd adopted children. This funding helps to prepare children from hard places for a successful school year and reminds them how many people in our community care about them."

Mothers Helping Mothers

“The faithful support of the Florida Winefest has made a difference in the lives of literally thousands of babies in our own back yard. Because of Winefest funding, Mothers Helping Mothers has been able to purchase more than 1,205 cribs for babies whom otherwise would not have a crib; more than 5,250 packs of diapers, about 100 car seats, and 260 Pack n’ Plays that are used as bassinets. 136 toddler beds have been provided for very young children; many of these children have been sleeping on the floor, and this is their first bed. We are so thankful!!”

Parenting Matters

“The generous support from Florida Winefest and Auction will help us further our mission to strengthen families and prevent child abuse through parenting education and support programs.

This grant will help us provide our evidence-based, in home parenting education program to parents of children ages 0-4 with a special emphasis on literacy and school readiness. Parents will learn proven techniques to improve cognitive, emotional, and social development that enable children to reach their full potential. This support will also help us address significant barriers to success such as poverty, isolation and violence. Parents are the most impactful people in a child’s life; thanks to Florida Winefest and Auction, parents will become strong, engaged, and supportive first teachers.”

Police Athletic League of Manatee County

"The Police Athletic League uses athletic and recreational programs as a tool, a way to involve children in the program. While involved with PAL, the message of avoiding gangs, drugs, alcohol, and other detriments, is discussed with the youngsters. Although nationally known as a recreation program, the Police Athletic League has adapted to the changing times. PAL programs now incorporate programs such as computer skills, mentoring, and homework help, to further aid our children.

Because of Florida Winefest's funding, the PAL Scholarship Program can help those children who cannot afford to attend thereby tightening the bond between police officers and children in the community."

Sarasota Housing Funding Corporation

"We are so grateful for Florida Winefest's funding, which will help support Sarasota Housing Authority's onsite youth educational and life enrichment programs for youth aged 5-17 who reside in public housing. All Sarasota Housing Authority’s Youth Thrive programming is on public housing property and free-of-charge to Sarasota Housing Authority families."

Sarasota Manatee Association for Riding Therapy (SMART)

"We are so grateful to the Florida Winefest and Auction for their support of the children in our program with autism. With this grant, and because of this support, we will be able to provide therapeutic riding experiences to even more children with autism. At Sarasota Manatee Association for Riding Therapy, we "empower lives through the healing power of horses.² For children with autism, being around a horse and experiencing the movement of the horse can be especially powerful and life changing. The sky can be the limit in what can be learned and achieved, simply by capturing that elusive emotional connection that can drive a child¹s motivation, no matter their challenge. With the growing number of children who start out in life with these challenges, our society needs to embrace every avenue to nurture their potential. We thank the Florida Winefest and Auction for caring about the children with autism in our community, for believing in the important work that takes place at SMART-and for helping us continue making a difference in so many lives!"


Selah Freedom

The grant monies received from Florida Winefest & Auction will be used to bring Selah Freedom’s nationally renowned Prevention program to the most vulnerable population in our community – children. 1 out of 3 girls and 1 out of 5 boys are sexually abused and over 300,000 American children are taken into sex trafficking every year. Selah Freedom’s Prevention Program works to get ahead of the issue. Their curriculum educates them on how to identify the tactics of sex traffickers and recruiters and empowers them to speak up if they or someone they know faces abuse. Each age-appropriate curriculum is customized for children and youth K-12thgrade and includes information on safe touch, safe adults, identifying secrets vs. surprises and more.

Take Stock in Children of Manatee County

Take Stock in Children of Manatee County, Inc. provides scholarships, mentors and hope to academically qualified, financially at risk students within the School District of Manatee County. Take Stock provides comprehensive services that prepare our scholars for post secondary education and careers so that they become productive citizens who are economically self-sufficient thus breaking the cycle of poverty.

Take Stock in Children of Sarasota County

Take Stock in Children of Sarasota County, Inc. is so grateful for the generous Florida Winefest & Auction grant to support Mentoring Matters. Our volunteer mentors are the heart and soul of our program in transforming student’s college dreams into reality.

Teen Court of Sarasota, Inc.

"Teen Court’s substance abuse program, Camp X-RAYD: experiential field trip to inspire young people to accept responsibility for their choices, learn the facts about substance abuse, and understand that Good Choices=Good Outcomes."


Turning Points

“The funding we receive from the Florida Winefest enables us to assist families in obtaining and maintaining housing, one of the most basic of human needs. Responding quickly to individuals and families in crisis due to housing issues is the primary focus of our Transitional Development Program. People can get case management, information, and education regarding resources available at Turning Points and through our community partners to ensure that they are connected to the resources they need to gain stability. Clients learn about budgeting, how to gain and maintain financial sustainability so that their families have better opportunities to be successful in their future endeavors. We are extremely grateful for the longtime partnership and support of the Florida Winefest which helps make these services possible.”


Volunteer Services Of Manatee County

“Support from Winefest instills the spirit of volunteerism and philanthropy in children as young as 8 years old as they identify and address local community needs in Manatee County.

Hundreds of ManaTEENs work together after school, weekends, holidays, and throughout the summer months to develop, implement and evaluate volunteer projects that benefit the community at large in the areas of animal welfare, disaster preparedness, environment, health and human service. Teenagers mentor younger ManaTEENs, encouraging them to become decision makers in their neighborhoods and schools. Thanks to Winefest, youth are considered to be compassionate and capable neighbors rather than “the noisy kids down the street! Thank you!”

bottom of page