Since 2012, The Bridge Fund, a Pelican Landing-based charity, has made more than $1.2 million in awards to local residents in need of emergency financial assistance. TBF has helped those with nowhere left to turn avoid eviction, restore utilities, put food on the table, and cover medical and other emergencies.

While aid is generally provided to a single individual or family in crisis, the Coronavirus pandemic was, and continues to be, a crisis on a massive scale affecting thousands of residents of Bonita Springs, Estero and nearby communities. Neighbors who never dreamed they would be unable to provide for their families suddenly found themselves unemployed, furloughed, with drastically reduced hours, or quarantined and unable to work.

To help local social services agencies provide food and other necessities to those affected by the crisis, TBF challenged residents of Pelican Landing and The Colony at Pelican Landing to open their hearts and wallets. And they did, in a big way.

In early April, two Pelican Landing couples, Sandy and Vince Lovelle and Barb and Fred Sutherland, offered to match all contributions made to a special pandemic relief fund before May 31, up to a total of $50,000. The initial Coronavirus Match Challenge was so successful that Cindy and John Paul, who live in The Colony at Pelican Landing, offered to match up to $25,000 in contributions made until June 15.
The net: The three couples, together with hundreds of Pelican Landing/Colony donors, contributed $299,393 to TBF’s Pandemic Relief campaign.

TBF has already made more than 100 awards to its partner agencies that have been overwhelmed by the unprecedented demand on their resources. Most awards have gone to pop-up food pantries and to help renters avoid eviction.

“I would like to thank residents of Pelican Landing and The Colony at Pelican Landing for their donations to our Pandemic Match Challenge,” said Bridge Fund Founder and President, Mike Beebe. “Their generosity enables us to continue helping neighbors facing hardships in their daily lives, during and after crises such as Hurricane Irma, and especially now, during the Coronavirus pandemic.”

For specific examples of the ways TBF has helped neighbors in need survive the Coronavirus crisis and/or to contribute, visit the organization’s web site, thebridge-fund.org.

Read Estero Life Magazine’s February 2020 cover story on The Bridge Fund here.

About The Bridge Fund:

Founded in 2012, The Bridge Fund (TBF) is a Pelican Landing-based 501(c) (3) charity that partners with local social service agencies and schools to help neighbors with immediate needs who have nowhere else to turn. More than 85 percent of requests are funded within 24 hours, which means that utilities can be restored, overdue rent paid, or a homeless family can be fed, sheltered, clothed or have its medical or other emergency needs met almost immediately. Run by a working board and dedicated volunteers, its low overhead model allows approximately 98 percent of contributions to be available for direct assistance. Its mailing address is 23530 Peppermill Court, Bonita Springs, FL.