2022 Giving Challenge Story


    In anticipation of the 2024 Giving Challenge, which will take place April 9-10, from noon to noon, we reflect on the fantastic success of the 2022 Giving Challenge and how donors made a difference for HSSC and the animals we serve. #BeTheOne

    April 26 and 27, 2022, were two seemingly ordinary days.

    Here's what was happening at the Humane Society of Sarasota County (HSSC) at 11:59am on Tuesday, April 26, 2022.

    In the cat wing...

    • James Dean—handsome like his namesake—was rabbit kicking his stuffed toy like a rebel without a cause.
    • Meanwhile, kittens Tails and Cami were romping and rolling as only kittens can, blissfully unaware that they owed their lives to a network of staff and fosters who had guided them through their most fragile weeks in the absence of their mothers.
    • Gorgeous all-white Tori was lounging in her condo, her expressive blue eyes staring into your very soul.
    • Kira, a striking mackerel tuxedo tabby, was strutting the Free Roaming room, proving that having FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus) was no cause for concern, and that she could expect to live a normal life, thank you very much.

    Across the building, in the dog wing, it was considerably noisier…because, well, dogs. 

    • Tiny terrier Fisher was wondering where he was, having just been surrendered the previous day. His owner was too sick to care for him and had made the heartbreaking decision to relinquish Fisher.
    • Awaking in his kennel, puppy Gaston felt a little funny. He had a weird thing around his neck, preventing him from doing what he wanted to do more than anything in that moment: scratch and sniff his lower belly.
    • Big freckled boy Lucky was delighted to be out of his kennel and to demonstrate his "sit" and "paw" skills, especially when treats were involved.
    • Monty, a young cur mix—with signature black mouth—had the zoomies and was running in the play yard and playing with his favorite rope toy.
    • Xena (no, not the Warrior Princess) had just been released from stray hold. This black-and-white girl had simply wandered into our Director of Animal Welfare's office one day when the shelter was closed to the public. No leash. No owner in sight. We suspected that she had been strategically dumped in the building when the door was unlocked. We kept her unavailable for a few days just to be sure. No one came to reclaim her, so she was officially available for adoption.

    What none of these animals knew was that their lives were about to change dramatically. By the end of the next 24 hours, they would all be adopted into new homes.

    They also did not know that, starting at noon, the Giving Challenge webpage "switch" was about to be flipped. The webpage would soon light up with activity, as donors from Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, and DeSoto counties, and beyond, showed their support for 667 of their favorite local causes. After 24 hours of non-stop generosity, more than $16M would be raised. Of that incredible total, more than $83,000 would come directly to HSSC.

    James Dean, Tails, Cami, Tori, Kira, Fisher, Gaston, Lucky, Monty, and Xena knew nothing about any of that. All that mattered to them was that they were healthy. That they had food in their bellies and a cozy bed with toys and treats. That they were safe.

    They were safe because they were at the Humane Society of Sarasota County, the area's premier no-kill shelter.

    A place that never sets time limits for animals, simply because they are too young, too old, too this, too that.

    A place for animals and the people who love them.

    A place that has been a safe harbor for animals since 1952.

    A place where all it takes is one person to change one animal's life forever.

    By December 31, 2022, James Dean, Tails, Cami, Tori, Kira, Fisher, Gaston, Lucky, Monty, and Xena's names would be added to the list of 2,730 animals saved that year. But during that 24-hour period in April, they were still pure potential. They needed HSSC. And HSSC—as a private shelter that relies on donations from individuals, businesses, and foundations—needed our supporters. 

    On that April day, our supporters showed up in a big way during the Giving Challenge. Because of each and every one of you, animals' lives were changed.

    April 26 and 27, 2022, were two seemingly ordinary days. It was YOU that made them extraordinary.

    James Dean

    The Giving Challenge is an exciting 24-hour online giving event that connects about 700 nonprofit organizations with passionate donors and community members to support diverse causes and create enduring impact in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, and DeSoto counties.

    Since 2012, the Giving Challenge has acted as a catalyst for connection and provided more than $75 million in unrestricted funding over eight challenges.

    Being a part of the Giving Challenge can transform nonprofit organizations through meaningful relationships and partnerships, all while strengthening their potential reach.

    The Giving Challenge is hosted by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, with giving strengthened by The Patterson Foundation.

    2024 Giving Challenge Results
    HSSC Receives $25,000 Grant for Emergency Medical ...