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CHR’s Mardi Gras an important fundraiser

By Staff | Dec 9, 2015

To the editor:

Having lived, worked and played on Sanibel for over 20 years, I have always been amazed at the generosity of businesses and individuals on Sanibel. There are more fund raisers than you can shake a stick at, and our businesses are called upon again and again to sponsor or donate to make these fund raising events successful.

Another thing that makes these not-for-profits succeed is the volunteerism of individuals who in many cases can’t make cash donations so they give of their time.

Appreciating the good that these organizations do, I too have volunteered for several of these worth while charities. Some of these organizations are devoted to our wildlife, wildlife habitat and keeping our waters clean.

Others focus on humans on the island in need. Some provide financial assistance, food and/or social services.

Recently I was asked to become involved with Community Housing Resources (CHR) which provides affordable housing on Sanibel.

One of the very basic human needs is shelter, so I feel good about helping CHR fill this void. Although CHR has been on the island for 36 years many people do not realize it exists or confuse it with other organizations.

CHR has 88 units on island in eleven locations-74 rental and 14 Limited Equity Ownership (LEOs). These housing units are designated for families and people who work on Sanibel, who help make this island run. We also have units for seniors who have been long time residents of Sanibel who are retired or disabled.

Of the 150 people who live in CHR housing 50 are children. This housing is not free or low income housing -all of the residents pay rent or own their home.

CHR depends on this rent for 61percent of its operating income. The City of Sanibel contracts with CHR to provide affordable housing as a part of the Sanibel Plan but CHR is independent of the City.

The contract with the City provides about 26 percent of CHR’s funding and the final crucial amount of about 13 percent comes from the generosity of the community through sponsorships and donations.

I am once again amazed as CHR prepares to put on its annual fund raiser Mardi Gras on Feb. 6, 2016 at the Dunes, at how Sanibel businesses have stepped up to be sponsors and to participate in this fun but extremely important event.

Sanibel Catering Company by Baileys, San Cap Community Bank, Sanibel Captiva Trust Company and Doc Fords have all agreed to be major sponsors but there’s always a need for more.

In addition, scores of volunteers are helping with all the details to make this one of the best events on the island. To find out more about CHR or Mardi Gras on Sanibel go to SanibelCHR.org.

During this holiday season it’s heart warming to see that the spirit of giving is still alive and well on Sanibel.

Les Boyle

Sanibel