Giving Opportunities

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Summer Playlists for Giving Back to the Community  

Summer Playlists for Giving Back to the Community  


Two summers ago I had the opportunity to wake up very early in the morning in New York City and make my way to one of the network morning shows summer concert series.  It is one of those moments when viewed on television makes you wonder what it would be like to be part of it in person.  Everyone always looks so energized and excited particularly for such a break of day happening.

Even though the band of the day was not on my iTunes playlist it was still fun to be part of the action down on the plaza and it just felt like summer.  The network handed out sunglasses and t-shirts and my teenage son was properly embarrassed by my dancing.   There is something about the sounds of summer as realized through music that is uplifting and memory evoking.

I can hear a song from my high school or college summer breaks and I am immediately transported back to days as a lifeguard or just hanging out with friends.

The network that hosted the summer concert series recently launched a poll that asked viewers to weigh in on their choice for the song that most represented Summer 2016.  The choices ran the gambit of current hits, throw backs from the 80’s and different genre of tunes.  The variety of choices to choose from reminded me that there is something for everyone to connect with both in music and opportunities to welcome in the summer season.

With this in mind I ask the team of change agents in our office to compile some summer lists of their own.  The first was their favorite tune to crank up when Southwest Florida temps rise and we all head for air condition and swimming pools.  If you would like to hear what we are listening to we created a link for you to access our playlist

But in keeping with the work we do every day at the Southwest Florida Community Foundation we also created a “Give Back playlist” which highlights opportunities to get involved and volunteer this summer.  Our team selected just a few of the organizations that offer solstice chances to give back.  This list is not exhaustive as there are scores of nonprofits offering summer camps for our kids, hunger fighting organizations that face the challenges of helping those experiencing food insecurity, and a variety of causes that lose their winter volunteers.  Our staff’s summer volunteer playlist:

  • Volunteer at Special Equestrians
  • Road Clean Up – pick up litter
  • Walk a Dog at the Humane Society
  • Help out at children’s tennis camps
  • Read to the blind at Lighthouse of SWFL
  • Deliver meals for shut in senior citizens at Meals on Wheels/CCMI
  • Swim to support a cause like Multiple Sclerosis

So crank up the tunes and head out to make a difference in our region this summer.  I would love to hear about your favorite summer song or volunteering experience at [email protected]

Who knows- We might add them to our playlists!


About the Southwest Florida Community Foundation

As leaders, conveners, grant makers and concierges of philanthropy, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation is a foundation built on community leadership with an inspired history of fostering regional change for the common good in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The Community Foundation, founded in 1976, connects donors and their philanthropic aspirations with evolving community needs. With assets of more than $93 million, the it has provided more than $63 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves. Last year, it granted more than $3.2 million to nonprofit organizations supporting education, animal welfare, arts, healthcare and human services, as well as provided regional community impact grants and scholarship grants.


Sarah Owen
Sarah Owen

Sarah Owen, President & CEO of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, leads a passionate and diverse team dedicated to driving regional change for the common good. The Foundation is committed to engaging the community in conversations and action that creates sustainable positive change and provides the funding to make those changes a reality. More