The kindness of strangers was on full view last week in the 2018 Giving Challenge.
The philanthropic fundraiser generated a little more than $11.7 million in donations and dollar-for-dollar matches for local nonprofit organizations.
Interestingly, most of the gifts were of the grassroots variety, averaging less than $100 throughout the four-county region of Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte and DeSoto counties.
A few notable among the local recipients were the Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage (FISH), which received more than $28,500 from 178 donors. Almost half of that dollar amount came from the dollar-for-dollar match.
Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation Inc. of Bradenton Beach made $14,780 from 198 donors and $12,955 from matching grants for a total of $27,735.
Other local nonprofit recipients included Mote Marine, The Center of Anna Maria Island and the Anna Maria Island Historical Society. A complete list is included in our story.
Congratulations to the nonprofits, which will greatly benefit from these cash infusions. And a big thank you to all those who donated, illustrating once again the generosity of the people of Anna Maria Island and the entire region.