BRADENTON -- The Family Partnership Center is looking to make good on a special gift at Christmas and beyond.
An anonymous donor has pledged $20,000 to the nonprofit to help families in Manatee, Sarasota and DeSoto counties with the challenge to match it.
The FPC and its supporters are working to do just that by the Dec. 31 deadline.
"We're already making significant progress," executive director Katrina Bellemare said. "A $40,000 influx at the end of this calendar year would mean some incredible things for 2014."
The FPC provides 1,200 families with parenting services, community-based classes and workshops. It delivers programs on effective parenting and reducing risk factors for child abuse and neglect. Programs, free to parents and caregivers, are offered daytime and evenings, many with free childcare.
Matching the $20,000 donation would enable the FPC to serve 150 more parents and children.
"This has been a tough year and we had to turn some families away," Bellemare said. "But $40,000 would allow us to meet the demand."
It isn't going to be easy, she acknowledged.
This time of year can be especially difficult to raise money given the number of fundraisers and toy drives throughout Manatee.
"There's always a generous outpouring of support from the community for organizations that make a real impact," Bellemare said. "The public has to choose from among so many deserving nonprofit organizations, groups and associations looking to make a difference in the community."
FPC has already pledged to provide presents for 52
parents and 127 children thanks to charitable donations from residents this holiday season.
"We're asking people to give whatever they can to help us reach the finish line," Bellemare said. "Reach down and help us find a way to meet this goal."
For details on donating, go to familypartnership.org. or call 941-756-3007.
Vin Mannix, local columnist, can be reached at 941-745-7055. Twitter: @vinmannix