Skip to content

Children First Collective Ignites Community with $600,000 Matching Gift Challenge

As communities across the nation grapple with the economic impact of the ongoing childcare crisis, Children First remains at the forefront of building a stronger, more promising future for children and families in need.

As the exclusive provider of Head Start and Early Head Start services for Sarasota County, Children First is proud to announce a $600,000 matching gift challenge led by its Changemaker Collective.

The Changemaker Collective is an initiative for leaders who go above and beyond in serving our community and wish to make an investment in the tools children and families need to achieve their full potential. All collective support will be matched 1:1 with an overall goal to raise $1.2MM.

The key philanthropists comprising the Collective include: Anonymous, Keith Monda & Veronica Brady, the Jean Delynn Foundation in honor of Elenor Maxheim, Dawn & Mitchell Epstein, Lisa & John Giglio, Stephanie & Allen Hochfelder, Brock & Julie Leach, Joan & Dr. Bart Levenson, Elenor Maxheim, the Jerome & Mildred Paddock Foundation, Linda Rhault, Gaye & Jack Schwarz, Karen Solem, Joe & Nora Stephan, and the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.

At multiple sites across North Port, Sarasota, and Venice, Children First provides comprehensive services to hundreds of economically vulnerable children, ages birth to five, and their families each year. Comprehensive services include early childhood education, nutrition, emotional and behavioral support, and family strengthening services.

“By addressing this crisis that is crippling our community and those across the country, the Changemaker Collective is investing in the overall health and prosperity of our society,” says CEO Philip Tavill. “Without access to reliable and affordable early childhood education, many families, especially those we serve, must reduce their working hours or leave the workforce altogether. This creates a significant loss of income that leads to further long-term economic consequences.”

“We extend our deepest gratitude to the Collective for their commitment, not only to early childhood education, but to making a profound difference in the lives of those most vulnerable in our community. Your unwavering support continues to nurture a brighter horizon that will create a transformative impact, now and for generations to come,” says Vice President of Philanthropy Jessica Rogers.

To make a gift in support of the Changemaker Collective, please visit

About Children First:

Founded in 1961 and ranked in the top 1% out of over 1,800 Head Starts nationwide, Children First strengthens children and families by improving the quality of their lives through a comprehensive approach to development, education, health, and well-being. At 15 sites throughout Sarasota County, Children First offers full-day preschool, infant and toddler care, and nutrition and health care assistance to children ages birth to five years old from low-income families. Through Children First, the children receive the social and cognitive skills needed to enter kindergarten and elementary school on track. For more information, call (941) 953-3877 or go to


Additional Info

Media Contact : Evan Ackerman

Powered By GrowthZone