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Better Together honors Sarasota community partners at Doing Good Reception

Better Together, a nonprofit dedicated to families and children, recently honored Sarasota community partners who have made a significant impact on the organization and its mission.

“Our Better Together team is so grateful for the donors, volunteers, partners and advocates who support us in fulfilling our mission of helping families overcome crisis,” said Megan Rose, CEO of Better Together. “These groups and individuals are the reason we are able to change lives and allow our community to flourish, and it was an honor to recognize many of them for their generosity and unwavering support this year.”

Better Together recognized honorees for their impact during the reception held April 10 at the Gold Coast Eagle Distributing in Sarasota. Honorees include:

  • Host Family of the Year was presented to Robert and Eleonora Cederoth for their tremendous impact on families in the Sarasota area. They have welcomed a teenager, a nonverbal child with autism and twin baby girls into their home.
  • Doug Campbell Generosity Award was presented to Grace Community Church for being the first church to partner with Better Together in the Sarasota area. The congregation continues to generously support the organization and mission, and on Giving Tuesday, Grace Community Church donated $25,000 to Better Together.
  • Community Partner of the Year was presented to Free to Grow Academy for its continuous partnership and for Pastors Rachel and Reno Flournoy’s help. The academy often partners with Better Together for Parents’ Night Out and other events. They have even partnered with Better Together to provide a daycare scholarship for two young children, which opened the door for a family to be able to host the boys and keep them out of foster care.  
  • Church Partner of the Year was presented to West Bradenton Baptist Church for its commitment to Better Together. Pastor Tim Stephenson and West Bradenton Church readily host events that help families find connection and relief, like the J316 Summer Soccer Camp and Parents’ Night Out events. For a holiday Parents’ Night Out, they planned an evening of crafts, Christmas carols and other fun activities for children.
  • Department of Children and Families Partner of the Year was presented to Artoria Cunningham for being a champion for families. She never gives up and will work morning to night to assure a family has a sustainable plan. Her passion for the whole family is evident in her work, and she strives to find creative solutions.
  • Mentor of the Year was presented to Lorraine Daidone for sharing her story of hardship, recovery and redemption to help bring hope to others. She has been a valued guest speaker at Better Luncheons and has come alongside families as a volunteer mentor.
  • Super Volunteer of the Year was presented to Amanda Reuter for going above and beyond in sharing the organization’s mission. She has introduced Better Together to several community partners and other churches. She even serves as our ministry lead at First Baptist Arcadia, the first church to partner with Better Together in Desoto County. She and her family also serve as an active volunteer host family for the organization.
  • Staff Appreciation Award was presented to Amancia Calderon for helping to plan events and keep Better Together supporters updated on the impact the organization is making in the community. Her family serves alongside her, too, helping with Parents’ Night Out, educational lunches, church presentations and even going door-to-door to reach families after Hurricane Ian.

Better Together helps parents who are going through a hard time to keep their kids out of foster care, find work and address the root causes of their struggle so that they can reunite as a family with the tools and support system to thrive. With the help of donors and hundreds of volunteers and church communities, Better Together builds lasting support systems that help families cope with hardships – such as job loss, substance abuse, homelessness and jail time – and ensures that children are cared for in a safe home until the family can be reunited. To date, the program has served over 9,000 children and kept 98% of families together, while helping 42,000 job seekers across 22 states find employment.

To learn more about Better Together and its mission, visit BetterTogetherUS.org.

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