April 2024

View From The Bridge
"Neighbors helping neighbors in need by bridging the gaps that exist in our local support systems."

Making a Difference

Higher housing costs remain a constant concern for renters who teeter between finding a more affordable place to live and homelessness. Hurricane Ian reduced the supply, then rising repair and insurance costs drove prices out of reach for our most vulnerable neighbors.

The Lee County School District reports that they have identified over 1200 homeless families. A large portion of these families call their car “home,” with basic hygiene, food supplies, safety, and personal dignity a constant challenge.

Even those who have managed to absorb the increased rents may be forced to make difficult financial choices among auto repairs, medical needs, utility payments, or even food.

Thanks to you...

Time after time, The Bridge Fund comes through with one-time help for emergency and critical needs.

Saving a Job, a Home, a Family

Paula, the mother of 4 young children, had been trying to make ends meet since her husband passed away last fall. With only one set of hands and half their previous income, Paula struggled in her role as sole caretaker and provider, but her full-time job covered the basics.
Then the family car broke down. Alone, this single mom faced an impossible choice—pay for the car repair and continue to work but risk eviction; or pay the rent but lose her car and possibly her job. Paula didn’t know where to turn, but the social worker counseling the children did. She reached out to The Bridge Fund (TBF) for help and we said “yes.”
Paula used her funds to take care of the car bill, while TBF paid the rent —on time—the next day.
Thanks to you...

Three months later, the family is in the same home, Paula has gotten a promotion, and the car is running well. 
A Successful 2024 Fun Run!
Once again, hundreds of Pelican Landing residents took to the road to promote wellness and support TBF by participating in the 5th Annual Pelican Landing Fun Run & Walk on Saturday, March 9th, under the direction of founder Steve Gunther.

Participants and friends gathered Friday night for a pre-event pasta dinner, and followed their walk/run with a chance to outbid their competitors on auction items donated by residents and businesses. Over $22,000 was raised for TBF this year, bringing the total raised since 2019 to over $105,000!
Steve organizes this event in honor of his friend Jim Stiger. This year, the Stiger Award for the highest total funds raised was presented to two anonymous donors. Congratulations and thank you for your generosity! 

Our sincere appreciation goes to Wizard Steve and all the volunteers and the sponsors that make this event something to look forward to every year.

When the need is there...

  • "Thank you so much for helping my 8-year-old son and I with rent and utility payment during a time when we so desperately needed a break. There are not enough words to express our thankfulness. Continue to do what you do. It's making a difference, tremendously."

  • We are so very grateful for your help when things seemed darkest. We are going to be fine, and will never forget what you did for us. Thank you!”

  • "Carmen was overjoyed and delighted by The Bridge Fund's generosity and, of course, appreciative of the help. She will be able to receive two treatments she needs so her blood cell count doesn't drop too low following chemotherapy. Thank you!!"
Partner Profile - Florida Lions Eye Clinic
Some years ago, a few retired ophthalmologists joined forces with Southwest Florida Lions Club members to explore how to provide free eye care to low income, uninsured residents. The result was the 2008 establishment of the non-profit Florida Lions Eye Clinic (FLEC) in Bonita Springs, working with a number of local medical professionals who volunteer or reduce their fees.

TBF partnered with FLEC in 2018, and since that time has financially assisted more than 130 uninsured individuals who have received cataract and other eye surgeries, greatly enhancing their quality of life.

Many FLEC clients work outdoors, putting them at risk of eye damage from UV rays. Even children who play outside need protection. FLEC provides donated sunglasses to qualifying clients, but when that supply doesn't meet the need, TBF assists with low-cost, bulk sunglasses.

TBF is pleased to partner with FLEC to provide these critical services to our neighbors in need!
"I am grateful that organizations like The Bridge Fund exist. TBF covers part of the total pricing of much needed cataract surgery for our patients. Once their surgeries are completed, these patients are able to return to work, care for their families and become independent. Thank you all who contribute to The Bridge Fund!”
-Florida Lions Eye Clinic, Bonita Springs

The Bridge Fund

A Pelican Landing/Colony-based 501(c)(3) charity
assisting neighbors in need

Board Members: Mike Beebe, President; Jim Herald, Vice President; Beverly Haas, Vice President; Ann Soper, Secretary and Treasurer, Ron Bloom, Caroline Crew, Aileen Kevane, Sandy Mellinger, Bob Taylor, and Jay Trucks

Your copy should address 3 key questions: Who am I writing for? (Audience) Why should they care? (Benefit) What do I want them to do here? (Call-to-Action)

Create a great offer by adding words like "free" "personalized" "complimentary" or "customized." A sense of urgency often helps readers take an action, so think about inserting phrases like "for a limited time only" or "only 7 remaining!"