Carrie Seidman reflects on a year of personal stories and community support for FACEing Mental Illness.
Dozens of local residents volunteered to help with the workshops and a series of educational events, including panel discussions and an out-of-town guest speaker. Local businesses donated services and goods and the Sarasota library and school systems contributed venues, publicity and equipment. More than $20,000 was raised in a nonprofit fund arranged by the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, thanks to a generous lead gift from the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation and many donations from Herald-Tribune readers. So far, more than 20,000 people have viewed the self-portraits, which have been displayed at three venues, spreading a message of openness and acceptance.