Women United®, Launched In South Sarasota County

“From C.A.R.E.S. to CARING”

United Way South Sarasota County now has one of the newest Women United affinity groups, having launched this past April. Women United is a local-impact focused fundraising group of women which spans the globe at 70,000 in number worldwide and growing.  

“We are so pleased and proud to kick off 2021 with a powerhouse fundraising group like Women United,” says Barbara Cruz, President & CEO of United Way South Sarasota County. “This fundraising affinity group is comprised of dynamic women who will be a driving force for systemic change that will help provide relief and assistance for those in our community that are struggling.

Mel Thomas has stepped forward to be Women United's chair, and comes to United Way South Sarasota County with experience from a variety of groups and organizations with which she has been involved in the past. She currently holds a position with the city of North Port as their Economic Development Manager. Sandra Di Pentima, Women United's Vice-Chair, serves as a Fifth Third Bank Officer and Financial Center Manager. 

Women United identifies the true needs of the communities it serves. Its aim as an organization is to increase the power of collaborative giving to fund targeted impact initiatives and human services programs. The mission of Women United South Sarasota County is to mobilize the caring power of the collective communities of Venice, Englewood, North Port, Laurel, Nokomis and Osprey to fund local programs for current needs identified as most pressing in the areas of healthcare, education, and/or financial stability.

The current fundraising and impact focus of Women United 

The current focus in South Sarasota County for impact funding efforts is eviction prevention and mitigation of homelessness for our ”ALICE" population 
(ALICE is a United Way acronym that stands for Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed population; people who work but still struggle to cover basic living expenses) here in South Sarasota County. the local ALICE population has perhaps been hardest hit by the economic fallout from COVID-19 as many have incomes just high enough that they are precluded from receiving government assistance.

The June 30th, 2021, expiration date for the COVID-19 Eviction Ban is fluid, but uncertain.  Women United is galvanizing partnerships and funding to meet this imminent tidal wave of potential evicted families and individuals with robust assistance.

Individuals interesting in joining or supporting Women United may contact the program at  or visit for more information!  

157 Havana Road, Venice. 941.484.4811.

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