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John J. Gorr Foundation of Manatee Community Foundation Awards $140,595 to Nonprofits Impacting Children

Grants Awarded

The John J. Gorr Foundation of Manatee Community Foundation recently awarded $140,595 in grants to support children in Manatee County.

The investments supported children in foster care, students impacted by trauma, child abuse prevention, parent education, and early childhood education.

Grant awards included:

  • $92,500 to the Sarasota YMCA’s Safe Children’s Coalition to fund more than two years of the coordinator position in Early Childhood Court, decreasing the time foster children remain in care;
  • $9,795 to Manatee County Substance Abuse Coalition (Drug Free Manatee) to establish a website for Handle With Care, a program notifying the school system when a student has experienced a traumatic incident, allowing schools to better understand the behavior of children;
  • $7,300 to the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee to provide Handle With Care/Trauma-Informed trainings for Pre-K childcare providers and support staff in K-12 schools;
  • $9,000 to Forty Carrots Family Center for Partners In Play classes at Manatee County Libraries, helping parents develop protective factors with their children;
  • $8,000 to Step Up Suncoast to provide books for young readers from low-income families;
  • $9,000 to Parenting Matters for an evidence-based, in-home parenting education program focused on child safety, parenting skills, social supports, and positive decision making; and
  • $5,000 to The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature for its new Mosaic Backyard Universe.

John Gorr was a child born of Polish immigrant parents. The family lived in poverty, and Gorr began working at the age of five shining shoes for pennies. In his professional career, Gorr was a hard-working engineer at FPL. He never married or had children, and after his death, he wanted his remaining estate to support organizations helping underprivileged children.

Alexandra St. Paul, Gorr’s estate planning attorney and friend, established the John J. Gorr Foundation of Manatee Community Foundation to carry out his philanthropic wishes with the expertise of a knowledgeable and trusted institution. “I know John would be delighted to be helping so many children in need,” said St. Paul.

Manatee Community Foundation partners with caring people who live in Manatee County and beyond to maximize the effectiveness, joy and tax benefits of their philanthropy. Learn more online at