20 Years of Building Bright Futures for Girls

fc-logo.pngThe Friendship Club turns twenty years old this year and we are grateful for the support you have provided us in those twenty years.  In celebration of our anniversary we have some exciting things planned. To kick the year off, we hope that you will check out The Union today where Brian Hamilton outlines a special series that will spotlight The Friendship Club and the many people we have touched over the years.  Not only have we influenced the lives of several hundreds of girls, we have created a community of volunteers, board members, donors and staff that make up The Friendship Club family.

Fall Break 2013 043You and people like you have been the backbone of The Friendship Club for twenty years.  Many of you remember when we started the organization, you sat on our first board of directors, you donated those first dollars to help get us started, you believed in us when were just an idea, and we hope we have made you proud in the last twenty years.  In my experience and after knowing many of you for many years, I see that people and businesses that support The Friendship Club seem to have one common denominator: you believe in helping one girl at a time and you know that making an investment in young lives now will pay off tenfold in the future.

While we have some long-time friends, we have also made many new friends along the way.  Through our events, our volunteer opportunities, and our community service we have touched the lives of many people in our community who have jumped on board to support our girls. I say “many” and not “plenty” of new friends deliberately because we will continue to seek support from new and old friends alike as we contemplate quality of our programs, depth of our service, and growth of our organization. We will need more support in the coming years and that support will translate into even more success, more lives transformed, more opportunities for our community to help girls at risk realize a bright and productive future.  The need for our program has not dissipated over the years, but has in fact grown, as families struggle with difficult economic realities, drug and alcohol addiction, and mental health challenges.  The Friendship Club has refined and strengthened our program in the last few years and we are ready for the challenges that lie ahead.

2014 Grads_Group ShotOur graduates live in and out of our community, they are going to school, they own businesses and homes, they are raising families, and they are paying taxes. They are thinking about how they can Pay It Forward and give back to a community that has been generous to them.  They are happy.  They are healthy.  They are our future. They are realizing their dreams because of you.  Thank you.

Please look out for more information soon about our upcoming events, updated website and video links……its going to be a fantastic 2015!!

Giving Tuesday: A great way to show your support of our girls!

givingtuesday2014Today is Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving, and we hope that you will join with other donors TODAY to make a difference for The Friendship Club girls!

Your generous investment in The Friendship Club is paying off!  While girls in The Friendship Club face a host of challenges, with your continued support we are giving them what they need for a brighter future.

Did you know that 70% of our girls live in poverty, that 64% have alcohol or drug abuse in their family, and that 36% have a parent that has been or is currently incarcerated, and have been exposed to domestic violence?

Because of you over 90% of girls report we help them do better in school and make new friends, over 95% say we give them a safe place to be, and 90% say they understand what a healthy relationship looks like.

You help us change lives.  Often the changes we see in a girl are subtle, while the changes within her are profound.  She holds her head a little bit higher when she enters a room or she improves a grade.  She decides to go out for a sport or join a club at school. She will be the first in her family to go to college, she will raise her family in a drug free environment, and she will give back to her community.

Come 2015, The Friendship Club will have been empowering local girls for 20 years! In anticipation of this important anniversary and to give an extra boost to our next 20 years, please send a special, tax-deductible year-end gift to The Friendship Club. 

When you consider the size of your gift, please think about the real and important impact we are having on girls in Nevada County. As healthier young women, they are making better choices for themselves, influencing their friends and families, and contributing to our community in positive ways.

Click here to make your donation.  You will have the option to donate online or in other ways, and can make a one-time gift or turn your gift into a monthly donation.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at (530) 265-4311 or jennifers@friendshipclub.org.

Thank you for being a part of our family of donors, for believing in our young girls, and for sowing the seeds for our girls’ future.

In friendship,

Jennifer Singer, Executive Director

Juliet Erickson, President, Board of Directors

 

A Message from our Executive Director

JennAs Thanksgiving approaches I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the support of our community.  Because of support from donors like you, The Friendship Club is humming and our girls are thriving. Two years of infrastructure investment, program evaluation and refinement, and staff development have given new life to all of our programs and services. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our professional, dedicated staff for their commitment to their work.  They take their jobs very seriously and are a lifeline to our girls.  Not only are they willing to put in the difficult and sometimes emotional work, they are there as cheerleaders and confidants to our girls, whenever they are needed.  They love our girls and you can see that every time they interact with them. Whether it is an afterschool meeting, a special Thanksgiving dinner, a field trip, or an unexpected chat in the hallway, the staff intuitively knows when a girl needs her support, even if the girl doesn’t know how to ask for it.  The entire team goes to bat for our girls, advocates for them, encourages them, and empowers them to be the best they can be.  They put in long hours, think about their girls all the time, and are always finding ways to include and inspire each girl. As Executive Director I don’t have the opportunity to spend time with the girls the way I used to but I trust completely this amazing staff of women to be what the girls need.  Many thanks and my admiration to Dena, Denise, Kristin, Cindy, and Jessica, Trish and Mary for a job well done!

Thanksgiving Celebration

Thanksgiving DinnerEach year, we have a special Thanksgiving Dinner for our girls.  This is the event that our girls look forward to the most every year.  They get a chance to dress up, be all together and not just with their age-group peers, and they get an incredible home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner, prepared with love by our giving team of volunteers.  The highlight is when the older girls, namely the seniors, get up in front of 100+ people to share what they are grateful for, why The Friendship Club is important to them, and to encourage the younger girls to keep coming, no matter what, so they can gain the experiences and support to grow into confident young women like they have.

We would like to give special thanks to Grass Valley Gold Country Lions Club and the ladies from the Grass Valley United Methodist Church for their sponsorship and support.  We would also like to thank the incredible team of volunteers that it takes to pull this special event off for our girls: Janeille Litton, Kay Baker, Gloria Apple, Diane Stanbury, Nancy Jeffery, Rita Hartman, Shirley Souza, Maya Knowles, Joanne Mason, Wendy Reddish, Lauren Stowe, Barbara Morrison, Rick and Betty Bethel, Sandy Philpott, Rob Avery, Lance Amaral, Wendy Thibeault, MaryJane Huenergardt, Ryan Meacher, Craig McGovern, Susie and Dave Bavo, Ed and Barbara Thomas, Marty and Kathleen Lombardi, and Patty Park.  Finally, thank you to our dedicated Volunteer Manager, Cindy Hintz, for rolling up her sleeves to pitch in and work with this team of volunteers all day long!

Multi-Vendor Sale to Benefit The Friendship Club

Holiday Event Flier JPEGWhy not get all of your holiday shopping done in one fell swoop while supporting The Friendship Club!  On Friday, December 5th we are honored to be the beneficiaries of this awesome multi-vendor event.  Prospector’s Nursery, Miss Mae’s Market, LulaRoe Clothing, and doTerra Essential Oils will all be under one roof and will all donate 15% of sales to The Friendship Club!  Stella and Dot representative, Michelle Litton Ogaidi, will be donating 20% of all sales to The Friendship Club…and if you can’t be there, you can shop through her page online on December 5th and she will also donate 20% of those online sales!  There will be light appetizers, desserts and wine for your enjoyment.  Please come on out for a night of shopping fun and friendship!

‘Tis the Giving Season!

givingtuesday2014December 2nd is Giving Tuesday, a global movement of getting the masses to show their thanks and give support to the causes they are passionate about on a single day.  You can support The Friendship Club this Giving Tuesday, or all year through in many ways…from making an annual donation, to making a recurring monthly donation online, to donating a vehicle, to doing what you love and supporting us in the process!

SPD eScrip Program

Shop at SPD and they will donate 3% of the sales from your grocery bill to your nonprofit or school of choice!  This is at no extra cost to you.  In order to sign up and select The Friendship Club, fill out the eScrip form online by clicking here or fill out a form at the store.  It only takes 2 minutes to complete the process and you will be set up to support The Friendship Club every time you shop!

AmazonSmile Program

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support The Friendship Club every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion (0.5%) of the purchase price to us!

To sign up, click here, then click on the “get started” button to enroll.  If you already have an Amazon account, you will login using the same information, then you will get to select The Friendship Club as the beneficiary of this program.  If you do not have an Amazon account, you can create one by following the same steps.  Then once you select us as your nonprofit of choice, all you have to do is go to smile.amazon.com and login in just as you would to your Amazon account and start shopping!

CARS Vehicle Donation Program

The Friendship Club is partnering with CARS, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that supports more than 1500 non-profits with vehicle donations. Through this program, you can now donate your car, truck, van, SUV, boat, motorcycle, ATV, RV, trailer or airplane and have the proceeds support TFC!

To donate your vehicle to The Friendship Club, simply visit our information page here and follow the instructions or call CARS at (855) 500-7433.  Their well-trained staff are available 7 days a week to answer questions and help you with the vehicle donation process.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about donating in any of these ways to The Friendship Club: (530) 265-4311 or jennifers@friendshipclub.org.

A Message from our Executive Director

JennHappy fall!  The weather is changing, the leaves are turning, and we are busy, busy at The Friendship Club.  The girls are back in full swing at school, the senior girls are beginning to hone their plans for after graduation, and the staff at The Friendship Club have been busy planning amazing field trips and activities and guest speakers for our after school program.  For three weeks we will host Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalition (DVSAC) speakers Nancy Zeisler and Kristin Darling. The ladies will be speaking to all of our girls about healthy relationships, danger signs to watch for in relationships with friends and boyfriends, and healthy self-expression.  This is all part of a yearlong partnership with DVSAC, funded, in part by Dignity Health.  When surveyed, over 90% of girls report feeling they have a safe place to be at The Friendship Club as well as nearly 95% who say they know what a healthy relationship looks like. We want to continue those trends and make sure every girl at the club receives this critical education annually. Considering well over 30% of our girls have been witness to or victims of domestic violence, we know how important it is to continually educate them with a goal of breaking this devastating cycle. In addition to this education, the Dignity Health Grant helped sponsor an educational video designed to educate schools, mental health providers, and other nonprofits about what girls are an appropriate match for The Friendship Club and to continually let them know we are here as a resource for girls at risk.  We hope you can take a few moments to watch as well by clicking this link. Understanding the preventative nature of The Friendship Club is crucial to making an appropriate referral and gives the girls the best chance at success.

The Friendship 100 Breaks Records!

Drivers Group ShotThe results are in and this year’s Friendship 100 grossed over $76,000!  That means over $65,000 goes directly to our after school programs!  With a goal of $70,000 we were proud to exceed that goal and we were only successful because of individuals and business owners just like you.  The average donation to the event was $75, illustrating that it takes many community members making relatively small contributions that add up!  While we are happy with our event, we know that you understand that this represents only a portion of our annual budget.  With little government funding for programs like ours, we rely strictly on the generosity of our community and small private grants. The Friendship Club was formed and continues to operate because our community has embraced the idea that we can affect important change in the individual lives of girls at risk. The girls, in turn give back to the community, make healthy choices about their lives and positively influence their peers and families.  This theme is echoed in the recruitment video (link above) when Dan Zeisler speaks to the positive way girls in the Club contribute to their school communities. Thank you for your support of The Friendship 100 and for your continued support of our girls! Hope to see you next year at the park!

Judi’s of Nevada City Hosts TFC Shopping Day – November 8th

Judi'sOn Saturday, November 8th, Judi and Bob Weiner, owners of Judi’s of Nevada City have graciously offered to, once again, host a shopping day benefitting The Friendship Club.  We are grateful for this annual opportunity.  Not only will Judi donate a portion of proceeds to The Friendship Club, she will also offer a 5% discount to shoppers that day! Friendship Club volunteers will be on hand to represent the Club and answer any questions about their experiences with volunteering.  We hope you will come out to support Judi and The Friendship Club. Judi’s sells contemporary women’s wear in an elegant boutique in downtown Nevada City.  Judi’s offers clothing and accessories selected with an eye towards quality, style, individuality and ease of care. They have a wonderful selection of beautifully designed sweaters, pants, dresses, knit tops, handbags, belts, scarves and jewelry.  Their clothing and accessories are selected as a collection, so it is easy for them to help you put together a complete outfit. They carry a number of nationally and internationally known lines, and they also sell items that are handcrafted by local artisans. Judi’s is located at 246 Commercial Street in Nevada City.

Fall Break Fun!

October Break 2014 079For one week in October, local schools close down for Fall Break and we use it as an opportunity to take the girls on field trips to explore new things and enjoy the season.  Our girls visited the Bishop Pumpkin Patch, and got to drink freshly made apple cider, pet farm animals in the petting zoo, and go on a hayride out to the pumpkin patch where they picked out a pumpkin to take home. Another field trip was to the Folsom Zoo, which is a sanctuary for injured and rescued animals.  The girls were able to see animals that live around us, but that we don’t often get to see, such as mountain lions, coyotes, and bears. Since the weather was cooler on the day they visited, almost all the animals were out (except the skunks), which the zoo docent said was unusual.  

IMG_1287IMG_1294 2The upper high school girls went on a trip to Arcata to visit California State University, Humboldt.  They got to tour the campus and learn all about the wonderful programs and activities they offer students who attend.  The also got to explore the area a little bit, and for all the girls, it was the first time they got to see the northernmost coast of California. High School Program Director, Kristin Aguilar, spoke about how all the girls collectively gasped the moment they drove into Trinidad and saw the incredible ocean views ahead. With trips like this, we are helping our girls envision themselves in college, living in places filled with opportunities outside of those found at home…critical steps to planning for their life beyond high school.