A Message from Our Executive Director

jenniferWow our 20th anniversary year is off with a BANG!  I hope you all had a chance to read our 20 Days of Friendship series and two-page spread on February 14th.  If not, you can link to them here. We are so grateful to those supporters who availed themselves to share more with our community about their perspectives and their love of The Friendship Club, and I hope you have had a chance to see some of them in our community and say thank you.  I was personally inspired every day to open the paper and read about our amazing girls, volunteers, and community supporters.  What a confirmation of our important work!

The request for donations in The Union coupled with our special appeal has been helping us raise important funds for our program.  As you may have read, a generous donor has offered to match up to $20,000 in community donations!  Many of you have already given to this effort and we are so grateful.  To date we have raised nearly $15,000 toward the match!  Please consider joining this effort if you haven’t yet. Click here to see the various ways you can donate.

We thank you, our close friends and family, for your continued support and for the love and compassion you show our girls by investing in their future.

In Friendship,

Jennifer Singer

Power of the Purse is Coming!

POWofPurseThe Power of the Purse is right around the corner and will be the biggest ever!!  We have a record-breaking event and have moved to The Miners Foundry this year to accommodate more guests.  This annual event serves as an introduction for new The Friendship Club friends.  We will raffle 20 amazing purses and share a one-hour program – we certainly hope people feel inspired to volunteer and/or donate!  We have a limited number of seats left but if YOU want to join us (men welcome too!!) please call us to reserve a spot!

Many thank to our purse donors this year; Blue Moon Apparel, Abstrakt, Dokimo’s Pharmacy, The Gray Goose, Judi’s of Nevada City, JJ Jackson’s, Yuba Blue, Mountain Recreation, Uptown Salon, Ranee’s Nails, Head to Heal Spa, Pine Street Porch, Dawn Lorraine Conscious Skincare, Wendy Thibeault, Future Generations, Piper’s Alley.  If you’d like to preview the donated purses, visit our Facebook Page to see pictures of them all (and like us on FB if you haven’t already)!

And thank you to our Underwriters and Sponsors; Andrea Baron, Antonio Ayestaran, Catering by Antonio, Cello Chocolates, Commonwealth Financial Network – Terry and Karen Brown, Country Copy, Juliet Erickson, FitCulture Studio, Foothill Flowers, Laurel Vieaux, Nanci Mason, Nevada City Film Festival – Jesse Locks and David Nicholson, Nevada City Winery.

College Knowledge in Action

ucsc-aerialThe upper high school group has been busy for the last few months. We took advantage of the beautiful weather and spent the Presidents Day weekend on a college trip to UC Santa Cruz and Cabrillo Community College. Both campuses are stunning, with ocean views and expansive facilities. The girls were excited with the possibility of living near the ocean and attending college. Of course, the weather could not have been better for us to enjoy the beach and the towns of Santa Cruz and Capitola. Monday morning we ended our visit with a workout along West Cliff…we ran, power walked, and stopped for pushups and lunges. Whew! On our way back, we stopped to watch the surfers and to enjoy the beautiful sunshine and the fresh air.

Cooking Dinner Together

Quarterly Dinner Group Shot
The girls and their families enjoying the meal they cooked

As part of our efforts to expose girls to new things, teach them about nutrition and healthy eating, and to teach them valuable cooking skills, the high school girls have been cooking monthly dinners together with their Program Director, Kristin Aguilar. Last month, the girls made red and green enchiladas, salad, two kinds of salsa and rice. They each invited a family member to join them, which we do at the Club every quarter. Kristin had a few parents tell her afterward how much they enjoyed being there, meeting the other families, and eating a meal prepared by the girls. Everyone was able to bring home leftovers, and we are looking forward to doing it again this week!  This time, the girls are making Japanese food…miso soup, vegetable sushi, salad and mochi. The group tries a new type of cuisine each time they cook together, and Kristin always likes to introduce a new skill or kitchen technique. It is always fun to challenge the girls to try new flavors and taste combinations!

Teaching Public Speaking Skills

Jerri Glover with Toastmasters

The 8th grade girls have been working with Toastmaster, Jerri Glover, to hone their presentation and public speaking skills in preparation for their 8th grade speeches (a graduation requirement at many of the schools). Jerri, who serves as the District 39 Community Outreach coordinator and has achieved the level of Advanced Communicator Bronze, has been a part of the Nevada County Toastmasters for a few years and is a long time volunteer at The Friendship Club. Toastmasters aims to help people gain confidence while speaking in front of a group and leadership skills. We are happy to report that of the girls who have given their speeches, all received an “A” or “B” on them.  It is our hope that this puts them on the path of feeling comfortable and confident giving presentations and speeches at school, with The Friendship Club and out in the community—a skill that will serve them well for years to come!

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!