A Message From Our Executive Director

What are you willing to take a stand for? This is a question that was posed to me last month and a question I have been pondering ever since. For me, the answer is broad. Yes, I have chosen to take a stand for girls at risk in our community. But it goes beyond that. At the heart of what I am willing to take a stand for is my community. I love this community. I love the spirit of generosity and the cooperation I feel in working in the nonprofit community, especially. I love the quirks and flaws that make us unique. I love that when I think about a problem I want to solve or a question I need answered, I know exactly who I can reach out to. I love that I can connect our girls to resources, people, ideas, and experiences with one phone call. I love the creativity I see in business and social collaborations. I have chosen to channel that love of community into the girls we serve, by creating a microcosm that serves our girls but also serves everyone who touches this organization. We build and foster relationships that build community.

I believe Nevada County is stronger today than it was twenty years ago and I believe The Friendship Club has played a role in that. We have our donors and volunteers and teachers and counselors, our citizens and our girls to thank for that. I was proud to host the Power of the Purse earlier this month because it gave me a chance to educate nearly 350 people about the work we do and we gained financial support from new and returning donors. But what made me the proudest was to see my new and young professional staff (and graduates of The Friendship Club) share that they have come back to serve The Friendship Club to say thank you to their community. It is a community that has time and again taken a stand for them, gone to bat for them, invested in them, loved and encouraged them. They are here to give back. I can’t think of anything more important to take a stand for.

In Friendship,

Jenn

Expanding Horizons

For many of the girls in our program, college seems like something out of reach.

“I never imagined I could even go to college until we did our first college trip and having the support of The Friendship Club and seeing the campuses, is what gave me the drive to want to go to college in the first place.” – TFC Alumnus and Sierra College Student

 Our goal is for every girl to have a solid college or career plan upon high school graduation. While we start introducing girls in our program to college campuses in their 6th grade year with a visit to the Sierra College Nevada County Campus, our ongoing dialogue with the girls is about options and being open to possibilities. With this in mind, the college trips have become more individualized as the girls get older and they discover their preferences for the campus environment and fields of study. We also work with the seniors each week to navigate the college applications, help with writing their personal statements, and applying for financial aid.

“The college trips that we did with the Club helped me choose Le Cordon Bleu culinary school. Denise and the rest of the staff helped me fill out the application, fill out the FAFSA, and apply for scholarships. One of the scholarships I applied for was a cooking competition with 10 other high school graduates. Denise then went above and beyond and taught me how to cook a 5- course meal that won me a $10,000 scholarship!” – TFC Alumnus and Le Cordon Bleu Graduate.

 The growth of our program staff has had many benefits for the girls- one of them being the expansion of our college knowledge program. We are now able to offer monthly one-day college trips and overnight college trips during Spring Break and Fall Break. This means that our girls could potentially visit up to 10 community colleges and four-year university campuses per school year.  “The college knowledge program allowed me to see all of the possibilities for my future! The program gave me my motivation to attend college after high school. The program showed me a very real and sensible experience for what should be expected from college. I found my future through The Friendship Club!” – TFC Alumnus and Sonoma State Student

Event Volunteers are Invaluable- By Cindy Hintz

How many volunteers does it take to produce one Friendship Club fund development event? Believe it or not, often times it takes between 40-50 volunteers! Multiply that by five, our total number of major events during the course of the year, and we’re talking well over 200 volunteer opportunities!

“What kind of work would I be doing if I helped at a Friendship Club event,” you may ask?

Our volunteers help us with pre-event tasks such as: preparing rolls of raffle tickets, making centerpieces, collating program materials, addressing invitation envelopes, pick-ups, and napkin folding. So, as you can see our volunteers help us out with a lot of different tasks!

The day of the event is managed by a detailed schedule and list of tasks. As a Friendship Club volunteer, you’re free to choose the task of your liking, during the hours that fit your busy schedule. As the Volunteer Manager, I am onsite during the event to help direct volunteers, ensure everything is running smoothly and that volunteers are enjoying their time. Recently, Lisa Macrina told us “Friendly, focused, talented, cohesive, supportive and fun are just a few words to describe the entire staff at The Friendship Club. I have had the pleasure of being welcomed and supported by this amazing group of women and I have grown as a person through my volunteerism at The Friendship Club.”

Recently, we held our annual Power of the Purse Luncheon at the Grass Valley Veterans Building. This fantastic luncheon and purse raffle was attended by nearly 350 guests, who were left touched by the stories of the Friendship Club girls, alumni and staff.

Please visit our website event page for a preview of events to come in 2017. Contact our Volunteer Manager, Cindy Hintz, if you would like to learn more about volunteering for us at The Friendship Club!

Beards of a Cause: The Last Push

The last few months at The Friendship Club has been really fun and busy with lots of fundraising! A few months ago, the Nevada City Police Department approached us for a fundraising opportunity, and of course we jumped on board! The “Beards for a Cause,” has totally surpassed our expectations, as the NCPD have blown passed their $2,000 goal and continue to push further! The Friendship club is honored that NCPD chose us and believe in our mission to engage, educate and empower girls at risk in Nevada County.

Since we are nearing the end of the month and the Beards for a Cause fundraiser, if anyone wants to donate towards this fundraiser you can click here and can either choose the whole team or one officer you want to support!

Currently, the top fundraiser for Beards for a Cause is Bryan Travis at the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office Regional Dispatch, who joined later in the game, but has almost raised double the goal amount set for each officer! We are so proud of each officer raising funds for us, and we hope to continue working with them in the future!

A Message From Our Executive Director

The Friendship Club is successful for many reasons; we have an amazing, dedicated and professional staff. We have enthusiastic and caring volunteers. We have a compassionate and collaborative board of directors and we have donors who believe that investing in the lives of our girls is an important part of creating a healthy community. We also have girls who are committed to fostering a bright future for themselves by making healthy choices and giving back to their community.

I would like to thank the business community for their support over the years. Community focused businesses that sponsor The Friendship Club, care about investing in the health and welfare of our children. Their contributions fund the day-to-day programs, keeping girls safe and nurtured in a loving and supportive environment, influenced by positive, life enhancing experiences.

Local businesses are key to the development of Friendship Club girls as future employees. Our girls, for the most part, stay in our community after high school graduation, attend Sierra College and work in the area. Some have left to attend college and are planning to return. We prepare our girls for this track by helping them hone their interview skills, build resumes, achieve financial literacy and ensure they have the opportunity to set short and long-term education and career goals. As our girls are welcomed by local businesses to participate in community service, they are learning to give back and be responsible and productive members of our community.

Thank you to the businesses that believe in the power of community and have invested in The Friendship Club. If you are not yet a business donor, please consider joining us as a business partner and contributing to the program’s excellence that fosters health and growth for some of our community’s most vulnerable young women.   Call today to set up a time to meet and have the opportunity to learn more about how YOU can make a difference for our girls 265-4311. Or please visit our web page for more information.

Utilizing Strengths for SMART Goals by Denise Tambasco

As the new year begins, we are taking the opportunity to reflect with the girls in the program on their achievements and memories from 2016, what they are looking forward to, and the goals they have set for 2017. Part of this process is teaching and reinforcing SMART goals- a practice of making goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. This method helps the girls identify goals that they have a greater chance of successfully achieving, because they are tangible and specific. Research shows that this technique helps individuals make more progress on their goals and also promotes a greater sense of satisfaction, and creates positive emotions.

SMART goals are an important aspect of the strength-based curriculum we are exploring with the high school girls. Through the Strengths Finder program, developed by Gallup, girls are identifying their talents and developing them into strengths, which improves engagement and interaction with their peer groups, school, adults, and other aspects of their lives. As part of this program, the girls discuss and develop their naturally recurring patterns of thought, feeling, or behavior which make up their talents. As the girls explore their natural skills and how they impact their behavior and relationships, they also gain tools to explore areas of interest, interact with peers and adults, and help set goals and plan for the future.

Power of the Purse Time by Cassie Davidson

The Power of the Purse is right around the corner and we are expecting a great turnout! This annual event serves as an introduction for people interested in learning more about our work with girls, the impact we make, and how they can get involved in supporting our mission.  This year, some amazing purses have been donated that will be raffled off at the event, and there will be an hour filled with heart-touching stories from the staff and girls in the program. Our goal is to inspire you during this event and hopefully you will want to volunteer, donate, or support our work with the girls in some way! We only have a limited number of seats left, but if you want to be a Table Captain or attend the event (men welcome also), you must contact us to reserve your spot: (530) 265-4311 or cindyh@friendshipclub.org! If you would like to donate a purse to the event that is also an option if you cannot attend the event, but we would love to see your wonderful faces at the event!

We are excited to see everyone at the event!  For more details about this event, click here.  If you’d like to preview the donated purses, visit our Facebook Page starting March 1st  where we will post pictures of each purse daily leading up to the event (and you can like us on FB if you haven’t already)!

See you soon!

Special Thanks to the Stein Family!

Every year, the Walton’s Grizzly Lodge offers wonderful resident summer camps for children from all over the state and beyond.  This camp has been owned and operated by the same family for four generations, starting in 1926 by Mom and Pop Walton. Due to the success of this camp over the years, the family decided to start the Walton’s Grizzly Lodge – Stein Family Foundation in 2009 to provide grants that support local nonprofits and the children they serve.  The Friendship Club is grateful to the Stein Family Foundation for their many years of support of The Friendship Club and our girls.  We received a $2,500 grant to support our academic year program in 2017 and we will put those dollars to work.  We couldn’t do our work without the support of caring donors like the Stein family!  Thank you!

 

 

 

A Message From Our Executive Director

Well, it’s been an interesting 2017 so far. I hope you are all staying dry in the rain and staying safe! We are excited to launch into a new year with our girls and are welcoming them back to their afterschool meetings this week. It’s always fun to check in with the girls and reconnect after spending time apart. They’ll be busy this week setting goals and thinking about the semester ahead!

We know many of our girls had a great Christmas because some very special people made sure of it. I would like to express my gratitude to the Newcomers Club of Nevada County, The PEO Auburn, and various individuals who adopted some of our girls and their families for Christmas. We are so grateful to partner with these groups because they bring joy to our girls and families by providing Christmas presents while we are able to maintain our core programs. We simply cannot provide the kind of support that these groups bring to the girls. When one of our moms came to pick up her family’s gift she was clearly overwhelmed by the generosity. She thought she was leaving with one bag and when she realized the whole pile was for her to take, she was overcome with emotion. We feel so good about being able to connect a family that works hard, attends meetings, sets goals for the future, and gives back to their community with our generous community.  Thank you to everyone involved in these organizations!

The staff and board have been busy planning and we are getting geared up for a very busy and exciting 2017. Our board and staff retreat, held on January 9th, gave us an opportunity to focus on our personal and team strengths, set goals for the next three years and re-energize our team!  We have a fabulous group of people poised to support and advocate for our girls and I feel so proud to lead this amazing team. We have accomplished much, but there is more work to do!

You’ll receive a save the date card later this month, highlighting our major events for the year!  Please consider joining us and bringing a friend to one or all of our events this year! First up will be power of the purse on March 22.  This event, in its 12th year is designed to engage, educate and empower our community to get involved with our program. Some guests sign up to be volunteers, some to donate, and all leave more educated about our work and hopefully to serve as ambassadors in our community. And a lucky number of women leave with a lovely new purse!  We are recruiting table captains now so please call if you would like to learn more; 265-4311 and ask for Cindy or Jenn.

Many thanks to our amazing community for your support and guidance as we move into our 22nd year serving our girls. Together we have built a strong and critical community resource and we are reaping the benefits of your investment. Let’s see what we can accomplish together next!

Celebrating National Mentoring Month

Lisa and Hannah

January is National Mentoring Month. The National Mentoring Partnership estimates that 1 in 3 young people will grow up without a mentor. That means 9 million at-risk youth will turn 19 without ever having had a mentor, leaving them less likely to reach important milestones like graduation from high school and college. Studies have shown that at-risk youth who have mentors are 55% more likely to enroll in college and 78% more likely to volunteer in their communities. How does this national story play out in our community?

Whether it is a staff member or a volunteer that takes on the mentor role, spending one-on-one time with a Friendship Club girl enhances and supports her experience at The Friendship Club. And while group meetings and outings are excellent for information sharing, team building and developmentally appropriate conversations, the one on one time is where those lessons can be taken a step further. With a mentor in their lives, girls have a chance to have deeper and individualized conversations about topics of interest or concern. It is important to understand that positive relationship development is at the heart of our work and that learning to develop, maintain, and navigate the challenges associated with personal relationships is critical to the girls developing into competent young women. Mentors provide that unique opportunity to safely learn relationship building.

A caring mentor is able to help a girl feel more confident, while acknowledging her worth as a valuable human being. Over the years, our staff has been witness to subtle but profound changes that are all possible in girls who work with them one-on-one or with a mentor. In support of the statistic cited above, after a girl has spent prolonged time with a mentor and in our comprehensive program, it is common to see a renewed effort and energy towards schoolwork. A girl may begin to focus on her life, exploring potential career goals. It is very common to see a girl’s sense of self-esteem increase. And when our girls feel good about themselves, life takes on a whole new meaning!

Recent mentors agreed to share their insights. Asked “What has mentoring taught you about yourself?”, Lisa responded: “I am learning to be a trusted person in a girl’s life and someone she can have fun with, while at the same time balancing being ‘the adult’ in the relationship and teaching her to make choices that are good for her and her development.”

The Friendship Club Mentor Program is a wonderful opportunity to make a difference. Our mentors are carefully prepared for the experience through an in-depth training. And we offer group support forums during the course of the mentorship, to help guide the relationship and offer on-going education opportunities.

Please contact Cindy Hintz, the Volunteer Manager at cindyh@friendshipclub.org to learn more about how you can honor National Mentoring Month by giving of your time, talent and energy to The Friendship Club!