Ben Franklin Supports TFC This Saturday!

This Saturday only, November 26th, stock up on your holiday decorations, craft materials, or other items at Ben Franklin Crafts and Frames while supporting The Friendship Club!  ben-franklin-fundraiser_nov2016

Volunteer Keeps on Giving


Friendship Club volunteer tutor and mentor, Lennie Malott, will be selling her beautiful handmade jewelry at the Holiday Craft Fair on December 8th and will donate 50% of the proceeds to The Friendship Club!  The Holiday Craft Fair will be in the lobby of the Nevada County Rood Center (950 Maidu Ave., Nevada City) from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Come on out for a fun day of shopping—there will be something for everyone, all hand-crafted by County employees and their families!

What:              Holiday Craft Fair

When:             December 8th from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Where:            Nevada County Rood Center Lobby, 950 Maidu Ave., Nevada City

A Message from Our Executive Director

jenniferOur academic year program is well under way and our new staff team is rocking it!  The first day of meetings I walked around to say hello and observe our new staff in action and I have to tell you, I just couldn’t be more proud of our team and was so pleased to see how our new plans have blossomed with our alums on staff.  I was especially moved to listen to Chelsy as she led the girls in our annual exercise, developing a list of agreements they need to observe in order to have a successful meeting and experience at the Club.  The girls generate this list themselves and each age cohort develop their own list. At the end they sign the document and it remains up the rest of the year as a reminder. For example, girls agree to be honest, stay focused, be respectful, avoid side conversations, help each other, be ready to learn, participate, share, be trustworthy, be kind, listen, be motivated, and work together!  Wow, I think those are all amazing goals and something we can all strive for. Chelsy led them through this exercise and then reminded them: these aren’t promises you make to the staff or to anyone else, these are promises you make to yourselves and we will help you work toward these goals if you are struggling with any of them! The Friendship Club empowers our girls to embrace the role they play in shaping their lives and that working hard, being conscientious and asking for help when they need it are the ways to take control of their lives. Our girls have been dealt a challenging hand but we work with them to see that they can overcome their circumstances by focusing on their strengths, setting goals and working toward their dreams. Thank you for helping us make this all possible for our amazing girls!

Partnerships for Success

calfresh-logoThe Friendship Club has a long history of partnering with other organizations in the community to better support the girls in our program and to extend our reach beyond what we can do alone.  Although this year is no exception, we have greatly expanded our services to not only the girls, but their families as well.  Thanks to our partnership with the Nevada County Health and Human Services Agency, we are now better prepared to assist our families in the process of receiving county services when they are struggling financially to meet their basic needs.  With the help of a County grant, we are now being reimbursed for our staff time educating and assisting our families with the application process to receive CalFresh and other vital services such as CalWorks, WIC, and MediCal.  CalFresh helps families pay for food at grocery stores and can also be used to purchase food at local Farmer’s Markets or to purchase seeds to start their own fresh gardens.  We are also involved in notifying families of affordable housing opportunities as there is a major shortage in our County, and people in need cannot apply unless the process is open.  This month will be the first time in two years that people can apply for the Housing Choice Voucher program which provides affordable housing on a first-come, first-served basis (if they meet eligibility requirements).  We have a staff person working with families to notify them of the opening and to help them apply at our office since they can only apply online and many of our families do not have computers or internet service. Over the years, we have seen that although many of our families are eligible for these programs and services, they aren’t receiving them due to a lack of knowledge that they are eligible and not knowing how to navigate the application process.  We are hoping that with the assistance of a trusted Friendship Club staff, they will start receiving this much-needed assistance for their families to help reduce financial stress and to thrive.

We are also providing more assistance to families in need of mental health services and stress management.  Again, Nevada County is a great resource and we have been working closely with the Public Health and Behavioral Health departments to better educate our girls on the signs of depression, suicide prevention, stress management and coping skills, and then referring to therapy when the need arises.  Along with our own curriculum and activities that we have developed over the years, partnering with County Public Health and Behavioral Health has only augmented our program impact area of Health and Wellness.  We are hopeful that continuing our partnerships will only strengthen our focus on prevention and helping our girls grow into healthy, happy, and well-adjusted adults!

Driving Miss Friendship Club


Can you recall the 1990 award winning film “Driving Miss Daisy”? A film of great love and patience, a story that unfolded over 25 years between Miss Daisy Werthan, a proud old Southern lady, and Hoke Colubrun, her chauffer. Two individuals from vastly different worlds who came to know and love one another during rides in a car…..

Friendship Club Drivers are volunteers who provide rides for Friendship Club girls from their school to The Friendship Club for after school meetings, field trips, and special occasions. Many of our girl’s families are unable or unwilling to provide transportation for them. In order for girls to attend our program, transportation is a critical component, and our volunteers fill the need for rides, along with staff members.

As you have followed The Friendship Club over the course of the last several years, a consistent trend is emerging: WE ARE GROWING! Take a look at the trend in weekly rides needed for girls to attend:

  • 2013 Academic Year: Average 14 rides per week
  • 2014 Academic Year: Average 20 rides per week
  • 2015 Academic Year: Average 23 rides per week
  • 2016 Academic Year: Average 31 rides per week

This 50%+ growth is attributed to several things. The number of schools in our county is increasing, and girls are attending a greater variety of schools, including home school programs. This year we introduced Homework Club, allowing girls to come after school to The Friendship Club two additional days a week to focus on their studies in a productive environment, where peer and adult support is available. Additionally, an average of 3-4 girls work with volunteer tutors in 1:1 weekly sessions held at The Friendship Club. Program meetings, homework club and tutor sessions cannot take place without the necessary transportation. As a volunteer driver, you will come to know Friendship Club girls and feel you are part of an effective organization making this community a better place to live.

We need your help. Please contact us to find out how you can “Drive Miss Friendship Club.”

Our Volunteer Manager, Cindy Hintz, is available to bring you on board this amazing team of volunteers.  Please contact her at OR (530) 265-4311.

5th Annual Spaghetti Dinner

spaghetti-dinner-flyer-2016The Leadership Council is composed of 12-15 girls in grades 7 through 12 who would like the opportunity to spend additional time with The Friendship Club, participate in community service above and beyond the activities in their weekly groups, and learn about leadership related topics. Involvement in the Leadership Council also provides a unique opportunity for girls to participate in a cross-age peer group while both strengthening their leadership skills and building a connection with their community. On average, girls that serve on Leadership Council complete about 40-60 hours of community service a year. As part of their learning, the girls in this group organize and execute a fundraiser for The Friendship Club. Now in its 5th year, the Spaghetti Dinner provides an opportunity for the girls to put their skills to practice: they produce the posters and advertisements, sell tickets, decorate, shop for the food, cook the meal, serve the dinner to the guests, solicit donations for the dessert auction, etc. This is truly a girl-organized and run event. We hope to see you there to support their hard work (and maybe bid on a dessert too)! Tickets are $7 in advance and can be purchased online or at our office.  You can also get tickets at the door for $10.  We hope to see you on Saturday, November 5 at the Grass Valley Veteran’s Hall Lower Dining Room, from 5pm to 8pm!

Shop and Support TFC at Judi’s!

Judi'sJudi’s of Nevada City will be hosting a special fundraising event for The Friendship Club on Saturday, October 15th, from 10am until 6pm. At this event, Judi’s will be offering a 5% discount on all regularly priced merchandise while donating a percentage of all sales to The Friendship Club. The doors will open at 10am and complimentary refreshments will be served throughout the day. Staff and board members from The Friendship Club will be on hand throughout the event.

Judi Weiner, the proprietor of Judi’s, has long supported the mission of TFC, and views her support as an investment in the future of our community. “I believe The Friendship Club does an outstanding job of empowering their girls and helping them to be the best they can be. Judi’s was born out of a desire to help women have confidence and feel good about themselves, so we are very aligned with TFC’s mission. Confident women of any age are beautiful!”

Judi’s carries a wide selection of beautifully designed contemporary clothing and accessories including Jag Jeans, French Dressing Jeans, Alembika, Nomadic Traders, Habitat, Cut Loose, Comfy, Latico and Maruca handbags- and a selection of jewelry and accessories created by international designers as well as local artisans.

The Friendship Club Fundraiser is a great way to enhance your wardrobe with Judi’s fabulous fashions, get started on your holiday shopping, and support a very worthwhile local cause – everyone wins!  We hope to see you there!

A Message from Our Executive Director

jenniferWow! What an amazing summer we just wrapped up. More activities than ever and all thanks to your support! I hope you enjoy reading about the school year we are eager to start soon!

With our academic year upon us, we are excited about the plans we have in place for the Fall and in order to make all our dreams come true, we need your continued support.  What better way to support the girls than by getting involved with The Friendship 100!  Our annual fundraiser is coming up on Monday, September 19 and we still have plenty of room for your support!  We are currently seeking sponsors as well as mini-golf teams to help round out our event.

As a unique community event, The Friendship 100 offers opportunities to promote your business and get in front of nearly 275 community members.  We will have a lovely dinner prepared by Antonio Ayestaran and the margaritas, beer and wine will be flowing at this ADULT ONLY event.

Please look out for your invitation and let us know how you would like to contribute to this critical fundraiser, ensuring the success of The Friendship Club in 2016! You can also follow this link now to learn more about getting involved or supporting our community drivers!

In Friendship,


Exciting Additions to the Academic Year Program

We just wrapped up a wonderful summer program and are looking forward to starting our academic year program with our recently expanded program team. Please help us welcome our three new Youth Development Assistants: Chelsy Warmerdam, Lexee Smith and Tiffany Scudero!

Chelsy and Tiffany are former Friendship Club girls and have been alumni since they graduated high school in 2010 and 2011, respectively.  Chelsy completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies with a minor in Child Development and also her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from CSU Chico.  Tiffany received her Associate’s Degree in Communication Studies at Sierra College and plans to get her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies.  Lexee is a Nevada County Native and just returned home after completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from CSU Chico.  She is currently working on her Single Subject Teaching Credential in Science.  Denise Tambasco, Program Director, will continue to oversee our academic year and summer programs and will work closely with the new staff to help our girls develop their strengths and achieve their potential.  Denise is excited to have this opportunity to mentor the new staff and to further support the two that are alumni!  Click here to read more about our new staff and to learn more about all our staff, if you’d like!

Due to the new staff additions, we are able to expand our program offerings for girls, while augmenting other programs we already offer. One of the things we have noticed over the years is the fact that many of our girls struggle to complete their homework at home.  Often they don’t have a quiet space to do their homework and/or they don’t have someone at home who is able to help them when they have questions.  This tends to be the number one reason why our girls fall behind in school We are excited to now offer a Homework Club twice a week where girls can come after school to focus on their homework and get support from staff.  This will allow girls to come to The Friendship Club for multiple days after school if they need support, rather than just on their meeting day.  The Homework Club will be in addition to the one-on-one tutoring we already provide to girls in various academic subject areas, according to their needs.

We will also be augmenting our College Knowledge Program by offering more college field trips throughout the year.  Our goal is to offer six short college visits between September and May, which are in the process of being planned.  This will be in addition to the longer college field trips we do over school breaks.

There are surely to be other program offerings added as we settle into our academic year program.  We will be sure to keep you posted!

Monthly Matters

As we look to the future, it’s time for The Friendship Club to focus on sustainability as we continue to grow with the needs of the amazing young women we serve. Monthly giving allows The Friendship Club to continue to educate & engage the generation of tomorrow, empower girls and young women to rise above circumstance, and sustain the programs critical to their success and the betterment of our community. These donations are critical to our long-term success because they provide steady, reliable income throughout the year. And that translates to smart economics.

2016 Spring Appeal and Graphic

We are so appreciative of the many people in our community who have committed to monthly giving and are hoping to meet our goal of 100 monthly donors in 2016.  We invite all of our current monthly donors, and anyone who is interested in learning more about becoming a monthly donor, to our Monthly Matters gathering on Thursday, September 8th from 5:30-7:00 here at The Friendship Club.  At this gathering, you will meet our new staff and alums and learn more about our new program directions for the fall.  Please RSVP to Jennifer Singer by September 5th: (530) 265-4311 and 

I want to become a monthly donor because I want to give back.  I want to invest my time and money into an organization that I believe in.  The Friendship Club truly works and changes the lives of the girls in our community.  I want to give to others what I have received.

– Jacquelyn Chavez, TFC Alumni and current Board Member