A Message From Our Executive Director

The Friendship 100 is right around the corner and it NOT too late to show your support! Our race car drivers are out and about raising their donations and we hope you will support them. We are also welcoming mini-golf teams at the 6:30 golf Tournament – $500 per foursome makes an incredible difference to our girls. Thanks to our Major Sponsor, Intero Real Estate, and our other underwriters and sponsors, every donation you make will go straight to our academic year program that starts up next week!  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.  Our annual fundraiser is coming up on Monday, September 17!  We even have room for a few more drivers. Call today to learn more 265-4311.

This year we are grateful that we have a few donors who have stepped up to create a match opportunity so every dollar you give will be doubled up to $15,000! Please help us reach our goal to raise $100,000 this year – because we are supported entirely by our community, every dollar matters and all donations, no matter the level, will be matched!

As a unique community event, The Friendship 100 offers opportunities to promote your business and get in front of nearly 300 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 let us know how you would like to contribute to this critical fundraiser, ensuring the success of The Friendship Club in 2018 and beyond! You can also follow this link now to learn more about getting involved or click here to support our community drivers and golfers!

Summer Fun at TFC!

While schools and many youth serving programs close for the summer, The Friendship Club winds up for our busiest time of the year. The 8 weeks that make up the summer enrichment program are jam-packed with activities and adventures aimed towards building skills, finding passions, and expanding horizons for the 93 girls that are currently in the Club. From mid-June through the first week in August, the program ran five week-long summer camps, six multi-day special interest clinics (sewing, softball, aerial lab, line dancing, photography, and ceramics), five one day workshops and special events, and participated in six community service projects. Additionally, girls had an opportunity to participate in five Book Friend events- a series of Fridays celebrating reading and literacy in partnership with The BookSeller in Grass Valley. Over the course of the summer, girls in various groups explored gold panning and river rafting, saw the ocean for the first time during their trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, traveled into San Francisco for the first time during a visit to the Academy of Sciences, went camping for the first time, and challenged themselves on a high ropes course. Girls were able to connect with each other, create new friendships, learn about themselves, and build lasting memories.

Aerial Lab Clinic

Join Our Friendship Club Volunteer Driver Team!

As the Community Engagement Manager, I am often asked “What is the greatest volunteer need at The Friendship Club?” Hands down the answer remains: “DRIVERS!”

Friendship Club girls in Nevada County will attend an after school program meeting once a week held at our facility located at 200 Litton Drive, Grass Valley, beginning the week of September 10th. Girls will be traveling from one of twenty-one different schools in Nevada County. All total, rides are needed for nearly 70 girls every week.

At mid-afternoon on any given Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, our driver volunteers leave their home or work, drive to their designated school, pick up any where from 1 to 8 TFC girls, drive them to Litton Drive, and escort the girls safely upstairs to our facility. The total time commitment averages 15-20 minutes, a bit longer for those who travel to south county or Colfax.

It is important to note that families with girls enrolled in The Friendship Club simply do not have the means to transport their girls to after school meetings. We are truly blessed to have many driver volunteers who return year after year, and we are so grateful for their continued support! This school year we are looking to add 4-6 new drivers to our driver volunteer pool.

Without a ride, a girl will most certainly be unable to attend her meeting or other important after school activity. While this act seems so simple, each driver volunteer contribution of time ensures our program meetings have a potential for 100% girl attendance.

Please consider becoming a Friendship Club driver. You may contact the Community Engagement Manager, Cindy Hintz, at (530) 265-4311 or cindyh@friendshipclub.org to learn more about this critical volunteer role, and how you can come on board as a Friendship Club driver.

Community Rental Space at TFC

Please consider The Friendship Club to hold your next business meeting, office retreat or yoga class. We are conveniently located at 200 Litton Drive, Suite 308 in Grass Valley. (Just up the hill from Briar Patch).

Two freshly renovated activity rooms and a 12-person conference room are newly furnished, include use of an adjacent breakroom, and are available to rent.

Amenities include wi-fi, whiteboards, refrigerator/freezer space, filtered water, ice-maker, dishwasher, microwave, sink & garbage disposal, and coffee makers.

There is plenty of on-site parking and elevator access to the 3rd floor.

To learn more, or to book your next gathering, please contact Cindy Hintz, Community Engagement Manager at The Friendship Club: (530) 265-4311 or cindyh@friendshipclub.org.

A Message from our Executive Director

Now that the dust has settled and we are officially moved into our new location, we can get back to focusing on our #1 priority – our girls! There is nothing more special than our Graduation and Scholarship Dinner coming on May 10.  This is a chance for our girls to be recognized for their hard work and perseverance through challenging times. We will recognize five girls this year and while they’ve all been members of The Friendship Club for nearly seven years, their stories could not be more different. We pride ourselves on being here for girls as individuals as well as members of the Club. As each young woman grows and her interests and passions become clear, we are here to help provide connections and opportunities that help her set her direction for the future. This is all made possible, of course, by donors and volunteers who help make this the best place for young women to thrive and grow. Please consider attending our Graduation and Scholarship Dinner this year. This important event raises funds specifically for our Academic Year Program and Scholarship Fund. Scholarships are awarded to girls upon their graduation and are renewable for four years. Girls are encouraged and supported to apply to four-year, two-year and vocational opportunities as appropriate. Guests at the event have the pleasure of hearing first-hand from our girls about their experiences in The Friendship Club, their plans for the future, and how their support makes a difference.  If you are interested in attending, please call (530) 265-4311 for more information. This event requires an RSVP and will fill up fast!

New Location Means New Opportunities for Our Girls

Each of our locations over the years has offered an opportunity for growth and expansion of our after-school and summer enrichment programs. One of the aspects of our recent move that has us most excited (aside from the more spacious activity rooms) is access to a beautiful outdoor activity space. At our previous locations, finding a safe space to conduct outdoor activities could be challenging, which meant that we had limited possibilities. However, our current space makes available an area with a lawn and trees, as well as access to a softball field. Access to this space will help us to integrate more overall outdoor time. This is important because there is a growing body of research indicating that contact with nature and time spent in the outdoors can have beneficial health effects. Time spent in contact with nature has been associated with better psychological well-being, better decision making, better overall physical health, quicker recovery from illness, and an overall reduction of stress. We are looking forward to maximizing the potential of our new outdoor space and bringing our program to a new level of health and fun!

Join Us as a Friendship Club Volunteer!

A national study, called the ACE Study (for Adverse Childhood Experiences) was conducted by Kaiser and the U.S. Center for Disease Control with 17,000 adult participants1.  It found a significant relationship between childhood stress and trauma and adult chronic disease. Some of the ACE indicators include witness to domestic violence, being a victim of abuse or neglect, alcohol and other drug abuse in the home, parental separation/divorce, mental illness in the family, death of a parent, and parent incarceration.

The greater number of adverse experiences a child has, the more likely he or she is to engage in drug/alcohol abuse, suffer from depression, and/or develop chronic diseases like heart, lung, and liver disease. The study also showed that even if the adults with ACEs DID NOT engage in unhealthy behaviors, they were still more likely to suffer from chronic disease due to the effect childhood stress has on the developing brain. ACEs literally change the brain structure and puts children in a constant state of fight or flight stress response. Science also shows that the stress from ACEs impact the part of the brain that regulates impulse control, which contributes to unhealthy behaviors.

Here are some of the findings of this national study:

  • 67% of participants had at least 1 ACE
  • 5% or 1 in 8 participants had 4 or more ACEs
  • The higher the ACE score, the poorer the mental and physical health score. Those with higher ACE scores are 4.5 times more likely to have depression.

This is how our Friendship Club girls compare to these studies:

  • While 20% of the 17,000 participants nationwide in the ACE study had three or more adverse childhood experiences, 47% of the girls served by The Friendship Club have been traumatized by at least three adverse childhood experiences.
  • 83% of TFC girls have lost a parent through separation or divorce compared to 23% in ACE study (also worth noting, 1 in 4 TFC girls are being raised by someone other than a parent)
  • 81% of TFC girls have a history of alcohol and/or drug abuse in the family compared to 27% in ACE study
  • 41% of TFC girls have experienced physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse compared to 28% in ACE study
  • 36% of TFC girls have a parent that has been or currently is incarcerated compared to 5% in ACE study
  • 40% of TFC girls have been exposed to domestic violence in the home compared to 13% in ACE study

The most important things families and communities can do is provide supportive relationships to children with ACEs and teach them resilience skills such as stress management and healthy communication. The Friendship Club program provides this very support to our girls and paired with our long-term, comprehensive approach, we are able to provide girls the positive environment they need to thrive and grow into healthy young women. In addition to the exposure to positive life experiences and academic support, we excel in providing girls with supportive relationships between each other, our professional staff, mentors, other volunteers and community members.

By investing your volunteer time in this comprehensive and critical support program, you are helping us build resilience in our girls and helping us intervene in their lives while there is still time to mitigate the effects of ACEs. YOU are saving their lives.

Here are a few of the ways screened volunteers can help at The Friendship Club:

  • After School Driver: Give a girl a ride from her school to The Friendship Club for her meeting
  • Supper Crew: Cook nutritious suppers with guidance from our Meal Program Coordinator
  • Mentor: Work 1:1 with a Friendship Club girl, training and support provided by our Community Engagement Manager

 Please contact Cindy Hintz, Community Engagement Manager, at cindyh@friendshipclub.org or call (530) 265-4311.

 1 American Journal of Preventive Medicine in 1998, Volume 14, pages 245

 

Make Your Support of The Friendship Club Sparkle!

Join Stucki Jewelers for this fun celebration April 12-14 and make sure to select The Friendship Club as the organization you want to support if you make a diamond purchase!

A Message from our Executive Director

We have some exciting news for you. We are growing and we are moving to a NEW location! Although our move is due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control and change is never easy, “every success story is a tale of constant adaptation, revision, and change” and it is with that spirit that we announce our move to 200 Litton Drive in Grass Valley at the end of this month.

As a grass roots organization, The Friendship Club and the girls we support have had the benefit of close relationships, community partnerships, and generous community support. The Friendship Club girls have thrived for over 23 years because of your generosity.

You can help make this important transition a smooth one! While we were the recipients of a relocation grant, we ask for your consideration today to help us close the gap. Our move necessitated cancelling our spring fundraiser, The Power of the Purse. This event typically raises $30,000 in the form of monthly donations. Please help us reach our goal!

With nearly 2,000 additional square feet of indoor space and a huge outdoor space, our expansion will include a larger garden, a BBQ, picnic and grassy area for summer activities. We will also embark on a commercial kitchen build – an essential asset as we provide nearly 5,000 meals to our girls every year.

You are no stranger to our girls and the challenges they face. You have encouraged them to persevere in the face of adversity. You give them HOPE, the number one determinant of success.

I feel like I grew up in our current location and it is hard to imagine a new Friendship Club space but I know it will be bigger and better and eventually I will call it home too. It’s the people I love that make this the best place to be!      ~ Friendship Club girl

We hope you will take advantage of upcoming opportunities to tour the new location and learn firsthand how your donations make a difference in the lives of girls at risk in our community. We promise you will be inspired.

With gratitude,

Jennifer Singer                                                                                Lauren Stowe

Executive Director                                                                         Board President

Save the Date!

Mark your calendars for our upcoming events!