The nonprofit organization Impact100 Sonoma awarded its $100,000 Impact Grant to Redwood Empire Food Bank — and $139,000 to nine other area nonprofits — at its fifth annual meeting on Saturday. Members of the philanthropic group heard presentations from three finalists, then voted the $100k donation to support the food bank’s “Diabetes Wellness Project of Sonoma Valley.”
Shown in photo: Constance Grizzell, Chair of Grants & Greater Impact; Morgan Smith RN, Redwood Empire Food Bank (REFB); Gail Atkins, Director of Programs, REFB; Kathleen Bianchi-Rossi, Development Director, Sonoma Valley Community Health Center; Sydney Randazzo, President Impact100 Sonoma; and Grace Meeks, Chair of the Impact Grant.
Speaking on behalf of the food bank, Morgan Smith, RN began with recorded voices from clients, the voices of hunger. “I know I can shake this. This is not my life,” were the words of one of the clients who relies upon the Food Bank for sustenance. One out of every six people in Sonoma Valley do not have enough to eat, Smith said, and the growing incidence of diabetes creates a devastating situation for far too many local residents.
In collaboration with Sonoma Valley Community Health Clinic, the food bank will use the grant to support low-income adults living with diabetes in Sonoma Valley by providing monitoring supplies, educational materials, wellness food boxes, and group clinics.
This year, 239 women joined Impact100 Sonoma, providing a total of $239,000 to be awarded to selected Sonoma Valley nonprofits. This enabled the organization to award $20,000 to both finalists for the $100,000 grant: the Sonoma Land Trust for its “Transforming the Sonoma Developmental Center” project and Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance for its “Mentor 100 Project.”
In addition, Impact100 Sonoma awarded Community Grants totaling $99,000 to the following organizations:
Sonoma Valley Community Health Center will receive $13,000 to purchase equipment for its dental clinic that provides services to pediatric and prenatal patients and low-income families.
Sonoma Overnight Support will receive $15,000 to expand its “drop-in” services and support for a growing number of homeless and other at-risk individuals and families seeking help in Sonoma Valley.
On the Move, in partnership with Sonoma Valley Unified School District and La Luz Center, will receive $15,000 for developing a “parent university” – a parent education program designed for low-income, English-learning families.
Jack London Park, in collaboration with Hanna Boys Center, will receive $15,000 for a pilot program to employ at-risk teens in an 8-week summer program of vocationally-linked, trail restoration workdays.
Sonoma Valley Teen Services will receive $15,000 to install a walk-in refrigerator needed to expand The Lovin’ Oven workspace, services, and products.
Friends in Sonoma Helping (FISH), in collaboration with Sonoma Overnight Support, will receive $14,000 to implement a severe weather shelter for the homeless of Sonoma Valley and a survey to better assess their needs.
Ceres Community Project will receive $12,000 to expand its current “Healing Meals for Healthy Communities” pilot to a full program in Sonoma Valley.
At Saturday’s meeting at Hanna Boys Center, Theresa Rhodes, of the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation, provided the audience with a glance of the results of last year’s $100,000 Impact Grant, used by the foundation to support a new preschool at Sassarini Elementary School.
Rhodes said members that those funds have already had an amazing effect on the lives of children and their parents and families.
The Impact100 Sonoma group brings together at least 100 women in a common purpose: to award an Impact Grant of $100,000 every year to a Sonoma Valley nonprofit organization that would otherwise not have access to that level of funding.
Impact100 Sonoma is a group of woman who donate $1,000 each year to make possible a $100,000 grant to a Sonoma Valley nonprofit organization that would otherwise not have access to that level of funding. It has raised a total of $929,000 for Sonoma Valley nonprofits since its founding in 2009.
Photo by Melania Mahoney