'Tis the season for many holiday traditions and celebrations. No matter which holidays you celebrate, there is definitely a festive (though cautious) vibe in the air. Our festivities may be small this year, but I'm hopeful that the spirit of community, family, and generosity will prevail. We will miss doing our usual holiday cookie decorating event with teens and adult volunteers, but we will deliver some cheer where we can.  
December is my time to wrap things up (pun intended). I check off projects accomplished during the year, scramble to complete those still in the works, throw away old documents and archive items for future need, at home and work. This year that task is more important as we prepare to merge forces with the Boys & Girls Clubs and blend our staff and cultures to provide in-depth services to more teens in our Valley. We are grateful to have our supporters along on this journey and are working hard to ensure that all our teen programs are sustainable and healthy. That's why we need your contributions to our annual appeal. All the wonderful programs Teen Services provides need funding to go along with them. Your donations to Teen Services will forever remain dedicated to teen programming, even after we finalize the merger.
We have an interesting Cookie Jar challenge this year (see below), and we thank you for your support in meeting our goal.

In Kindness,

Help us fill the cookie jar!
Our goal is $100,000 and we are more than halfway there!
Your gift matters!
All donations support
our teen programs.

You empower teens with your gift to Teen Services.
Twenty-four teens participated in the most recent Ready to Work course gaining self-confidence as they learned about the application and hiring process, money management and customer service; completed their first resumes; and participated in interviews.
That sounds like a typical RTW Certification course, but this year, it happened virtually via Zoom! Presentations included videos (filmed during the summer in anticipation of course modifications), plus updated slides and small group discussions.
Perhaps the greatest challenges were the online interviews with teens finding their way to 10 different Zoom rooms to meet and respond to questions from local business professionals. Interviewers included representatives from Groskopf Warehouse and Logistics, Lovin' Oven, Mary's Pizza, Nugget Market, Operation Bicycle, Redwood Credit Union, Safeway, Sonoma Golf Club, and Wells Fargo.

The teens looked their finest following a free shopping experience at Bon Marche thanks to Anna Bimenyimana and Joelle Smith of SHENOMA. Several graduates participated in an additional financial literacy workshop offered without cost by Jose Alvarez from Redwood Credit Union.
The pre/post surveys showed significant increases in skills needed to find, get, and keep a job and the course satisfaction rating exceeded expectations (99.5%)! Kudos to instructors Jennifer Blackwood, TSS Program Director Casey Richter, and BGCSV Director of Teen Programs Eric Gonzalez. 
Congratulations to our 2020 RTW Graduates!!
An Update on Teen Programs

Working with the Boys & Girls Clubs, we continue to create new opportunities to connect with teens. We are providing, virtual cooking classes, bike mechanics classes, and leadership opportunities through community and Keystone Club activities.
Recently, Keystone teens worked with Chef Paloma on a cookie sale fundraiser to benefit families of the Calistoga BGC who were impacted by the fires. Many thanks to all of you who purchased cookies! 
And we are still providing a COVID safe space with reliable internet access for distance learning for our teens at the Teen Center.
Community Support for Teen Services
We are pleased to announce the receipt of three grants supporting our programs: $25,000 from Vadasz Family Foundation for general program support; $3,000 from the Kakatu Foundation to support our Ready to Work program; $2,377 from Mechanics Bank for the purchase of touchless bathroom fixtures to increase health and safety, and a $5,000 Community Investment Grant from the County of Sonoma Supervisors to support our distance learning program. Many thanks to all.  
Kudos for Operation Bicycle!!
We were pleased to receive rave reviews recently on NextDoor:
Adrian and his team of bicycle mechanics rock! Knowledgeable, efficient and personable guys doing a great service for our community. Adrian has done several fixes on my bikes quickly and reasonably priced. They also sell recycled bike clothing, gear, bike racks for your car and yesterday I saw a bike repair stand that was dirt cheap. Donate your used bikes and gear and they will tune them up while teaching the local kids bike maintenance. A+++ business.
I took my cruiser bike to be tuned up at Operation Bicycle yesterday. I have to tell everyone how Fantastic they are. They said the job might take a couple of days, but was finished in 1-1/2 hours. These men were not only very upbeat and extremely helpful, but refreshing during these times of stress. I needed a helmet, basket and a lock...they had a great selection and hooked me up.  Please feel confident in their expertise and enjoy supporting Sonoma's fine teens.
With such reviews, why not consider an Operation Bicycle Gift Card? The cards can be applied to any purchase, including service, parts, accessories, and bikes.
Don't forget our Cookie Jar! 
Make that donation today!

Did you know that Section 2104 of the CARES Act permits eligible individuals who do not itemize deductions to deduct $300 of qualified charitable contributions as an "above-the-line" deduction, i.e., as an adjustment in determining adjusted gross income (AGI), for tax years beginning in 2020. Check with your tax advisor.

Jose Alvarez
Barry and Ali Ansell
Talin Baghdassarian
Anna Bimenyimana
Jason Buchanan
Jenna Charton
Jason and Kim Enzensperger
Art and Sandy Fichtenberg
Josh Gruenhagen
Sue and Mike Hoey
Amy and Chris Hunsberger
Shelly Levin
David and Grace Meeks
Pat Meier-Johnson
Mirja and John Muncy
Donna Randall
Judy Scotchmoor and Roland Gangloff
Brian Simpson
Joelle Smith
Holly Sorkin
Stephanie and Greg Stubbs
Anne Van Roekel
Charles and Cathy Williamson
Beverly Wilson

County of Sonoma Board of Supervisors
Kakatu Foundation
Mechanics Bank
Vadasz Family Foundation
Teen Services Sonoma - a safe, caring place where all are welcome.
See what's happening on our social sites:
(707) 939-1452 |  teenservicessonoma.org