Remember when we thought a corona was something visible only during a solar eclipse?  Well, type "corona" into Google and guess what the first 100 listings are?  But even in these times of a health crisis, there are beautiful rays of hope and acts of kindness. People are coming together (well, figuratively) and using technology to solve problems of food distribution, medical supply shortages, and isolation.
We were very concerned about cancelling our Cowboy Cab event, not only because of the revenue, but it is our chance to showcase our teens and have a fun time with all of you. Our clever board has come up with a new way to raise funds so we will be ready to begin programming as soon as this crisis passes.  I hope you've seen our announcement and will help us meet the $50,000 challenge grant. Our mission matters as much today as it did before the COVID-19 crisis.
Like many nonprofits, we are being creative about how we keep going in a time when we cannot connect with our teens, and we've stepped in to help the greater community. We are offering drop off repair services at Operation Bicycle and Lovin' Oven increased the number of meals we are preparing for the homeless. We have our wonderful Chef Paloma and the Lovin' Oven commercial kitchen available to help with other food service needs as they arise.
Thank goodness we have a hard-working and dedicated board to help guide us and an amazing staff of men and women who are making sacrifices to stay the course and be available for our teens when they know they will need us more than ever.
Won't you please make a donation to help us meet our challenge and to ensure that Teen Services remains strong and viable?  Thank you.

Thank you so much,

A SALUTE TO OUR AMAZING STAFF from our ED and the Board

What do you do when programming is interrupted, most work has to be done remotely, you face your own challenges like kids at home needing attention, and social distancing is the exact opposite of your usual norm?
Well, at Teen Services every single staff person simply raised the bar with a "We'll figure it out and get through it together" attitude. Just take a look at what is still going on at Teen Services Sonoma:
Casey Richter, Program Director: A pause in direct programming is the perfect time to look at what special needs our teens may have when they return, review all of our post-program surveys, fine tune the programs we are currently offering, and look at how we can provide teens with what they need to send them on a successful pathway. She is in daily contact with all program managers and keeps in touch with our RTW graduates through social media.
Adrian Palenchar, Operation Bicycle Manager: With the most-sanitized tools in town and following strict social-distancing protocols, Adrian is able to keep the bike shop open to accept drop off and pick up bike repairs for the community. Bikes are the perfect answer to continued healthy exercise and alternatives to public transportation for essential travel. We are lucky to have the continued help from volunteer Tom Sours during peak times and there is sufficient room in the shop for them to work as a long-distance team.

Simon Cutler, Lead Bike Mechanic: Simon describes bike-riding as providing a rewarding sense of freedom and he loves his job at OB repairing bikes and working with teens. Now he is applying his mechanical skills toward something a little different. While at home, he is working on a project in collaboration with the Ceramics Department at the Community Center - a pedal-powered pottery wheel - a perfect combination of exercise and art.
Paloma Apgar, Lovin' Oven Chef/Instructor: There are still yummy aromas coming from the Lovin' Oven kitchen, just no teens and visitors to enjoy them. Paloma comes in 4 days a week, sanitizes every possible surface and utensil and then begins cooking. She has increased the number of meals for the homeless at Sonoma Overnight Support and is providing special packaged cookies for La Luz to distribute to their clients. From home, she keeps in contact with LOCA graduates offering tips on how to help out with cooking at home.

Sandra Santiago, Teen Center Coordinator: As our social media guru, Sandra feels comfortable working remotely, but she misses the teens. She is staying connected with her Girls' Group by experimenting with different online activities that they can share from multiple locations. Next week she is pairing up with Chef Paloma, providing a package of food items delivered to the girls' homes and then using Zoom to teach an online cooking class.
Joelynn Lee, Office Manager: You will still hear her cheery voice on the message machine and she will get back to you because even remotely, Joelynn keeps the operations running smoothly. She comes to the office once a week for mail and bank deposits, enters all donations into our database, takes charge of electronic communications, and seems to always know where everything is. Working from home suits her right now as she has also started a Masters' program at Sonoma State and is making sure that her young son keeps up with school.
We cannot thank this team enough - a small but mighty bunch. Our primary goal during these challenging times is to keep our staff employed, even if with reduced hours, so that we can hit the ground running when we get to the other side.

2018 Cowboy Cab - we should have sold blankets as a fundraiser
2019 Cowboy Cab - we needed spritzers and umbrellas to cope with the heat
2020 Cowboy Cab - COVID-19, an even bigger challenge
We will truly miss not seeing all of you in your cowboy gear and watching our teens in action, but that is not to be this year. Beyond the delicious food and the laughter at each Cowboy Cab, we have relied upon the funds we raise through our Fund-a-Need to support our work-readiness programs. You can still offer your support. Thanks to a very generous gift from Chuck and Cathy Williamson plus donated funds from our Cowboy Cab Sponsors and the TSS Board, we are able to match your gift up to $50,000. If you can, please help us continue to empower Sonoma Valley teens. Click on the link below and fill the boot!

On March 6, before our world changed, family and friends gathered at the Williamson's to celebrate the accomplishments of our second LOCA cohort. They had just finished 30 hours of culinary instruction preparing and serving (and enjoying!!) a delicious risotto as their final practicum. During the training, they also served a special Dinner for 8 for some TSS friends and catered the Spring RTW graduation.
This was definitely time for a reversal of roles and Paloma was more than happy to be the chef at this celebration and serve a variety of pizzas to the LOCA graduates and guests. Of course, the pizzas used fresh ingredients selected from the Williamson's garden.
Congratulations go to Clarissa Escobar, Silvia Flores, Leilio Lis (aka Ely); Jenny Molina, and Giovanni Stechman.
As Paloma awarded a certificate of completion, a chef's knife, and a $100 completion award to each graduate, she offered: "Go forth and cook well" encouraging them to enjoy cooking for family and friends and reminding them to be sure to call upon her for references and connections to local restaurants and caterers.

As you are doing your online shopping, please remember that you can shop and donate at the same time! AmazonSmile is a program that donates 0.5% of your eligible purchases on Amazon to a charity of your choice. All you need to do is start your shopping at smile.amazon.com and enter Teen Services Sonoma as your charity. 
Shopping at Sonoma Market? Please consider   Nugget Markets' Community Scrip Program! By signing up, you can earn up to 4% of your monthly purchases for local nonprofits.
Consider forwarding this newsletter to your friends to tell them about Teen Services Sonoma and how they too can help.

We would like to thank Catherine Ventuini, Cuvée Catering and Hanna Boys Center both of whom generously returned our deposits for Cowboy Cab. We look forward to working with both of them next year for Cowboy Cab 2021.
Our sincere apologies to Sonoma Raceway  as we mistakenly omitted them from our previous list of Cowboy Cab sponsors. Sonoma Raceway  remains one of our most generous supporters and a key part of our Cowboy Cab auction every year. They were our first Cowboy Cab Champions and remain so every year.

Arleen Curry and Ann Weeks Sonoma Raceway
Sandy and Dick Drew Team Ghilotti
Nugget Markets The Doctors Company
Judy Scotchmoor and Roland Gangloff
WestAmerica Bank
Simon and Kimberly Blattner Chuck and Cathy Williamson


Barry and Ali Ansell Mary Clark Janis
Lorraine Ashton Deb and Bob Kweller
Kathy Bloch Marney and Shah Malik
Nancy Bruce Mirja and John Muncy
Mike and Joan Buckley Gordon and Tiffany Newman
Maria Campbell Jack and Hope Nisson
Dino DiGiulio Valerie Pistole and Jeffrey Walters
Sandy and Dick Drew Sydney and John Randazzo
Constance Grizzell Ann and Barry Reder
Phyllis and John Gurney Judy Scotchmoor and Roland Gangloff
Doug Hanford Claudia Sims
Maida Herbst Jere and Charmaine Starks
Sue and Mike Hoey Beverly Wilson
Amy and Chris Hunsberger Judy and Chuck Young

Teen Services Sonoma - a safe, caring place where all are welcome.
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(707) 939-1452 |   teenservicessonoma.org