Women Transforming Sonoma County Through Collective Philanthropy - April 2020     
Co-President's Message    
Suzy Marzelak 
Dear Impact 100 RC Friends,
Here is a small sampling of messages that have arrived in the inboxes of your Co-Presidents during our Sheltering in Place:
  • Invitation to all members to "virtually" attend the preview of our Sector Task Force recommendations via "Go to Meeting" (the slides are now available on our website).
  • Request from a new member to learn how she might best get immediately connected and engage in our work.
  • Community Grants ballot inviting all of us to vote among 16 amazing non-profit proposals for eight $10,000 grants to be distributed in May.
  • Messages from several members with suggestions on directing our talents and funds in response to the virus crisis.
We are moving forward with zeal and unwavering commitment to our mission.  We are conducting business as normally as possible (thanks to technology).  We are pursuing grant-making using experience, processes, and tools honed over the past 5 years.  We're trying our best to keep things from falling between the cracks and to keep everyone in the loop.    
While none of us know what lies ahead, nor what the timing will be with our current Sheltering, we are absolutely convinced that Impact 100 RC will continue to thrive.  We welcome your suggestions on how we can best keep you informed and engaged, how best we can continue to serve our community, how best we can support each other.   
Contact us at:  Impact100president@gmail.com
Jan Gilman & Suzy Marzalek, Co-Presidents
Impact 100 Redwood Circle
 Upcoming Events

The following have been cancelled or postponed
until further notice:

Cocktails & Conversations
April 21, April 30
ED Talk - Human Services
April 23
"More Joy Concert"  
Benefit for Impact 100 RC, sponsored by Oakmont Boomers
May 15
Kingridge Fundraiser
Benefit in support of Forget Me  
Not Farms Childrens Services
May 16 
General Membership Meeting
May 21
New Member Orientation
June 13
Our Long Table
Food For Thought's Annual Fundraiser
June 14 
Please welcome the newest member of our circle:
Eden Trenor, NextGen
Despite the cancellation of our C&C events, please continue to refer friends, business associates, etc. who may be a good fit for Impact 100 RC!    
Community and Impact Grant Sector Task Force
The Sector Task Force completed their research and recommendations on March 25th. The recommendations were shared with all interested members in a teleconference on March 26th.  The feedback from those in attendance was positive. The slides, narrated by Co-Chair Vicki Groninga, are available on the Impact 100 RC website for those that were not able to attend the teleconference.
The next steps are for the Leadership Team to approve the recommendations. Then all members will be sent an email and asked to ratify the changes to our policy and processes by the end of the month. 
If you have comments or questions, please send them to impact100impactgrant@gmail.com
Vicki Groninga, Co-Chair
Community Grants Committee
Eight Winners to be Announced April 21 
With a robust membership growth, we are able to award eight $10,000 Community Grants!
This year we have the opportunity to try-out a pilot-grant process to address concerns ab out  the need to level the playing field - having projects identified in a particular focus area compete within that sector. Applicants were instructed to self-select the one sector that aligned best with their project. Our goal throughout has been to provide the membership with the strongest grant proposals representing all five sectors ensuring diversity in our giving.    
In this spirit, the Community Grants Committee thoroughly reviewed all vetted proposals and based on numerical scoring, selected the top 16 finalists in Arts & Culture, Education, Environment, Health and Human Services. Since more applications were submitted in Education and Human Services, it was decided to award more grants in these sectors.
Thank you to all the members who submitted their ballots. Wait for your email announcing the winners!
Chris Chang-Weeks & Carol Newman, Co-Chairs 
Updates From Our Impact Grant Recipients

to see a list of ways we can support our Impact Grant recipients as they continue to serve their clients during these challenging times.

Catholic Charities  
Catholic Charities expressed their sincere gratitude to Impact 100 RC for our grant, which allowed them to hire the Children's Resource Navigator, Toni, who has been very busy these days with the new challenges.   
She's been a lifesaver for the families and the kids who really need extra support right now. After working for a year, she is familiar with the schools, social agencies and the families. 
This makes it easier for her to help with:
  • Obtaining school supplies, printing homeschooling materials, and getting computer access to support remote learning.
  • Helping educate families on appropriate physical distancing under very challenging and tight circumstances. Families are spending more time in the center because of shelter in place.
Families are still moving into permanent housing largely due to Catholic Charities' program that helps with housing location, navigation and stabilization. However, there are concerns about employment. Specifically, that families will experience more financial hardship in the next few months after they have depleted their funds.
They have been communicating with the county to ensure that there is testing available should it be needed. They've also seen a big influx of new clients who are worried about finances and are seeking ways to access support. They have expanded their food distribution program which provides food for anyone in need in the community.
Forget Me Not Farms Children's Services  
Our 2019 Impact Grant winner has made good progress during these difficult times. Although they are not able to see any children at the Farm, they hope to be the first to reopen when Social Distancing ends. Director and Founder Carol Rathmann provided this update to our Liaison Committee:
  • They have made appreciable progress with their Roseland expansion program
  • Staff has identified new instruments to use to assess (with help of an Impact 100 member) which were presented to the Institutional Review Board of Sonoma State University and received approval to begin with pilot group
  • Purchased three iPads and are loading them with survey information and whatever other work they can do at home
  • Waiting for approval of Roseland Board of Education to transport students offsite to FMNFCS when social distancing changes
  • Roseland school principal and teachers are very excited about the partnership
  • Assisted with a mini horse rescue and have added 4 mini horses to program
  • Students will be seeing firsthand the impact of this virus and how FMNFCS steps up to help
Fingers crossed that the Farm will be hosting children again soon!
Food For Thought   
Our second Impact Grant winner is faced with numerous challenges during this time of Covid-19. Their clients are among the most vulnerable in the county, and the agency is committed to continuing to provide them with healthy food and compassion throughout the crisis.
Client demand is up sharply, and they are anticipating that as people who experience severe COVID-19 symptoms leave the hospital, they will see a surge in clients for their Welcome Home  program.
They have had to make changes to their services, including standardized orders (still offering some choices!), curbside pickup and deliveries only, moving to a larger commercial kitchen, and hiring staff to replace the volunteers in the food bank and kitchen.  
This is substantially more expensive than their usual ordering and service process, at a time when they have had to cancel major fundraising events and activities (Food Drives at local grocery stores, their major fundraiser "Our Long Table," the Human Race, etc.).
Further information, questions, ideas:
Ron Karp, Executive Director 707-887-1647 ext 105, ronk@FFTfoodbank.org 
Mark Green, Development Director, 707-887-1657, ext. 102, markG@FFTfoodbank.org  
Our 2016 Impact Grant recipient is currently open for limited hours, Tuesday - Friday, 12-4.   

The position of Education Navigator is now divided into 2 positions: Education Coordinator and Education Advocate.  In the days of Covid, challenges include:

  • Helping students get laptops and online access to continue classes
  • When they are open, they maintain social distancing while helping the clients connect to social services and file for unemployment
  • They are making and handing out lunches for the whole community with limited resources
  • They are setting up a Covid specific resource list for the clients, which will be made available on their social media pages, including what places are still open
  • Housing: not clear if there have been any evictions, but some clients are living in their cars, many don't want to go to shelters which are not youth-friendly other than SAY
  • Younger foster kids are going to the Valley of the Moon because some foster families are having trouble staying with the kids 24/7 
VOICES Introduces Youth Scoop
An Exciting Web Tool Developed by Youth Leadership Cohort!

In May 2018, seven VOICES Youth Leaders committed to a 6-month research program designed to identify and recommend positive changes for foster youth in Sonoma County. This Leadership Cohort was led by two VOICES staff and in November 2018 the cohort held an impressive public presentation outlining three recommendations. The Leadership Cohort provided reasons and background for the recommendations, personal stories and hope for possible ways of implementation.
Youth Scoop Cohort 
One of the three recommendations was "To Create a Resource Website for Sonoma County Youth," specifically, create an online location to consolidate and clarify eligibility for programs. The cohort agreed it was universally difficult to access much-needed information utilizing search engines or websites from individual local non-profit organizations. Even organizations that had an updated website often did not fully explain who qualified for their programs. For example, a program website could say it serves youth ages 14-24 however upon meeting with their staff, their specific career program is only for parenting youth between 18-24. At times, even when a youth would take multiple bus lines in order to apply for a resource, the right program staff would not be available to meet with them and they would find out on another visit that they did not qualify. This creates significant financial and time burdens for youth.
Kelsey Bjugstad of VOICES (who you may recognize as the former Education Navigator) says, "We started with a spreadsheet of 250 youth services in Sonoma County and each cohort member worked to research and update the entire list". Kelsey added, "In order to make the site efficient for youth, our original list was organized into 5 categories. The process of building a website included translating our ideas into a site map, creating a base model for the website as well as facing any formatting issues". The final version of the website was named Youthscoop.org. Young people accessing services and service providers alike were excited to see a website that was not only intuitive to use but also designed by young people with young people in mind!
A Youth Scoop Website Subcommittee was formed with the goal of continued updates and expansion especially in the areas of upcoming events, transportation options and instructional pages. Kelsey Bjugstad and Kitara McCray (former cohort member and current VOICES Education Advocate) are currenting working on a YouthScoop page dedicated specifically to address young people's needs in response to the Covid-19 virus outbreak.
Contact our Newsletter Editor:
If you have questions or suggestions for The Impact 100 Redwood Circle Communique, please contact Editor, Jan Houts at impact100newsletter@gmail.com