Women Transforming Sonoma County Through Collective Philanthropy - June/July 2017 
Impact Grant Committee Members With Winners -- Food For Thought!   
Food For Thought Receives Impact 100 RWC's Second $100,000 Grant!

Funds will be used to support a pilot program 
 -- the "Vital Nutrition Project"

On May 6, Impact 100 Redwood Circle members presented our second $100,000 grant to Food For Thought, a Forestville-based nonprofit that has been nourishing and supporting Sonoma County by providing healthy food and compassion to people living with HIV/AIDS for 26 years.
Food For Thought will use the funds to support a pilot study, where they will serve people affected by other critical illnesses, such as heart disease and diabetes, by providing them wit h the same comprehensive services that their current clients receive. "We strongly believe in our model of listening to the needs of individual clients and giving them the life-supporting foods, nutrition education, and sense of community that they need and deserve," said Ron Karp, Executive Director.
Under its current model, the organization can provide one year of service to a client for less than the cost of a one-day hospital stay.  In a study of 43 current clients, the organization found that ER visits decreased by 65% and hospitalizations decreased by 50% over one year. "Our model has proven that, by providing comprehensive nutritional services, our clients are less-likely to require expensive medical care," says Karp.
The pilot program will include 80 clients affected by serious illnesses and at great risk of malnutrition. It is Karp's hope that the program will help demonstrate that access to nutritious, medically appropriate food lowers health care costs, reduces suffering and should be a part of our medical system.
"$100,000 is the largest grant we have ever received," says Karp. "It is exactly what we need and what our community needs. No one who is sick should go without food, and Impact 100 Redwood Circle is doing just what they set out to do - helping a small agency with big ambitions make a big impact for individuals and the community."

In This Issue
 Upcoming Events
Cocktails and Conversation 
  * Thur, June 22, 5-7 p.m.
At LaRosa, 500 4 th St, SR
Membership Strategic Planning Meeting 
Sat, July 22, 9:00 - 12:00 noon
Scottish Rite Center,
600 Acacia, SR  

Summer Social & Potluck 
Thur,  Aug 10, 5:00-7:00 p.m. 
At the home of Maria Nersesian 
Members & Guests Welcome!
General Membership Meeting 
Wednesday, October 25, 5:00-7:00 p.m. 
Scottish Rite Center, 600 Acacia, SR

RSVP to events by clicking here:  Email Impact100

Welcome to the newest members of our circle! 

Ulia (Julie) Bostrom
Lynn McIntrye
Cindy Harris
Stephanie McDermott
Jeriann Bjugstad
President's Message

Dear Impact 100 RC Friends,
I hope you are still basking in the glow from our annual membership meeting! With great pride, we awarded our second $100,000 grant to Food for Thought.
Not only did we award a second major grant this month, but we also received a thoughtful write-up from Chris Smith in the Press Democrat. Thank you to our hard-working marketing committee, especially Jan Houts and Gayle Holste, for this positive coverage.

At our meeting, I highlighted a few key accomplishments from the past year:
  • Launching our Community Grants program and awarding five $5,000 grants
  • Initiating our Grant Liaison committee
  • Developing governance documents for our organization
  • Instituting an assessment program to strengthen our committees.
We have more exciting opportunities on the horizon. In particular, please join me for a Membership Strategic Planning meeting the morning of Saturday, July 22. At this meeting we will explore and make decisions about critical issues related to organizational sustainability and member experience. Possible questions include the following:
  • Our organization's long-term health will depend upon members who actively participate on committees and in leadership roles. How can we develop future leaders and active members for Impact 100 RC?
  • Are we concerned about building sector/geographic diversity among our members and into our grant programs? If so, how might we do this? On the other hand, do we want to pick areas of specific focus for our grants?
  • How big do we want to become? Do we want to aim for membership sufficient to award multiple Impact Grants and Community Grants?
The conversations at this meeting will set our direction for the foreseeable future. We thank member and organizational development expert Sharon Keating for again donating her time to facilitate this meeting. I hope you will come and share your opinions!
Impact 100 Redwood Circle remains committed to sharing its "time and treasures," knowing that we are transforming Sonoma County for the better through our efforts!
Community Grant Updates!  

SRJC Foundation - HEP (High School Diploma Program)
Thanks to the funding from Impact 100 Redwood Circle's Community Grant, Santa Rosa Junior College High School Equivalency Program (SRJC HEP) has been able to assist 16 program graduates this spring. Students have received a $60 parking permit and a $65 bookstore voucher to help them continue their education after completing their high school equivalency with SRJC HEP. More awards will be made for students attending summer school, who are now completing their high school equivalency certificate this spring.
For two students, Deny (age 33) and Idelfonzo (age 39), this award has allowed them to continue their studies in ESL and improve their language skills. This step, combined with the completion of their high school education, will enable them to move into higher-paying employment. An additional benefit - they are providing a lesson for their children on the importance of education. No matter what age you are, you can still continue to learn.  Thanks to the funds from the Impact 100 Community Grant, continuing the educational path has become much easier for the SRJC HEP graduates!
Sonoma County Public Library Foundation - Free Bookmobile
"I just ran the numbers," says Glen Weaver, Director of the Free Bookmobile Program, "and it turns out there's a reason my shoulder is sore: lots more books being hauled into the Free Bookmobile this year to restock its shelves!" Since putting Impact 100 Redwood Circle's Community Grant funding to use to put the Bookmobile (and a new Mobile Librarian) on the road more often, service has increased to all target populations by a whopping 40%! In the first four months of 2017, 2,400 additional patrons have chosen great free books from the Bookmobile shelves compared to the same period last year. These happy readers come from all target groups, including toddlers, young children, teens, adults and seniors. This means we've already surpassed our overall goal of 1,500 additional patrons, and are thrilled to see what we can accomplish the rest of the year. Thank you so very much, Impact 100!
UC Cooperative Extension - Sonoma County's Food Recovery Coalition
The Sonoma County Food Recovery Coalition (FRC) has two teams working on the programs made possible by the $5,000 Impact100 RWC Grant:
  1. Development of a Food Recovery Directory to be housed on CropMonster:
    We have hired a project manager, Suzi Grady of Petaluma Bounty, to coordinate the development of the Directory. A basic format is complete and we've identified the information needed to populate the Directory. A Google Form will be distributed to & completed by all food redistribution non-profits in Sonoma County to populate the Directory. A small team will conduct phone interviews to gather data from those nonprofits who don't respond to our email campaign. We are on track for launching the Directory to the public for use in the 2nd half of 2017.

  2. Food Waste Awareness Campaign:
    In parallel to the Directory development, we are working on an awareness campaign which we also plan to launch in the 2nd half of 2017. The Sonoma County Waste Management Agency (SCWMA) recently shared data with the team which was critical in shaping the target markets for our campaign. The campaign will create awareness of the availability of the Directory and help educate consumers and businesses on how to reduce food waste or recover food for consumption by humans.
PALS (Paws as Loving Support) - Assistance Dog Program
  • Your generosity has enabled PALS mentors and dogs to continue working with at-risk youth at Journey High. This semester the youths are continuing to train some of our service dogs-in-training for children with disabilities while learning how to teach their dogs to build core body strength. These teams will also learn how to run their dogs through a rally course.
  • A new program component is teaching the youths how to write & illustrate their own children's books. They are almost finished! These books will be copied & bound to be used in our general read-to-a-dog program in elementary schools & libraries.
  • We are very excited to share that our at-risk youth program has expanded to include 2 SCOE SED (Severely Emotionally Disturbed) classrooms! We are looking forward to expanding to 8 special day classrooms in the fall.
  • Our very newest project with at-risk youth will begin this month. Our social, therapy teams have been asked to visit the long-termed incarcerated youth in juvenile hall on a weekly basis.
  • PALS is in the process of trying to recruit bi or multilingual social, therapy, reading & comfort dog teams to assist non-English speaking members of the communities that we serve.  
  • Because of your generosity, so many youth's lives are being enriched through PALS-one youth & one dog at a time or as the Journey High kids' so apply named their program LOL which stands for "Lots of Love."
Community Support Network - Sanctuary House
Sanctuary House serves eight young adults who are homeless and/or transitioning from foster care. Many are dealing with addiction. The clients live at Sanctuary House in a small group setting.   The $5,000 grant from Impact 100 Redwood Circle helped to extend the contract of the counselor who works with these young adults. The goal is to help them learn to develop healthy habits and relationships, gain skills that will assist them in gaining and keeping employment and to transition to permanent housing.

The residents at Sanctuary House are continuing to progress in several areas. All of the young people who have utilized the Sanctuary House program through this quarter have maintained housing. Two residents are enrolled at the SRJC, one being a student athlete. Another is making strides at the SRJC's GED prep classes. Two youth connected with Cal Fresh benefits, and three youth started new jobs. Through our Seeking Safety groups, the young people at Sanctuary House are learning key factors in how to identify and participate in healthy relationships (of all types). This is an area that has not been modeled for them as they grew up and something that deeply affects their ability to be successful and safe in a variety of life situations. We work on healthy boundaries, how to ask for help, how to advocate for yourself with a provider, and how to say no.

A challenge that we have faced this quarter is assisting our residents with finding safe and affordable housing to transition in to independent living when they are ready. As part of the program, staff works with residents to sign up for HUD funded housing list, as well as Burbank Housing. This program teaches youth how to follow up with their applications and keep track of where they have applied. However these wait lists are long, and affordable housing in the local area is very difficult to find. 

The Community Grants Team 
VOICES is on the Move 
VOICES is on the move towards extraordinary success. As TJ McKillop handed over the reins of the Education Navigator program to Kelsey Bjugstad, the Liaison committee received a wonderful third quarter report. Out of 125 youth contacted by TJ in the first nine months, there have been 41 youth who have requested and received continuing support from the Education Navigator program. 24 youth are either already matriculated or plan to be this summer. These early outcomes foretell amazing success for this program that hoped to engage a 40 student cohort over two years.
You might wonder about the other students who have yet to matriculate. Your Liaison Committee has come to understand just how many hurdles these students must cross in order to receive higher education. They often encounter housing, finances, emotional stability and learning difficulties. That is the reasons that only 3% of foster youth graduate from college. Matriculation has a different meaning to foster youth. It might mean as little as finding the courage to walk on campus and talk to an administrator about educational opportunities, attending one class for the first time or ultimately becoming a full-time student.
Just knowing that there is support for when and realistically if they are ready, can encourage a reticent young person to make one more step towards the doors of education.

Co-Chair Jan Gilman      
Education & Events
Thanks for a Great May 6 event!
We wish to acknowledge and thank each of our E&E committee members and volunteers who worked so hard to create a warm, welcoming and festive award meeting for our members and guests:  
E&E committee members: Shirley Anderson, Maureen Buehler, Karen DeGroot, MK Hicks, Janie Herring, DeeDee Bridges, Debra Marzak, Mary Radu, Pamela Reeves, Sudha Schlesinger and Ellen Wear.

Our vendors and volunteers - each adding great value to the Impact Grant Award meeting!
* Ceres Cafe - passed appetizers
* John DeGroot, Larry Holste & Jess Marzak - volunteer sommeliers
* Karen DeGroot - hand made tablecloths for buffet and dining tables
* Timmy Lodhi & Jim Agius - Kahn Videography
* John Stroh - volunteer audio visual technician
* Rosa Turner - volunteer photographer

Co-Chairs Liz Bortolotto & Gayle Holste     
Our Membership - Passionate, Purposeful Women
COFFEE AND CONVERSATION at the Flamingo's Terrace Grille welcomed a mix of fourteen members, prospective members, and Ann Nolen's two foster kittens. We were delighted to add Cindy Harris to our ranks and look forward to our other guests joining us in the near future.
If you joined or renewed last year in April or May, please be aware that your membership is up for renewal. We will be sending out those notices shortly, or you may simply visit the website, download a registration form and mail it along with either your check or credit card number to the Community Foundation (address listed on the bottom of the form). Please be certain to make your check out to the Community Foundation. http://impact100redwoodcircle.org/join-us/become-a-member/
CARPOOLS: We had four members offer to "give a lift" and one member "needed a lift" for evening meetings. Please let us know if you are interested in carpooling. It's a great way to get to know someone new and reduce our carbon footprint!
UPCOMING: Mark your calendars for our next Cocktails and Conversation, Thurs., June 22nd 5 to 7pm at La Rosa Restaurant, 500 4th St., Santa Rosa.  No RSVP necessary.

Your satisfaction with Impact 100 Redwood Circle is our first priority!  Please feel free to contact Toni Wilkes (wilkesrand@gmail.com) until Cindy Schmidt returns.  

Co-Chairs Cindy Schmidt and Toni Wilkes
Contact our Newsletter Editor:
If you have questions or suggestions for The Impact 100 Redwood Circle Communique, please contact Editor, Jan Houts at marketing@impact100.com