2014: a roller-coaster year of challenges and accomplishments!
January & February:
Funding for group homes in California was limited, due to legislative efforts to cure the state’s budget woes. Even though the Village doesn’t look like a typical group home, that’s the category we’re in, so we had to find a solution. We got the word out and our supporters came to the rescue: thousands of letters were sent to representatives, opening the door to creative growth of our goals and mission. We thank each and every one of you for letters supporting the Village!
Spring into Summer: Success!
By June, things were looking up. It took amazing work and creativity on the part of our staff, volunteers, and community supporters. We cut budgets where we could, and asked supporters to help, and by June we were experiencing greater stability, as children and siblings continued to be a home in the Village.
August: Celebrating our Eighth Year
In our eight years of operation we have served 73 children, including 22 sibling groups. We’re always up for a kids’ party to celebrate the Village’s birthday! George Peterson Insurance sponsored this year’s barbecue lunch and jumpy-house fun. Approximately 100 adults and children attended, toured the Village, and listened to speakers.
The party also gave us a chance to give a heartfelt goodbye to retiring employee, Donna Doncaster. We will miss her smiling face at the front desk – Donna has worked at our non-profit longer than anyone else, even before the Village was built. Best wishes to you, Donna!
September: “Best Place to Work” Award
The votes were in, and the North Bay Business Journal named the Village one of the “Best Places to Work” in Sonoma County. Nomination and voting was done anonymously, by Village staffers. The award ceremony was held September 18 at Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel & Spa, and attended by our executive director Anjana Utarid, and others. Said Anjana, “our employees are doing an incredible job . . . and they understand how they are changing the lives of these kids one day at a time.” Read more here.
October: State of the Village Event
This annual fall event for major donors highlights Village programs and financial stability. Once again this year, the venue was the Kenwood-area estate of the family of Deering Wine owners, Blair and Todd Maus. Guests watched the sun set over the Sonoma Mountains, while enjoying Deering wines paired to hors d’oeuvres prepared by Stark & Co Catering. It was an amazing and wonderful evening! Our grateful appreciation goes to Village supporters Mark & Terri Stark, and Blair & Todd Maus.
Also in October: Nonprofit Leadership Award
On October 8, our executive director, Anjana Utarid, was named one of twelve award winners by the North Bay Business Journal! At the ceremony held at Sonoma State University, Anjana was introduced by Jodi Shubin. Jodi is with Pisenti & Brinker LLP, and is also one of our board members. Read more here. View photos here.
We Support Families:
We are happy to announce that we’ve opened our BRIDGE HOME, a new program to help children and parents reunite. This day-use area (a former grandparent unit) provides a learning space where our kids can spend constructive time with their bio-families or potential foster-parents. While supervised by our social worker and therapists, parents are given training and a chance to practice the skills they’ll need to reunite with their children. Encouraged by the state of California, our program has successfully reunited 24 children with their families during the past three years.
The mission of Sonoma County Children’s Village is to provide nurturing, stable family homes in a multi-generational, enriched environment for children and their siblings in foster care.
Sonoma County Children’s Village has embraced the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, “which is the first Federal law to address the importance of keeping siblings together. Research indicates that maintenance of the sibling bond is crucial to child development and adjustment, especially for children who are separated from the only homes and parents they have ever known and are placed in unfamiliar settings with strangers.” (Youth Law Center 2005, Vol. XXVI No. 4)
How to Contact Us:
Call (707)566-7044 or email email@example.com
1321 Lia Lane
Santa Rosa, CA 94954