BriarPatch Co-op’s donation program to generate more support for our community
The Co-op CAUSE program allows you to donate easily at checkout to a community endeavor aligned with the Co-op’s Ends Policies. Together we can raise a substantial amount for these causes by focusing attention on a given project for several weeks.
As you check out, just ask the cashier to round up your total payment to the nearest dollar or more. The amount over and above the purchase total — 100 percent of it — will be donated to the designated project.
DECEMBER/JANUARY RECIPIENT: Divine Spark
Divine Spark provides support and guidance for people in need, regardless of gender, race, creed, age, or calling — to activate the divine spark within each of them. The organization was founded by Thomas Streicher in 2002 to improve the lives of the poorest people in the U.S., the Lakota Nation of Pine Ridge. With community donations and help from Nevada County, he would bring food and other needed goods to the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota four times a year. This support could include sewing machines, bikes, and clothing. He even taught the ladies on the reservation how to sell their traditional quilts online, and helped build an enormous greenhouse in which fresh produce could be grown many months of the year.
As he noted the growing homeless and poor population here in Nevada County, where he lived, Thomas and Divine Spark began offering services in Nevada City, such as weekly meals, counseling, workshops, legal support, and efforts to help people into rehab and the work force. Thomas also started a program so those ready for the responsibility of owning a car could get to a job and a safe place to stay.
Over time the program grew to the point where people could come on Sunday to get food, tents, sleeping bags, clothing, and vouchers for five restaurants where they could eat in dignity. Thomas was passionate about serving those who were not in a place to receive help from other programs due to their addiction, pets, or mental illness.
After instituting a come-as-you-are policy, he found that through non-judgmental acceptance and opportunities, people often changed and took great pride in sobriety and responsibility. While coming back from a run to Pine Ridge in Spring of 2013, Thomas tragically died when he lost control of his vehicle on ice. Devastated by the loss, volunteers rallied together to continue his work of creating a safe place where people can find help with the basics of food, community, and comfort.
In January of 2016 Divine Spark opened a community day center called Streicher House, which operated for a year and a half. The center was open to the homeless four to six hours a day, five to six days a week. It was a central place for meals, bathing, and access to counseling, services, and much needed relaxation. In May of 2017 the day center lost its lease and had to close.
The organization had to adjust to not having a center to work out of, but has continued to look for a place in an area with appropriate zoning. Divine Spark is still providing tents, sleeping bags, and laundry and food vouchers to clients referred to it by the county’s 211 services, other non-profit organizations, and word of mouth. Though they have not yet found a place to replace the Streicher House, they have not forgotten Thomas’ vision, which is to serve those in need and the most vulnerable in our society.
Divine Spark works in collaboration with a variety of other non-profit organizations, including Sierra Roots, Nevada County Pets of the Homeless, United Way, and Spirit Center, to name a few. They are able to continue to help those in greatest need through generous donations, which are always needed and welcomed. Please call Shirley Kinghorn at 913-2050,
OCTOBER / NOVEMBER RECIPIENT: Nevada County Grown
Many know Nevada County Grown (NCG) as the non-profit group with the gorgeous logo that publishes the yearly Nevada County Farm Guide. This Guide provides a directory of where to find food from local farms as well as shopping and growing information suited to farmers and consumers alike.
But Nevada County Grown is so much more. They are leading the way in creating new approaches to sustainable agricultural business and fostering economic self-reliance. Although over $250 million is spent on food in Nevada County, in 2015 Nevada County farms reported a value of only $1.6 million in vegetable crops, and fruit and nuts were a mere $1 million. Today, about 40 acres are devoted to fruit trees. By contrast, in 1964, active pear and apple orchards occupied 250 acres. That means millions of dollars of food sales goes to farms and businesses outside of the county, while our local farm economy loses a large portion of that business.
Recognizing that our local food purchases impact the economy, environment, health, and happiness of Nevada County, NCG in conjunction with other like-minded organizations hopes to dramatically increase both local crops and livestock sales and restore the vibrant agricultural economy of past years. NCG believes taking the lead on this goal is a worthy cause that extends beyond the farming community. Simply put, NCG knows that when local farms do well, the whole community benefits.
“Not only is local food more delicious, but research has shown it is more nutritious. And small, bio diverse farms are terrific stewards of the land, keeping soil, the environment, and wildlife healthy. Besides that, a beautiful farm is an image of an enterprise we can all embrace,” says Debbie Gibbs, President of NCG. “We need to support the farms that support our way of life. They can’t support us if we don’t support them.”
One way NCG is already making a difference is through The Nevada County Food Hub, a sales and marketing center for local farms and ranches to post available products for purchase by wholesale buyers like restaurants, grocers, caterers, and schools. “We’ve shown substantial growth this year and are actively researching ways to better serve both the farmers and the businesses. Because we are a relatively small community, we feel it is important to stay open to new ideas and learn from what is actually working in the field. Adapting quickly is a big part of helping farms succeed,” says Food Hub Operations Manager Rachel Klein.
Farming has never been an easy path but we are farmers ourselves, so we know how meaningful it is. It is a way of life we strive to protect and share,” she adds. Learn more about Nevada County Grown and The Nevada County Food Hub at NevadaCountyGrown.org.
AUGUST / SEPTEMBER RECIPIENT:
NEO (New Events and Opportunities)
NEO is a local non-profit that strives to empower youth to make healthy lifestyle choices through music, art, recreation, and skill development. NEO was co-founded in 2008 by two Nevada County teens who saw the need to provide positive opportunities for youth in our community. NEO’s youth center, which opened in 2015, offers free after-school drop-in hours for middle school, high school, and college-aged youth. The center features numerous activities, which include a stage with over 15 musical instruments, ping pong, pool, football, sports, crafts, and more. Youth who attend the center engage in a variety of enriching and empowering activities, including life skills workshops, yoga, resume writing, concerts, and video game design.
The youth center boasts nearly 500 members and welcomes an average of 30 to 45 young people each day. NEO focuses on providing positive mentorship and support for the attendees through its team of interns who help staff the program. Devin W. said, regarding his own experience at NEO, “I never felt like I had a place or a reason to get out of bed until I came to NEO. I was really depressed. Now, coming here, I’m laughing, I have that reason.” NEO also prides itself on its youth-led model, as their youth leadership teams help to guide and implement all aspects of their programs. In addition to the youth center, NEO does outreach at nine area schools and hosts teen sections at community events like the Nevada County Fair.
Throughout August and September, BriarPatch Co-op Cause program will help to provide healthy snacks for NEO’s programs. When young people arrive at the Youth Center they are often famished. Many of their families are struggling to make ends meet, so they often go underfed or face unhealthy food options at home. NEO wants to inspire health and wellness for all young people who participate in its programs. Research shows that the prevalence of obesity is significantly lower among youth who regularly attend quality after-school programs, and providing healthy a nutritious snacks is an important part of that. By rounding up our purchases to the nearest dollar, together we can all make this a reality.
Feel free to drop by the NEO Youth Center to see it for yourself.
Learn more at www.ncneo.org or by calling 530-470-3869.
JUNE / JULY RECIPIENT: Neighborhood Center of the Arts
The local Neighborhood Center of the Arts (NCA) is the best kept secret in town (till now, anyway!) It’s a non-profit facility designed to provide working studios for artists with special abilities, and it’s right up the street from BriarPatch at 200 Litton Drive. The studios supply artists with the tools they need to become successful in the development of their careers. Currently supporting 69 artists ranging in ages from 22 to 81, NCA offers a wide range of studio opportunities such as weaving, ceramics, painting, woodworking, digital arts, mixed media, performing arts, video production, and most recently, a garden business class called Whimsical Botanical.
NCA has a large garden space that is being used to grow herbs and native plants that attract bees and butterflies. With the goal of providing opportunities for artists to build their entrepreneurial skills — marketing, public relations, and teamwork is learned through the product development of soaps and essential oils, all while managing the garden itself. The garden team is also learning about composting and encourages composting among all who attend NCA. Thus they not only make great art and soap, they also make great dirt!
NCA’s artwork has been featured in the South Pine Cafés, Broad Street Bistro, Art Works Gallery, Make Local Habit, Summer Thyme’s, Matteo’s Public, Afternoon Deli, and Nevada City Winery, as well as BriarPatch. This work will be on display in the Co-op’s dining room in the month of June, and 50 percent of all sales go directly to the artists, with the remainder supporting the program’s operating costs.
With the BriarPatch Co-op Cause program, shoppers can round up their purchases to the nearest dollar, thus accumulating significant funds that will go specifically to NCA’s garden business, Whimsical Botanical. As usual, with each of us doing a little, together we can do a lot. Thanks for your contributions and your caring!
You are welcome to visit NCA on Litton Drive and follow them on Facebook. Learn more on their website, neighborhoodcenterofthearts.org. You can also call 530-272-7287 or write firstname.lastname@example.org.
APRIL / MAY RECIPIENT: Wildlife Rehabilitation and Release
Has your child ever brought you a baby bird that couldn’t fly, asking you to help it? Have you ever found an injured squirrel, raccoon, or hawk and wondered what to do?
Call Wildlife Rehabilitation and Release – (530) 432-5522.
Wildlife Rehabilitation and Release (WR&R) rescues injured or orphaned wild animals and birds, treats their injuries, feeds them healthy, species-appropriate foods and releases them back into the wild. This past year WR&R received over 1,200 animals and birds, and more than 800 of them were released back to the wild, transferred to another facility or kept for additional treatment.
WR&R is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization whose 70 trained “rehabbers” work long hours to provide these hurting critters with the care they need. It takes an annual budget of $60,000 to pay for the food, caging, medication, and vet bills.
Some of the animals that received treatment this past year include:
A pygmy owl that was hit by a car. After receiving medication and a careful evaluation, it was released back to the wild.
Baby cottontail rabbits were found by a woman who was mowing her grass in the spring. Though uninjured, these tiny, furless babies required special rehab care. Once they were old enough they were successfully released.
A Bewick’s wren was caught in a sticky fly-trap. After careful extraction from the trap, the wren was cared for, fed, and released a month later.
A bat was trapped in a garage over a long weekend. In its weakened state it wound up in a barrel of sawdust. Rehabbers hydrated and fed the bat, then released it the following day.
Thanks to the Co-op Cause program that allows BriarPatch shoppers to round up their purchases. This funding will go towards the food and care that so many birds and animals would find in no other place. We thank you for your contributions and your caring!
FEBRUARY / MARCH RECIPIENT: Nevada City Winter Farmer’s Market
This year marks the Nevada City Farmers Market’s 10th season, and they’ll be celebrating their 10th anniversary in July 2017. To commemorate this milestone, they are piloting their first winter market on the first Saturday of every month, December through May, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Robinson Plaza at the bottom of Union Street in downtown Nevada City. The mission of the market has many facets: to enhance the quality of life and economic resilience of our community by providing access to high quality, locally grown products; to support regional, sustainable producers through direct access to consumers; to create a community meeting place; and to foster consumer education. The winter market will not only allow them to expand their mission year-round, but will also broaden the organization’s capacity to meet these goals and invigorate our local food culture.
By rounding up to the nearest dollar at the cash register, you can help create more opportunities for local producers to grow and sell during the “off season.” You will also provide consumers with direct access to high-quality, locally-grown produce (including low-income folks who are eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), and support the administrative and infrastructure costs that make a healthy market possible. Some of these costs include insurance to protect the market and its vendors; CDFA fees; permitting fees; management salaries; advertising to get the word out about the new winter hours and location; and supplies to keep the market/EBT booth running. In addition to introducing the new winter market, the organization is in the process of developing advocacy programs to support our local farmers and ranchers.
The success of the 2017 Winter Market could lead to a year-round market, a presence that has long been needed in the Nevada City area. The Nevada City Farmers Market thanks everyone who has helped them to thrive over the last 10 years. They hope you will continue to support their growth and vision of a vibrant food culture in Nevada County.
DECEMBER / JANUARY RECIPIENT: Hospitality House Culinary Program
It’s hard to believe that 112 gallons of milk are served each month to the guests at Hospitality House. That’s the volume needed to serve the 54 men, women and children from Nevada County who are provided with a nutritious dinner, a continental breakfast and a sack lunch every day. In addition to providing food and shelter, our commercial kitchen allows us to offer a culinary job-training program to guests like Trish, who never learned to cook at home where her parents began offering her drugs when she was only 12 years old.
Stories like these are heartbreaking but thankfully for guests like Trish, participating in the Culinary Program has allowed them to turn the page and begin a new chapter. In fact thirty-three guests have already graduated from the program with the skills, confidence and empowerment to successfully secure housing and/or jobs in the food service industry. Local restaurants, such as Three Forks, Safeway, SPD, and Maria’s, are benefiting from the braising, grilling and baking skills among others that are taught in the program.
We hope you’ll support the continued success of the Culinary Program at Hospitality House by donating to the CAUSE campaign at the register!
More About Hospitality House
Our Rapid Rehousing Program has helped 382 guests get back into homes of their own—like Bobby, who was reunited with his 5-year-old son Connor this summer when they moved into a shared home in Nevada City. Hospitality House depends on donations and volunteer support to provide shelter, mental health services and case management to those from Nevada County.
How You Can Help
DONATE at the register or hhshelter.org.
VOLUNTEER as a shelter assistant or thrift store assistant. Contact email@example.com.
SHOP at Bread & Roses Thrift, 840 East Main St. Grass Valley (next to Sierra Cinemas).
We love working with you to help those struggling in our county!
2017 CAUSE recipients are featured as our CAUSE for a two month period.
2018 CAUSE recipients will be featured for a one-month period.
Applications for 2018 CAUSE were due August 31, 2017. Applications for 2019 are available for download.
2018 Recipient Groups
February – Wolf Creek Community Alliance
March – The Nest Family Resource
April – Neighborhood Center for the Arts
May –Community Legal, Inc.
June – Sammie’s Friends
July – Sierra Nevada Children’s Services
August – Barbara Schmidt Miller/ Celebration of Life Triathlon
September – Care Crisis Nursery, Inc.
October – Wildlife Rehabilitation and Relaease
November – One Source – Empowering Cargivers
December – Sierra Harvest
2017 Recipient Groups
December/January – Hospitality House
February/March – Nevada City Winter Farmers Market
April/May – Wildlife Rehabilitation and Release
June/July – Neighborhood Center of the Arts
August/September – NEO, New Events and Opportunities (for youth)
October/November – Nevada County Grown
December/January – Divine Spark
2018 Recipient Groups
To be selected in September 2017.