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Big Grants For Local Charities

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Some area charities are being told to keep up the good work they do in Sonora. Several area groups won grants totaling more than $100,000 dollars from the Sonora Area Foundation.
Below is the list of winners, the amounts they were awarded and how they serve the community:

1. Meals on Wheels – $35,000 – The program delivers meals to homebound seniors. The money will help them cope with shrinking government funding, rising costs and an increase in seniors needing the service. They serve around 420 homebound seniors.

2. The Free Community Meal program – $20,000- It is run by Christian Heights Assembly of God Church. It provides free meals two to three times per week at four separate sites in downtown Sonora, East Sonora, Jamestown and Tuolumne. Last year they served a total of 18,635 meals.

3. The Give Every Child a Chance program – $15,000 – It provides volunteer tutors for students at Twain Harte and Soulsbyville Elementary Schools, The money will help them expand their work to Jamestown Elementary. This school year the group trained seven adult and seven student tutors, and coordinated one-to-one tutoring for 28 students who were struggling academically.

4. Friends of the Animal Community – $12,000 – A volunteer group that provides foster homes, health care and adoption services for rescued pets to help cover boarding fees for dogs when foster homes and shelters are overcrowded. The group has 18 foster homes, and last year rescued more than 260 dogs that otherwise would have been euthanized.

5. Mind Matters – $8,000- A nonprofit clinic that provides assessments and therapies for children and adults with autism and related learning disabilities services for Tuolumne County residents.

6. Electronic school sign – $6500 – The money will help the Tenaya Elementary School in Groveland to purchase and install a new LED sign at the campus entrance. School officials say the new digital sign will allow them to more effectively disseminate important messages to parents and the community.

7. Home Builders Blitz program – $5,000 – It is part of Habitat for Humanity and will help support volunteers for a “blitz build” now underway in Tuolumne County at its Parrotts Ferry Village project. The organization is working with a team of local and regional builders to erect two homes over the next six weeks. Much of the labor and materials have been donated, and the project is led by California Gold Development Corporation.

In addition to the competitive grants listed above, the Foundation also regularly provides grants through its donor funds and administers dozens of local scholarships. In the first quarter of this year, an additional $100,925 was awarded in 40 donor grants to community nonprofits and other charitable causes.

The Sonora Area Foundation was established in 1990, and is a Community Foundation that channels donors’ charitable contributions to worthy projects in Tuolumne County. For more information on grant applications or the establishment of a donor fund, click here.


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