Nevada County Contractors’ Association gives back
“Don’t Let the Grinch Steal Christmas!”
That was the rallying cry of the Nevada County Contractors’ Association (NCCA) as it gathered donations from members and then provided local needy families with gifts and food.
For decades, the NCCA has hosted an annual holiday party for members and guests, at which non-perishable food products, monetary gifts, and toys are collected. When the pandemic forced the NCCA to cancel that event, incoming executive director Bre Deschaine and the NCCA marketing committee brainstormed other ways to help local families in need.
The Wreath Sponsorship program was the result. NCCA members that donated $250 received a personalized holiday wreath acknowledging their support. The monetary donation was used to help struggling families suggested by two local school districts. With a total of 26 donations, the contractors’ association sold twice as many wreath sponsorships as expected. Some NCCA members gave more than the $250 suggested donation.
With those monetary donations, plus toys and food dropped off at the NCCA office, the association sponsored seven families that included 21 children. Deschaine and her mother-in-law embarked on an 11-hour shopping expedition to purchase gifts on children’s Wish Lists, as well as Christmas hams and side dishes.
The items were donated last Friday.
“There were two homeless girls who asked only for the ability to shop at a local thrift store,” said Deschaine in a press release. “We bought them each some new clothes, plus a gift card for the thrift store.”
No toys such as video games that encourage sedentary activities were purchased. Contained in the children’s wish lists were practical items such as warm winter clothes, pajamas, school supplies, toiletry staples, and stocking stuffers. All children received boots, gloves, and insulated jackets and coats.
“Parents, many of them single, asked only that their children receive a joyous Christmas,” said Deschaine. “Nonetheless, we bought some adult presents and included gift cards as well.”
The NCCA also decided to spread its giving dollars. The association donated $1,000 to the KARE Crisis Nursery, a nonprofit that provides safe, nurturing care for small children of families experiencing stressful situations. The NCCA also gave $800 to Interfaith Food Ministry, which will feed 40 families for one month.
“For more than 10 years now, NCCA has supported IFM through collecting food and fund donations at Christmas time,” said Interfaith Food Ministry Development Director Naomi Cabral. “We are honored to be the recipient of their contributions during this particularly challenging year when local families struggled to have a normal Christmas. It hasn’t been easy for anyone, yet we see organizations like NCCA continue to help those in need. We can’t thank them enough.”
NCCA elves were committed to shopping locally. For example, wreaths were purchased at April’s Garden at A to Z Supply. Food products were purchased at local grocery stories, and gifts came from nearly a dozen local retailers.
“One little boy wanted motocross safety gear because he had recently crashed his bike, so we bought him boots and a helmet,” said Brittany Young of NCCA member Youngs Carpet One. “Our family also donated one of our own BMX bikes to a 15 year old whose bike was stolen. We bought him a good bike lock, too.
“My teen daughter helped shop for the teen girls, but when she wasn’t with me I’d text her pictures and ask, ‘Would you wear this?’” added Young, an NCCA marketing committee member who spent nine hours shopping for the “Don’t Let the Grinch Steal Christmas” promotion. “My two daughters and two nieces helped wrap everything, and we got some ‘props’ for the shopping we’d done.”
“All too often, our plumbing days are full of…well, you can imagine,” said Denise Johnson, co-owner of Craig Johnson Plumbing. “It’s been so nice to be greeted each day with our cheerful sponsorship wreath.”
Johnson, who serves on the NCCA marketing committee and also helped wrap presents, said she credits Deschaine with pulling off the inaugural “Don’t Let the Grinch Steal Christmas” program.
“Bre Deschaine’s vision of goodwill has given us all a sense of hope and happiness for the coming year,” Johnson said.
“We’ve had a great year and wanted to give back,” said Coleen Novo, who owns Talon Construction with her husband, Mike. “When the NCCA asked for a donation, we knew we could trust them to do the right thing. Mike and I were looking for a place to donate money and gifts. With the NCCA, we knew our donations were going to the right people and would have an impact on our local economy.”
Novo remembers how her family business struggled during the 2007-09 Great Recession.
“That was a dark time, so we especially appreciate what we can do to brighten the lives of others now,” said Novo, whose company donated two $250 wreath sponsorships. “These families need basic things. Two girls needed bedding, so we bought twin bed comforter sets with sheets for each of the girls.”
The NCCA is a nonprofit membership organization of more than 300 general contractors, sub-contractors, building material suppliers, and other construction professionals whose mission is to promote high standards, integrity, and ethical practices within the construction industry (http://www.NCCABuildingPros.com).
“When a community of people pulls together for the greater good of others, that’s what truly makes Nevada County special,” reflected Haven Caravelli, who made a $250 donation on behalf of both of the companies she co-owns, MEC Roofing and MEC Cleaning. “It made perfect sense for MEC to partner with and donate to help NCCA reach its goal in adopting families. What a unique way to show up.”
When final delivery preparations were being made, gifts and food bags covered eight 6-foot by 3-foot tables. It took six adults and four teenagers four hours to wrap all the gifts.
Some NCCA members made deliveries directly to families. Other families received deliveries from an intermediary, often a teacher at a local school attended by the adopted family’s children.
“There were emotional teachers in tears,” said Deschaine, “as well as family members. They had no idea the extent of gifts and food they were going to receive.
“We hope to make this an annual event.”
Source: Nevada County Contractors’ Association
All Phase Heating & Air Conditioning
California Building Plans
Craig Johnson Plumbing
Hansen Bros. Enterprises
Hills Flat Lumber
Josh Moore Construction
McSweeney & Associates
Millennium Planning & Engineering
MK and Sons Construction
Nevada County Fence
The Last Nail
Van Son Construction
Young’s Carpet One
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